Absorbency of Alternative Livestock Bedding Sources

  • Reggie Voyles (Iowa State University)
  • Mark S. Honeyman (Iowa State University)


Many alternative swine production systems rely on bedding as a key component in housing swine. Niche pork market protocols also often require that the pigs are reared in outdoor or bedded housing systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the absorbency of some new or alternative bedding sources compared with common Iowa agricultural bedding sources. Two shredded or ground lumber bedding sources were evaluated. These sources are made from demolition of buildings. One was lumber only and one had drywall or plaster added (8:1 ratio). Other bedding sources evaluated were cornstalks, recycled newspaper, oat straw, and triticale straw. Average absorbency was high for cornstalks and oat straw, medium for shredded paper and triticale straw, and low for the two shredded lumber products. Cornstalks or oat straw absorbed about three times their weight in water, shredded paper and triticale straw absorbed about twice their weight in water. The shredded lumber sources absorbed about equal their weight in water.

Keywords: ASL R2153

How to Cite:

Voyles, R. & Honeyman, M. S., (2006) “Absorbency of Alternative Livestock Bedding Sources”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-102

Download pdf




Published on
01 Jan 2006
Peer Reviewed