If you have a goat, you are well aware of the fact that they can make quite a mess. But before you start panicking and running around your house looking for something to absorb milk or urine spills, try one of these 7 best bedding options for your goat!
Pine Shavings and Cedar Shavings
Wood shavings are the best bedding to use for your goats. They make a good bedding material because they’re soft on the feet and don’t cause any odor problems. They can be used alone or mixed with other types of bedding such as straw or hay.
This soft, dry by‐product of small grains is commonly used. Straw bedding is very dry and it is easy to handle, great for a compost pile, and readily available in most areas. It has good absorbency.
One slight issue with straw bedding is that goats sometimes eat straw, so they may eat your bedding leaving you back where you started with. For this reason. be sure that the straw is not palatable. Make sure that the straw does not have anything on it that your goats like to eat, like seeds. Please note that most goats will not eat straw off the ground (in fact, it is only a small percentage of goats that do).
Another option for your goat’s bedding is pelletized bedding. These pellets are made up of wood chips mixed together with other ingredients such as sawdust, corn cobs, rice hulls, etc. The pellets come in different sizes depending upon their purpose. For example, there are larger-sized pellets used for horses while smaller ones are more appropriate for chickens.
The advantage of these pellets over hay is that they do not require much maintenance once they’ve been put down into the pen. Another benefit of using this type of bedding for your goat pen is that it’s easy to clean up after.
Sawdust is another good option for goat beds because it’s inexpensive, absorbs moisture well, and prevents smells. You can get sawdust and shavings from a sawmill for free or at a low price. This helps make sawdust a cost-effective option.
Sawdust is good to put on top of your sand or gravel because it is so absorbent and handles ammonia really well. Goats pee lots of ammonia which needs to be quelled.
A potential drawback to using sawdust in your goat pen is that it can harbor parasites. You need to make sure the sawdust bedding you get is bug-free and dry before using it for your goats.
Wood Chips/Landscaping Chips
Wood chips are another good option for goat bedding. They are inexpensive, lightweight, and easily available. You can buy them at local hardware stores or landscapers.
Wood chips are a mixture of bark, sawdust, and post peelings. Wood chips may be cheaper, but they are not as comfortable or absorbent.
Wood chips make it easy for mold and mildew to grow. Animals may have their coats stained from the color of the wood chips when they are wet.
This material is not as good because it can grow bacteria or other germs as organic materials. It’s also easy on the goat’s body because it is able to touch conform easily to the goat’s body. But be careful of the size of sand particles because large ones can give the goat bruises and cuts.
Sand is soft and fluffy but does not absorb urine very well, which creates problems of build-up from excrement. Sand has also been difficult to dispose of because it takes a long time for the substance to dry out – and this may attract bugs.
Sand is best used as a bedding amendment rather than the actual bedding. With sand, you do not have to change it often, but you still, need to scoop out poop daily.
What Can You Do With Spent Bedding?
There are many things that you can do with your spent bedding once it has been used by the goats. Here are some of them:
Using the spent bedding materials as mulch for your plants is a good idea. The bedding materials will serve as both mulch and a source of nutrients because of all the manure in them.
If you want to use old bedding as mulch, spread it out in the sun and wait for at least a week. Then it will be dry and well-rotted.
When you mulch your plants, make sure that you spread the mulch evenly over the soil.
Another thing that you can do with your spent bedding is to use it as an organic soil amendment. Spent bedding materials can be added directly into the soil as an organic fertilizer. If you add them at high enough rates, this could help improve plant growth.
However, adding large amounts of spent bedding may cause problems such as excessive water retention and nutrient leaching. So, try to avoid doing this unless you know exactly how much bedding you need to apply.
When you want to amend the soil, add the old bedding to it. Wait two weeks or three before planting anything in it. Another option is to bury the bedding from the bed in the soil before winter. You then plant with it in the spring.
Another thing that you can do with your spent bedding is to use it for compost. This will help to build topsoil and prevent erosion of the ground. You can mix in other organic mulching materials, such as coffee grounds, manure, or others.
If you want to make compost, then another thing that you can do with your spent bedding is mixing it with other ingredients for composting. Spread it out evenly on the ground, then let it dry. Once everything is dried out well, you can go ahead and apply a second layer of bedding.
The advantage of this is that you do not have to buy other ingredients, and since you already had your goats contribute to it, the compost will turn out just right.
You can also use your compost as a fertilizer which is how you help take care of the environment and animals all at once.
When spreading the bedding material as mulch, spread it evenly over the soil nearest to the base of your plants.
4 Best Bedding Amendments to Keep Your Goat Pen Clean,
Bedding amendments are materials that you add to your primary bedding. You can use them to improve the usability of your bedding, as well as its ability to absorb urine and feces. It also helps keep your bedding clean. Here are some of the best amendments that you can use:
1. Lime to Reduce the Effects Ammonia
Lime is a good material to use as an amendment because it absorbs ammonia, which reduces the effects of this moisture on your goat’s shed. This will make sure that your goat’s shed stays clean and dry.
It is important to keep the ammonia level down in the pen if you want to protect your animals from the harmful effects of ammonia fumes.
2. Gravel for Easy Drainage of Water
If you want to get rid of water that lingers in the pen, then gravel is a good material. It will let the water run through very easily so that your goat pen stays dry and clean. Gravel can be found from many sources, such as construction sites or landscaping companies.
This prevents sores on their hooves that can cause pain and lameness for your goat. This will also help keep your goat pen dry and clean.
3. Dry Stall for Various Functions (Diatomaceous Earth)
Dry stall is also known as diatomaceous earth and has various functions including reducing odor, preventing flies, absorbing ammonia, and keeping your goats free from some diseases. You can buy these materials at local gardening stores or online.
Dry Stall is safe for your animal and is all-natural. You just need to be careful when you put the pen down. Your goats could get dust in their lungs, which isn’t good for them.
4. Sand for Easy Drainage of Water
Sand is the same as gravel except that it is a little better because you can use it for many functions. When you have sand, you can also later add topsoil to the pen. Just spread out a layer of about six inches over your bedding; this will improve the drainage of water.
Please note that sand can also sometimes hold urine if not used correctly so it is important to use the right amount.
There are many different bedding types out there. Bedding is good for your goat pen because it makes the pen warmer and hides smells. It also reduces bad fumes. The best bedding materials are wood chips, sawdust, and pine shavings, etc.
You can also change your bedding with materials in this article. If you like, you can reuse your old bedding by using it in the garden or other ways. I hope this helps you decide which type of bedding for goats is best for you.