Bedding pellets better for stable staff and environment
"For us, the amount of manure has decreased by between 25 and 30 percent compared to using wood shavings," says Admir Zukanovic, Head Trainer at Stall Denco, one of Sweden's largest stables for breeding and training trotting horses that has switched to using animal bedding pellets instead of wood shavings in its stables.
According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s “Horses and horse establishments 2016” census, there are about 355 000 horses in Sweden, while approximately 1 200 people work as stable grooms.
Mucking out stables occupies just over 45 percent of the working time for stable staff. It is also the heaviest physical task with ergonomically challenging work positions according to a study by the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU). In addition, a single horse gives rise to 8 -10 tonnes of manure per annum albeit not all of it is deposited in the stable.
According to Scandinavia’s largest wood pellet producer Scandbio, one way to make the work less tiring is to change the bedding material to bedding pellets, as it reduces the amount of manure compared to other materials such as straw, wood shavings or peat. In addition, bedding pellets are virtually dust-free.
I am pleasantly surprised by the bedding pellet. Apart from the fact that the staff feels that it is easier to muck out, the air in the stable has become much better. In addition, it is brighter and fresher in the boxes, says Admir Zukanovic.
Bedding pellets are made from residual products from the Swedish forest industry and are renewable. With bedding pellets, the stable manure is composted faster and the proportion of bedding material in the manure is smaller.
Bedding pellets are part of the transition to both sustainable horse farming and sustainable agriculture, remarked Peter Granborn, CEO of Scandbio.