Animal bedding provides a comfortable clean area for animals to escape the harsh winter weather and without that, you may have saved some money in the short term but the repercussions may end up costing much more.
Animal bedding benefits include:
✓ Used as a flooring material
✓ Comfort to animal
✓ Encourages resting
✓ Contribute to udder health
✓ Contributes to milk quantity & quality
✓ Minimizes injury and fatigue
What are the repercussions of not applying animal bedding?
Quite often during winter, animals will retreat inside to get a break from the harsh winds and cold temperatures, but without a comfortable layer of animal bedding to support and encourage resting your animals may become tired and fatigued.
This means they are more susceptible to disease, less likely to have energy to move around and could even result in death. This is not only a loss to the herd but a loss in your investment. This comfort layer also reduces drafts and will keep the animal warm, preventing hypothermia.
Sometimes diseases from the winter months cannot be avoided but they can be reduced and managed by minimising risk of exposure to bacteria, viruses and parasites in their environment.
Ways you can reduce this risk include
- Using separate pens to keep groups smaller and isolate sick animals.
- Dry, draught-free pens with good daylight exposure.
- 300mm deep animal bedding to keep them warm and dry while absorbing excrement.
Being in the agriculture business can sometimes be risky when playing with such variable circumstances like livestock. Reduce the risk by offering a quality environment for them to survive the winter months and they will return the investment further down the line.
Healthy animals are a wealthy investment.
Comparing animal bedding
Pros: A cheaper alternative with little maintenance and available in most places. Provides warmth
Cons: Straw is dusty and non-absorbent which may lead to disease. It is also very light meaning it blows away easily and edible making it food and a bed.
Pros: A dust-free and non-edible bedding solution that provides warmth. This option is readily available anywhere.
Cons: An even larger amount is needed to create a base layer which means this can get costly. Due to the high absorbency and durability (or lack of) things will become very soggy fast.
Pros: Dust-free and absorbent providing a warm, comfortable animal bedding alternative.
Cons: Costly, susceptible to mould and requires a lot of maintenance.
Pros: 100% natural wood pellets are cheap and very absorbent.
Cons: Wood pellets must be activated first with water to expand which can get messy and is time-consuming. They also are prone to rotting.
Pros: Flat and cushioned to reduce fatigue and stress. Since it is waterproof, rubber matting is convenient and easy to keep clean.
Cons: The initial cost is expensive and does not provide warmth or absorbency.
Wood Shavings & Sawdust
Pros: Wood shavings & sawdust make an absorbent bedding option that is readily available and relatively easy to sweep up. The small particles are great for indoor use to provide a cushiony warm layer.
Cons: Wood shavings & sawdust can be dusty which might cause breathing allergies.
Pros: Due to large particle sizes wood chip has great drainage properties for excrement and is a lot more durable than other alternatives.
Cons: Although you can create a good base layer it may not be as comfortable as some of the more softer animal bedding like shavings and sawdust.
See how Wholesale Landscapes can help you with animal bedding solutions