In a world full of bedding choices, most people still choose to use pine shavings or sawdust for all of their animal bedding. Let's dive into this topic in detail and examine why pine wood makes a great animal bedding.
In our experience, people choose to use pine shavings for most (or maybe even all) of the following reasons:
Let's break each of these down in detail.
Pine wood makes a really soft and fluffy bedding because the base material is a softwood tree. The difference between hardwoods and softwoods is a major structural difference, but without getting too deep into the science of cellular structure, softwoods don't contain large pores thus the material is softer and more sponge like. When processing pine trees into lumber or shavings, these structural differences lead to a softer and fluffier flake than hardwood trees would produce.
Pine wood is also 100% biogradable. Essentially this means that as long as the wood is left untreated, then the shavings and lumber will naturally decompose by bacteria and other living organisms. Not only is this great for the environment, but it is much easier to handle waste removal on your farm or facility when something will naturally decompose over time.
In my humble opinion, the fact that pine wood has great absorption qualities and controls smell so well is probably the number one reason that it remains so popular. Sure, technology and science have created all sorts of new bedding options, but year after year people continue to use pine because it is a cheaper, better smelling alternative, that absorbs moisture really well.
Cost and ease of use matter for consumers as well. Whether it be bulk or bales, storing pine shavings and sawdust is fairly easy. All that really matters is keeping it dry. As for applying shavings and mucking stalls, it is easily handled with a rake, shovel, and/or broom. Pine is usually less expensive than most other options as well since pine trees and shavings are readily available nationwide in the United States.
All in all, pine wood makes great animal bedding because of basic economics and scale. It's inexpensive, it's readily available, it's easy to use, and it solves a majority of the issues that most people need resolved. That's a beautiful thing for the consumer, as well as manufacturers that need to dispose of shavings and sawdust byproducts. Maybe someday technology will do more for animal bedding than it currently has, but until then, pine wood sawdust and shavings are still the best answer for most people (and animals).
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