5 alternatives to straw bedding

  • 5 alternatives to straw bedding
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    While farmers across the country in search high and low to find the straw to their animals this winter, it is important to look at all your options before you spend money.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/beef/beef-advice/5-alternatives-to-straw-bedding-37262889.html
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While farmers across the country in search high and low to find the straw to their animals this winter, it is important to look at all your options before you spend money.

Speaking at the recent energy in agriculture event, the Committee’s business consultant and technology Tom Fallon discussed the options of farmers for animal bedding.

Chips

The chip pads can play a role as external ‘lay’ in the existing body of animals, to reduce the demand for indoor bedding, in accordance with Tom Fallon.

Chips for internal bedding is more popular, although there is little experience in Ireland, he explained. He also said that in the UK, it is recommended to place 10 cm of wood initially and replenish every week or so, depending on diet.

Chipboard can also be used as straw litter, to reduce the use of straw to improve drainage, he explained.


Chips, in General, is a very suitable as bedding, ‘ said Fallon. The animals remain clean and almost no dust from him, – he explained. He said the chips can hold up to 4 times its weight in water, compared to straw, holds up to 2.5 times its weight.

Load 100m3 weighing 20 to 25 tons would cost approximately €1,230 delivered including VAT, – he said. He also said that if farmers choose to reuse the spent wood chips, and ‘chunky’ wood chips to use, worth €2000 for the delivered load.

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It can be spread directly on the ground or spreading and plow, – he advised.

Peat Bedding

Peat bedding keeps live animals warm, clean, and dry with a minimum of labor, according to Fallon. Cost about €1,581 for the supplied Arctic load, he said that it is very cost effective. It can last for months and can be spread on land after use, add nutrients to the soil explained Fallon.

In the agricultural College Gurteen, peat bedding was used for many years and they found a deep layer works better 2.5 feet placed in the back of the pen and then it drops down to 10 inches in the area of the slats where the animals are fed, – he explained.

When the top layer gets wet a lot dug up, placed in the yard, confused and laid back, he said. About 350 m3 (14 silage) was used during the winter period 2017/2018 sleep 50 dry cows and 140 calves for 5 months, according to Fallon.

The reeds

Bursts of bulk material bedding, which is not as absorbent as straw and allow it to dry for several weeks after cutting. A good crop of cane will yield about 8 bales per hectare, and is currently selling €8 apiece, he said. Linen rush can be put back on the ground, said Fallon.

Sawdust

Sawdust can be dusty and is not suitable for calves, if not cleaned and replaced regularly. Calves can also tend to eat sawdust and shavings.

Miscanthus clean, free of dust excellent bedding, but is usually not available and as stubble import is not an option.

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