Shredded Paper For Bedding
In January of 2006, Epoch Farm changed stall bedding material from kiln dried pine shavings to shredded newspaper.
We found our concerns about toxicity from horses eating the paper or breathing the dust (next to no dust, by the way), were addressed by consulting with our veterinarians and the following University studies:
We compost, then stockpile our manure for a minimum of one year then spread it on our fields in early spring. One of our biggest concerns was how quickly the newsprint would break down. Our composting methods differ somewhat from those in this Purdue University Fact Sheet because the composting method we use retains more moisture. We are finding the manure in our compost pile turns into a black humus like product in as little as 4 months!!
The use of the paper does have a learning curve, it handles like straw and takes a little longer to spread out then shavings. However it keeps the horses much cleaner, ask anyone who has had to get wood shavings out of a horse’s tail, they would love this stuff!!!
The shredded newsprint is supplied to us by VANGEL Paper. The paper is uncirculated editions and before being shredded and baled, Vangel carefully hand sorts it to insure anything that is not newsprint is removed. The dust levels in our training barn have dropped significantly and the clients and staff couldn’t be happier. But most of all, we now have a much healthier environment for the horses!!