The best bedding for your animals is one that is easy to keep clean and helps to maintain a clean environment. This will decrease the amount of dust in the area, the amount of flies and pests, and the production of harmful ammonia fumes.

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In the western US, where I live, pine shavings are the traditional horse bedding. I think the best part of shavings is the smell! There’s nothing like the smell of a newly bedded stall with shavings. The problem is they’re dusty and can be hard to clean because the flakes don’t easily sift through the manure fork. This causes a lot of waste of bedding and money, not to mention the dust and ammonia can cause respiratory issues in animals and people. But that’s for a different day.

A lot of horse owners are turning to pine wood pellets for their horse’s bedding. They are soft, absorbent, and easy to clean up after the horse has been in the stall. Wood pellet stall bedding also helps keep fly populations down because they have low moisture content making it difficult for eggs to grow. This is especially important during summer months when flies can be a major problem.

I feel like the best bedding for my chickens is pine wood pellets also because they don’t mold or cause ammonia odor build-up like some other types of bedding do. The best bedding will also fall into your budget. Wood pellets are reasonably priced. A 40 pound bag costs around $6 at our local feed store.

These pellets are made from recycled wood that is processed into small uniform flakes which are then pressed into a pellet form. There’s no bark in the mix so there isn’t the dust that you get with some other types of bedding.

I’ve heard of some people using wood pellet stove fuel instead. I haven’t personally tried this, but I’d caution you to make sure you check ingredients. Make sure they’re 100% wood and don’t have any additives, fillers, or chemicals added to them.

Wood pellets are also a safe alternative to straw because they don’t contain any seeds or seed heads which can be eaten by the animals and become lodged in their throat causing blockages. Here is a great article on the pros and cons of straw for chicken bedding.

We currently are using the TerrAmigo brand of pellets which are easily available at our local feed store. You can read more about them here.

Tractor Supply Company has their own brand which is sometimes a hair cheaper. The only difference I’ve found is that the TSC brand is more of a true pellet shape, and the TerrAmigo is more of a broken up pellet or even a crumble consistency. I usually add water to the pellets to break them up a bit and make them fluffy and more comfortable for the horses.

The best bedding is one that works for you

My overall favorite part of using these pellets as bedding for my horses and chickens is that it’s easy to clean. Unlike straw and pine shavings, these pellets sift right through my manure fork leaving only the manure behind. That means less waste and less money I have to spend to replace the bedding. This truly makes cleaning stalls quicker.

Check out this video to see how easy it is to clean stalls using this pellet type of bedding.

By the way, this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE manure fork. It’s the Wave Fork and it has lasted me about 8 years (an eternity in the manure fork world) without breaking. Well, that’s not true. My husband broke a tine when he was using it to shovel snow. That being said, he was able to get a replacement tine and then my fork was back to good as new!

Cleaning stalls can be a chore that you’re not always excited to do. But it doesn’t have to be so bad when you use pine wood pellets as bedding in your animal’s stall. I’ve found these are my favorite type of bedding for horses and chickens, but they work great on any farm where animals live indoors or outside year round. Pine wood pellet bedding is inexpensive, softer than straw, is easy to clean up, and is nearly dust free. It absorbs moisture which means less grunge will build up inside the stall over time.

What’s the best bedding for your animals?

2 Replies to “The best bedding for horses, chickens, and more”

  1. Hemp bedding is a recent, all-natural bedding option in the horse world that equestrians love. While stall mats, straw bedding, and wood products are popular choices for horse bedding, hemp has several benefits that maximize your animal’s comfort and safety.

    1. I’ve never even heard of hemp bedding! Thanks for sharing! I’ll look into this, see if it’s even available in my area, and give it a try if I can!

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