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Bedding for dairy goats-shavings vs. straw?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Goats' started by NubianNerd, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. Jun 8, 2009
    NubianNerd

    NubianNerd Chillin' with the herd

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    I show my goats at the county fair. Apparently, all of the dairy goat clubs left a couple of years ago because they used cedar or pine shavings as bedding. I have never heard of a reason why not to use shavings. The funny thing is, you are welcome to bring in your own bedding if you want, so i don't get that it was the bedding-which was FREE- being an issue. Did they know something I don't? Am I putting my goats in danger by placing them in shavings for a week?
  2. Jun 8, 2009
    Rence

    Rence Chillin' with the herd

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    I've never heard of that. I use shavings in most of my goat shelters, except for the birthing pen. I use straw for that so the babies don't try to eat it.

    Anyone else? are pine shavings bad for goats? I wouldn't think so...they absorb wet and odor better than straw.
  3. Jun 8, 2009
    NubianNerd

    NubianNerd Chillin' with the herd

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    The only thing I can think of is that since cedar smells strong, that it might affect the milk's taste. But, that's no reason not to enjoy county fair....it has its risks, but it is so worth it!
  4. Jun 9, 2009
    Kindred farm

    Kindred farm Exploring the pasture

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    Geez, I really hope there isn't anything wrong w/ using pine shavings. That's what I use, as it seems to be the most absorbant bedding. Is it not safe?
  5. Jun 9, 2009
    lilhill

    lilhill Loving the herd life

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    I don't use shaving for the goats, but I do think I read somewhere that they are okay with the exception of cedar which can be toxic.
  6. Jun 9, 2009
    Jazlyn

    Jazlyn Chillin' with the herd

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    I read the same thing about cedar. I generaly keep mine away from it but in our first year with goats we used it in a pinch a few times and didn't have any issues. :hu
  7. Jun 9, 2009
    Kindred farm

    Kindred farm Exploring the pasture

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    I don't know of too many animals, reptiles, etc... that can use cedar shavings, but I thought generally pine shavings were okay for livestock.
  8. Jun 9, 2009
    bheila

    bheila Ridin' The Range

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    I know that people always talk about having issues with lice and mites with cedar. I don't use shavings for the goats but I do for my chickens and I make sure I use pine. I use stall pellets for the goats.
  9. Jun 9, 2009
    chandasue

    chandasue Overrun with beasties

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    I thought cedar was supposed to repel insects. However, I don't use it with my chickens as it supposedly causes respiratory problems. I don't know if that applies to all animals or if birds are just more sensitive to it. I use pine shavings for them and it works great. I don't have goats yet but I planned on using the pine shavings for them as well.:idunno
  10. Jun 9, 2009
    freemotion

    freemotion Self Sufficient Queen

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    Last year I started on a kick of seeing how self-sufficient I could be with my animals, too. Can I provide for them completely if needed? So bedding was an easy first project. I switched to deep-litter method and filled the stalls with about 2-3 feet of fallen leaves that I raked up throughout the property. I cut all the goldenrod in my pasture with a scythe and added that (they ate it!) and with hay waste daily, I did not have to add bedding to the bigger communal stall all winter.

    I cleaned it to the ground a couple of weeks ago and re-bedded lightly with shavings for the summer. They like to sleep on the dirt when it gets hot, they will scrape away the bedding and lie in the dirt. With so little bedding, I do have to spot clean, but in the summer, it is not much, mostly after a rainy day when they stay in most of the time (they have free access to pasture.)

    I did end up having to clean the dairy girl's smaller stall a couple times a week, as she ate and pooped and pee'd more that the other three combined. So I ended up using shavings and pellets in there, along with wasted hay, I didn't use that much for the whole fall/winter/spring. I mostly cleaned one strip down the center of the stall, with built-up bedding along the edges staying clean and usable. I would use this older bedding to re-bed the just-cleaned area, so the bedding was rotated, and kept the stall quite clean while saving on bedding.

    I'd say it was quite a successful experiment! Not for everyone, but it worked well here, with my teensy herd of four.

    eta: I just realized that the original post was about bedding at shows.....oops!

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