Hemp livestock bedding has many beneficial properties for animals and the environment. It is typically made up from the woody core of the hemp plant and its fibers known as hurd. To get to the woody core fibers there is a process known as retting that must occur. “This process involves natural exposure and decomposition of the harvested crop. The stalks are left on the field for weeks and turned frequently, until fibers begin to separate from the core. Then mechanical rollers or a hammer mill break the fibers loose, which are then combed and carded for further processing.” (Elisa Addlesperger) After the processing it becomes available for the use for livestock bedding for animals ranging from horses and chickens to gerbils and other small rodents.
Hemp bedding is economically, environmentally functional, and known to be extremely absorbent, holding up to four times its weight. It is also known to be low dust and therefore great for the animals’ respiratory system, reducing risks of pneumonia. Hemp bedding lasts much longer than pine or straw, absorbs the odor better, and is biodegradable. (Old Dominion Hemp) Since Hemp bedding is known to last longer than pine or straw it in turn makes it more financially fitting for farmers and animals owners. Not only can the hemp shaving be used for animal bedding but they can also help assist in event of oil spills and waste clean up.
Hemp livestock bedding is only one of the few ways this plant can be beneficial to our everyday uses. More and more research is still being concluded to see what more this plant can show us.
“About Company.” Plains Hemp | Plains Industrial Hemp Processing Ltd., 6 June 2014, plainshemp.com/about-company/.
Addlesperger, Elisa. “Hemp.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10496505.2015.1050323?journalCode=wafi20.
“Hemp Bedding Offers Animals A Healthier Home.” Ministry of Hemp, 23 Jan. 2018, ministryofhemp.com/blog/hemp-animal-bedding/.
“Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America*.” Triticale, www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-284.html.