Which Livestock Bedding Material Should I Choose?
May 10, 2021
If you take care of livestock on your farm, you understand the importance of ensuring they have a comfortable, efficient, and protective material to lay and walk on in their housing space. In general, there are plenty of options to choose from, but do you know which is best for your needs?
Collecting shavings of wood to be used as bedding can be very beneficial and is an excellent option for your animals.
- Highly absorbent – Wood shavings can absorb moisture adequately, allowing for more comfort for your animals.
- Comfort – This soft material breaks down slowly and is body-conforming providing an excellent cushion for your livestock’s living space.
- Hygiene – Wood shavings are free of contaminants, dirt, and debris, making them a very hygienic option. As well, they are more mold-resistant and do well at absorbing unpleasant odors.
- Free of pests – Another big plus for this bedding material is that pests and mites are not attracted to wood shavings, giving you that extra peace of mind.
- Dust – Wood shavings can be dusty and potentially cause allergies for your animals.
- Coat staining – In some cases, if not changed frequently, the color of the wood shavings can start to leave marks on your animals as they lay on them.
The benefits and possible disadvantages of sawdust are very similar to wood shavings.
- Incredibly absorbent – Sawdust has the smallest particle size making it highly absorbent.
- Quick and easy cleaning – Since bedding needs to be changed frequently, this lightweight material is very easy to change and clean.
- Less material for landfills – With sawdust, there will be less disposable material, and it will break down the quickest.
- Comfort – Sawdust is another material that is soft and will provide ample comfort for your animals.
- Potentially high bacteria counts – Because they are organic and are very small in particle size, more bacteria and pathogens can grow in this material.
- Needs to be high quality – To be used as livestock bedding, sawdust must be properly dried and treated by professionals.
Straw is an organic material that is a very popular choice as bedding for many reasons, with the animal’s comfort and effectiveness as its main selling point.
- Comfort – Not only is straw soft, but it also provides adequate thermal insulation, allowing for extra comfort for your livestock.
- Composting – Straw is an easily compostable option since it’s an organic material, making it a sustainable choice.
- Durability – Lying duration is typically longer than for other beddings.
- Fewer bacteria – On average, less bacteria are found living on straw, allowing for less disease or infection risk for your animals.
- Decreased cleanliness – Often, your animals will be dirtier if straw is what’s primarily used for their bedding.
- Difficulty handling – Straw can be more challenging to handle, gather, and maneuver than other bedding materials.
Livestock Bedding in Maryland
Here at Frey Agricultural Products, we have many different high-quality, clean bedding materials to choose from, so you can get exactly what you need. Let our team of professionals get you what you’re looking for, for the right price! Visit our website or give us a call to learn more about how we can help you.