1. Animal Bedding Introduction
1.1 Brief introduction
Good quality bedding is essential for maintaining the health of animals. In general, animal bedding must be comfortable, clean, and absorbent. There are several materials can be used for livestock. Usually organic materials are adopted, thus reducing ammonia gas and making the animal stall with clean air.
Traditional animal bedding materials include straw and wood shavings. However they have disadvantages. For example, dusty bedding may cause or aggravate respiratory issues for horses and their handlers; it needs long time to clean out the stable when straw or wood shavings are adopted. However, wood pellets bedding is helpful to avoid these problems.

1.2 Factors on bedding managing that handlers need to consider:
Since dusty bedding is bad for livestock’s health, the bedding to be chosen should be with less or no dust.
Livestock needs a comfort place to rest. So the stable should be dry and cushioned. Thus livestock can grow well.
Moisture content
Moisture may increase the level of microbial activity in the bedding, resulting in harmful levels of pathogens. Besides, materials with higher moisture content may adhere to animals, thus making it difficult to clean the animals. Organic matter performs well on absorbing moisture compared to inorganic material. Turning bedding is helpful to improve ventilation and reduce moisture.
The materials adopted as bedding should be clean. There should be no chemicals, sharp objects, mould, dust, or excess moisture.
Organic matters like straw, wood shavings may sustain the growth of bacteria, which is bad for animals. Otherwise, materials should not be palatable to animals.
Particle size
Materials adopted as livestock bedding should also be of suitable size. Organic matter of smaller particle size may promote bacterial growth. Large sand particles can cause discomfort and sometimes create wounds. Very fine particle such as sawdust is likely to stick to the skin.

2.Materials used as animal bedding  
Straw is not very absorbent and it requires removal of manure several times one day. Adopting  straw as livestock bedding is likely to generate strong ammonia odors, which is bad for animals’ health. Besides, straw is dusty; it must be stored indoors and requires a lot of space; it requires many months to decompose.
Softwood shavings are the most common type of bedding used today. However, they contain large amounts of tannin, resins and lignin, which can be harmful to animals. And some other wood shavings like cedar shavings have a pleasant aroma and look, but they are even more difficult to decompose than softwood shavings.
As for hardwood sawdust, it is often quite dusty because it is made up of fine shavings or chips. It is more compostable due to its lack of tannin, resins and lignin.
Shredded newsprint
Newsprint is not commercially available and it needs to be changed frequently. Though, it is only moderately absorbent but makes good quality compost.
Softwood pellets
Wood pellets used as livestock bedding is quite different from that used as fuel. Fuel wood pellets cannot be used as animal bedding because they contain tannin, resins and lignin, which are harmful to animals. Pine wood pellet is a popular choice for animals.

horse beddings

animal wood pellet bedding

3.What kind of raw materials are suitable to be processed into wood pellets and then used as animal bedding?
Bedding is actually used in stalls to absorb urine and moisture. It is important for keeping stalls clean.
Suitable bedding material makes it easy to clean the stable. Besides, bedding material also influences the health of livestock.
Straw and wood shavings are commonly used. As for now, softwood pellets bedding becomes a good choice for farmers. Among softwood, pine is a good choice for wood pellets bedding.
However, there exist several trees that are harmful or even dangerous to animals. For example, oak tree. It is toxic to all livestock.
So, farmers should be cautious about choosing bedding for their livestock.

4. Advantages of wood pellets bedding
  a) Wood pellets bedding takes up less space than traditional bedding materials (like straw and wood shavings).
  b) It has better absorption capacity, which means less bedding material is required to absorb urine, and changing bedding needs less time.
  c) It is sterile since the wood pellets are made at high temperature.

5. How to make animal bedding pellets?
The raw materials of bedding pellets should be ground into suitable sizes first. At this moment, wood hammer mill is needed.
The ground softwood should then be dried by wood drying machine until their moisture is approx 10%.
After drying, the materials shall be delivered to a pellet mill for pelleting. Under high temperature, ligin in wood will release and help the materials shape into pellets.
The pellets shall be cooled until they are cooled to the ambient temperature.
After these steps, animal wood pellets making are completed. For better, screening, vacuuming and packaging are also needed to simprove the quality of pellets, making them better for animals.

6. How to apply animal bedding pellets into use?
1) Cleaning
   Before you begin, it is essential to clean out the stable to the floor level. When all the debris   has been removed, place the appropriate number of wood pellet bags evenly onto the floor.
2) Pellet bags preparation
  Open the wood pellet bags, and then place the pellet bags in rows to cover floor area;
3) Moistening
  Lightly moisten the pellets with water (for 7-9 litres, depending on the weather as there is more moisture in the air in winter) to initiate the expansion of the pellets.
4) Expansion
  Wait for 10-20 minutes for the expansion.
5) Spreading
When the bedding feels dry to touch, place the contents of the bags in the center two thirds of the stall and spread the pellets out to an even depth of approx 2 inches.Save




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