- Shavings of Oak
The best sort of material to use for your goat pen bedding is pine shavings. Pine shaving is not only very absorbent, but when it is soiled, it is inexpensive and easy to clean.
You can use pine shavings for a few days to a week, depending upon your area and the season.
Just like pine shavings, straw for your goat pen is also a great bedding stuff. One small straw problem is that sometimes goats eat straw and you don’t want that to happen (especially if they have pooped on it).
Don’t worry, not all goats are going to eat straw from the ground (in fact, most goats are not going to eat any feed from the ground), but if it works for you and your goats, you can use straw.
- The Pelleted Bedding
Pelleted bedding is mainly used in horse pens (made of compressed wood), but it can also be used in goat pens. This material for bedding is inexpensive, absorbent, simple to handle and unattractive for goats to eat.
Pelleted bedding comes in bags of various sizes and can be ordered from different websites or shops near you.
- Sawdust Sawdust
For most animals, sawdust is possibly the most common bedding material. Sawdust is thin, easy to spread, absorbent, smell-preventing, and offers many other advantages.
- Chips for Wood Chips/Landscaping
Wood chips are effective in insulating the goat pen, like other bedding products, and also avoid the build-up of moisture in the ground. Another benefit of chips is that it is possible to store them outside, so they are easier to manage.
- Shavings/Cedar Chips
As a goat pen bedding, cedar chips or shavings are useful for your goats, but it is not as cost-effective as some other choices. While cedar chips are as effective as other bedding options, if you find your goats eating them, you should avoid using them because cedar will make goats sick if they eat too much of it.
- The Sand
For drainage, sand or sandy soil is fine. It is best to use sand rather than just the actual bedding as a bedding amendment (will be addressed later).
You may not have to change your bedding much with sand, but you still have to scoop out faeces on a regular basis.
If you use spent bedding materials for your plants as mulch, they can serve both as mulch and as a nutrient source (due to the amount of manure present).
You should spread the material under the sun and wait for a week (at least) for the material to become dry and well-rotted if you want to use spent bedding as mulch.
Spread it equally over the soil closest to the base of your plants while spreading the bedding material as mulch.
The Soil Amendment
Any substance or material that can be worked into the soil to increase the quality of the soil is a soil amendment. Such soil characteristics that soil modification can enhance are:
PH of soil
Aeration of soil
Availability of nutrients
Drainage potential of soil water
The majority of spent bedding will boost one or more soil characteristics, according to the material used. Nutrient availability is the most common attribute that soil alteration can enhance.
Since spent bedding materials are full of manure, the soil can be changed by using them.
Work the spent bedding into the soil when modifying the soil and then wait two to three weeks before you plant in the soil (you need time for the material to decompose before you can use the soil for planting).
Before winter, most people bury bedding in the soil and then plant it in the soil in the spring.
Compost, as you might already know, is any material created by decomposing biodegradable waste materials, such as food waste, hay, straw, etc. To amend the soil, compost is used.
For compost, spent bedding materials are very cool because people use one part of nitrogen (fresh or green materials) with four parts of carbon (dry or brown materials).
Spent bedding is full of fossil materials and some manure (that is, the bedding material itself).
Mix some unused bedding material (or any dry material such as dry leaves) with your spent bedding material to make excellent compost, and then keep the mixture in your compost bin.
Remember to periodically mix, transform, and water your compost to aerate it and conserve moisture.
Now you know what you can do with materials for spent bedding. What are some perfect ways to change the bedding of your goat pen to keep the pen clean?
4 Best amendments to the bedding to keep your goat pen tidy
Bedding modifications are products to add to (not replace) the bedding of your goat pen to enhance one or more characteristics.
Amendments to the bedding to keep your goat pen tidy
Such amendments to bedding that I recommend for you are:
- Ammonia Lime to Minimize Symptoms
Lime is a perfect substance that absorbs ammonia rapidly. You can not easily smell the ammonia from your goats’ urine with the lime below (or mixed with) your bedding content.
Lime not only eliminates the smell of ammonia, but also, if left for a long time, decreases the harmful health effects of ammonia. (The source)
You can use lime if you have a lot of goats, a small pen, and you change your bedding equipment regularly.
- Gravel for Fast Water Drainage
Gravel and other stones allow fast drainage of water. Place them below the bedding material in order to use gravel. You can bury (or mix) them with the soil below the goat pen if you like.
Since gravel is hard and wide, it aerates the soil, so it makes it easier for water to drain.
- Dry Stall for Various Functions
Like lime, diatomaceous earth (dry stall) attracts ammonia and decreases its effects. Your goat pen also keeps the dry stall dry and free from any diseases. You can get dry stalls easily from nearby gardening shops.
Note that for use by humans and animals, diatomaceous earth is absolutely safe.
- Sand for Fast Water Drainage
Sand (i.e. sandy soil) tends to minimise the runoff of water and other liquids, as does gravel.
Sand has been identified as a bedding material, if you recall. As your bedding material, you can use sand, or you can put sand just under other chosen bedding materials.
The amendment that works best for you and your goats should be picked.
As you already know, bedding helps to insulate the goat pen and minimise odour and toxic fumes. Wood chips, sawdust, pine shavings, and so on are some of the easiest materials to use as bedding.