Providing bedding for your lifestock is important to their comfort and health. Bedding helps reduce heat loss during cold seasons, reduces pressure on skin when the animal rests, and helps contain animal waste. Your need of livestock bedding will vary depending on the livestock in question. For instance, pigs require less bedding than beef or milk giving cows.
Types of Livestock Bedding
There are several types of livestock bedding with their own costs and drawbacks. Here are the most common:
- Wood Shavings
- Wood Chips
At Parma Post and Pole we deal with Wood shavings, wood chips, and sawdust.
Using wood shavings as livestock bedding has been proven to be a suitable choice. Wood shavings provide comfort, absorbency, and warmth. When purchasing your wood shavings, verify the shavings are clean to prevent potential health hazards to your animals. Also, some woods are toxic, like cherry.
Wood chips are a mix of bark, sawdust, and post peelings. This type of livestock bedding may be cheaper, especially when straw is scarce. The downside of wood chips is, if wet, will produce a highly damp environment that will generate mold, mildew, and promote microbial growth. For certain livestock, like goats and sheep that have difficulty recovering from illness, it is ill advised to use wood chips.
For sawdust to be an effective for livestock bedding it should be kiln-dried. This helps increase the absorability of the product and ensures cleanliness. Cleaning sawdust is easy as the material clumps. If sawdust is used, take special attention to your livestocks health, especially with dairying livestock. Particles of sawdust stick to udders which cause the growth of mastisis causing bacteria.