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QUESTION about pellets /contents

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by dallas, Jan 24, 2008.

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  1. dallas

    dallas New Member

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    would anyone know if they contain black walnut ? while they sell horse bedding / pine pellets for six or seven dollars for thirty pound bags- i can get pellet fuel for four dollars- anyone know if theres any added fuel or coating of any type that would harm a horse -someone told me there was fuel coating on it- i dont think so , i just got a harmon p68 six days ago- had some problem with the auger making screeching noise- they said it wasnt tightend right from the factory- came the same day i called and its quieter now then six days ago when they installed - all in all very happy but would like more information on the thermostat hook up- i just have a wire with metal end- do i need a thermostat attached or is that the sensory unit on the end of it ? thanks

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  2. mortimer

    mortimer Member

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    Dallas,

    Pellets vary on species content. The bags are labeled to a degree. If you can't use walnut, go with a softwood pellet. Folks do use pellets for animal bedding. Turns into sawdust when wet.
  3. dallas

    dallas New Member

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    Loc:
    NJ
    I didnt know they made a softwood pellet- its the Black walnut that isnt safe for horses- even a few ounces causes them to founder from standing on it- its not fully understood why, just a fact. Since black walnut is toxic to humans as well I would doubt they would chance using it in a pellet, but you never know i guess. Lumber mills would probably not seperate it if there was a small amount. Thanks for your help , i appreciate it. Heres the information on it if anyone out there has horses!



    There have been numerous reported cases of Black
    walnut (Juglans nigra L) poisoning resulting in laminitis
    in horses. Laminitis occurs through exposure of horses
    to black walnut shavings used as bedding in stalls. As
    little as 10 percent of the total shavings, by weight, may
    result in clinical signs of toxicity in horses. These signs
    generally occur within 24 to 48 hours of exposure to the
    contaminated shavings. Since the lowest amount that
    can cause toxicity has not been established, the safest
    course is to make certain that there are no black walnut
    shavings used as bedding for horses. Clinical signs in
    affected horses can range from minimal to extremely
    severe within the same group. The symptoms frequently
    begin with mild laminitis and swelling of the legs and
    can progress to extremely severe laminitis, swelling,
    and edema of all four limbs; and pitting edema of the
    ventral abdomen; and colic. In extremely severe cases,
    the laminitis can be severe enough to allow rotation
    of the coffin bone leading to loss of the animal. When
    multiple horses are present in a single stable, there can be
    significant variation in the degree of laminitis and edema
    among individuals.
  4. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Dallas, I know the temptation is there to use wood fuel pellets for bedding because they are cheaper but I wouldn't recommend it. The difference in price is all about quality control and making sure that nothing toxic makes it's way into the sawdust destined to end up being used as bedding.

    A company making pellets for fuel has no incentive to be worried about a little black walnut making it's way into their finished product. A company producing stall bedding does. I won't risk it. If I have a bag of pellets that gets wet or something I'll put them in the compost pile but I won't use them in my stalls. I know some people who are but I think they are taking a huge gamble. The little bit of money they save now is going to be much less than the vet bills they may encounter down the road.

    It's fairly rare to get black walnut in bedding but it happens. It happened a few years ago to a stable near me. Fifteen horses with founder from a contaminated load of sawdust out of a twenty stall barn. Two had to be put down and none of the others will ever be quite the same. It's just not worth the risk, IMO.
  5. mortimer

    mortimer Member

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  6. packerfan

    packerfan Feeling the Heat

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    If you check it out again, there is also a link on that page for wood pellets for burning as well.

    It seems that many companies make both types ( animals & fuel)
  7. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    You are right. I think quite a few companies make both. I have no idea if the process and equipment are the same but having handled both it seems like maybe the bedding pellets have more moisture in them because they don't seem to be as hard & tightly packed as fuel pellets. Perhaps there's a drying step for sawdust intended for fuel pellets that's skipped when making bedding pellets?

    My chief concern is how much knowledge and control a pellet company has over the contents of the raw materials they are using. If they run the sawmill then they know exactly what kind of logs generated the sawdust but if they are buying it then they have less control.

    As an example, when we first bought this farm there were three massive old black walnut trees in an area I wanted to clear for pasture. I sold the stand of trees to a pulpwood outfit. They came in a cut down all the hardwoods, including the walnuts, and sold them to a local pallet company. I buy sawdust, for bedding, from that same pallet company so when I realized where my trees were going I called the owner to warn them about the black walnut logs they were getting. I shouldn't have worried. As it turns out the owners of the mill own horses themselves and are aware of the danger so, by the time I called they had already spotted the walnut trees and sorted those logs from the loads they'd received. They had reason to care that the sawdust from those logs didn't end up in their normal waste piles but I imagine that's not always the case with an operation that mills hardwoods.

    Funny but I ended up buying the black walnut logs back from them and getting them to mill them for me to use for furniture. They had to put an extension on the exhaust chute to keep the sawdust from going into the normal sawdust pile. The tables I made from the wood were gorgeous. :coolsmile:
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