Saturday, December 12, 2009

Keeping Bedding Dry - Livestock

This is an age old problem in livestock care and management! When I read the comment, I thought I'd blog about it as it's actually a problem with many species! My solution won't work for all situations but does for me in the stalls/pens in the barn. The problem is the bedding would be drier if the goats would go outside to pee or mares didn't pee so much, etc.

I discovered my solution when I was breeding horses and kept having mares foal and "flood" the stall. I would peel back the dry bedding every morning and clean out the big wet spots but there was a lot of waste of bedding. With the prices and availability for straw and shavings was escalating, I had to find a better way. I did! I was working at our horse expo when Woody Pet first came out and stopped at their booth.... INTRIGUED and thought processes zeroing in! Woody Pet is a pelleted bedding material! It is normally put in the stripped out stall and then WATER added to do it's thing and make it a fluffy bedding. I needed something to soak up "recycled water" and my mares had their certain spots they pee'd in and foaled in so it wasn't the whole huge stall needing a solution.

Woody Pet soon had off brand competition and it sure helped me out! I found I could peel back the bedding over the wet (SATURATED) spots and clean out the wet bedding. I then replaced it with pelleted bedding and waalaa I had a workable and VERY helpful solution to what had been a long-standing problem. It ended up that I could peel back the top layer of bedding and spread the wet pellets out a bit and they'd dry out pretty good during the summer. Other times I had to take a shovel full of wet bedding out but I was wasting far less than in the "old days".

Pelleted bedding made a huge difference in the post foaling cleaning of the fluids too. And now I use it with my goats and it's helped tremendously with them too!

If you are in a quandry over keeping your stalls/pens dry, you might try the pelleted bedding! Just do NOT use the pellets made for woodstoves as they have additives for burning that you don't want your animals getting in contact with. Stick to the actual bedding pellets. You can top them with shavings or straw so you are wasting less bedding from those infamous wet spots.

It will make your job cheaper and easier in the long run too!


  1. That is very interesting. I have never heard of this bedding before. I will have to check it out. Do you think it is something that would work in kidding pens? I have been told not to use sawdust or wood bedding in kidding pens because it sticks to the wet newborns noses, etc but if this stuff does not do that it sure sounds like it would work great for kidding time. Thanks for sharing info about it.

  2. Do check it out! Just make sure you get the bedding and NOT the woodburner fuel pellets as those are treated with chemicals to ensure steady burning!

    The dry pellets would be too heavy to stick to a nose for more than a few seconds. When it's wet it crumbles though. I used the wasted hay for the does to kid on. I get shavings to have and I start out with putting them in their nest spots if neededbut they always have so much hay they waste that I try to be economical in using it. The hay isn't as dusty as straw is either.