Choosing the right wood shavings for horses is crucial in ensuring that they stay clean, dry and comfortable, and sleep in a healthy environment. Without proper bedding, your horses may get sick from dust, parasites and pathogens. There are several factors to consider when picking suitable wood shavings. This article discusses the various properties to look for in wood shavings and how to distinguish between good and bad options.
Properties to Consider When Choosing Wood Shavings for Horses
The following are some key elements to consider when choosing woods shavings for your horses:
1. Type of material
Softwood shavings are the most popular wood shavings available on the market. They are cheap, safe, comfortable, and sufficiently fragranced to mask unwanted odours. Softwood wood shavings you can use for your horses include pine, Douglas fir, and spruce.
You should avoid using wood shavings from tree species like black walnut, red maple, and cypress. Black walnut may trigger laminitis in horses. On the other hand, cypress may cause your horse to develop skin rashes and swollen legs, and the leaves of the red maple are toxic to horses and may lead to skin irritation, hair loss, and, in extreme cases, death.
Horse bedding should be absorbent enough to keep your horses dry and comfortable. Unabsorbed ammonia from urine accumulating in your stalls can irritate horses’ eyes and respiratory tracts. Fine shavings are more absorbent than large and medium wood shavings. Additionally, kiln-dried shavings are more absorbent compared to those that aren’t kiln-dried.
3. Dust content
Excessive dust in bedding can irritate horses’ respiratory tracts, leading to allergies and respiratory issues. Although fine shavings are more absorbent, they can also have a higher dust content. It’s important to find the right balance between absorbency and dust content to keep your horses comfortable.
When looking for good horse bedding, make sure that it’s consistent in size and product quality. Bedding consistency ensures your animal’s comfort. Good horse bedding should be free of debris and irregular pieces, which may compromise comfort and impact the shaving’s visual appeal and absorbency.
5. Moisture content
Wood shavings with high content moisture may not be ideal for horse bedding. It can lead to the growth of bacteria, mold spores, and other environmental pathogens that are harmful to horses. Kiln-dried wood shavings tend to have a lower moisture content.
Are You Looking for Wood Shavings?
Contact Klassen Wood Company today if you’re looking for quality wood shavings for your horses.
We offer premium wood shavings for all your bedding needs. Our experts are happy to help you find the best wood shavings for your horses.