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Natures Packaging
Saturday 23 June 2018

What is a Compost Bedded Pack Barn?

Posted at 11:30 AM in

What is a Compost Bedded Pack Barn?

Perhaps you've wondered what happens with the wood shavings that Hay Creek Companies makes for animal bedding. Perhaps the type that comes to mind for you is that of the sawdust bedding that is sold in bales for small animals such as rabbits. This is different. The wood shavings that Hay Creek makes are sold in bulk and trucked to farmers who use the wood for compost bedded pack barns. This is an open barn for cattle, where the wood shavings provide a comfortable, soft surface for the animals. But there is more to it. There is a science to using shredded wood fiber for cattle bedding. 

An article from the Virginia State University Extension explains the details that go into this type of system for cattle. It says:

"Compost bedded pack barns are an alternative type of dairy housing that provide cows with a large bedded open area for resting rather than individual stalls. Typical bedding materials include kiln dried sawdust or wood shavings. Over time,manure is mixed with the bedding on the barn floor. Aproperly managed compost bedded pack should provide a healthy, comfortable surface for cows to lie on."

The article goes on to explain the benefits of this type of system as well as the maintenance required. It gives a diagram of the way it is typically set up in a barn, and it includes a method of calculation for how much bedding is needed for a space. The article says: 

"The compost bedded packs must be properly managed to maintain a healthy and comfortable cow environment. Proper pack management requires twice daily stirring to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. Stirring incorporates oxygen into the bedding and encourages aerobic decomposition for good composting and generates the temperatures necessary to kill pathogens. The compost bedded pack should be stirred while the cows are being milked. Stirring can be done using a small loader with a front-mounted adapted cultivator or tines mounted on the front of the loader or rototillers."

If you have always wondered how this type of wood bedding works, read the full article HERE.


Hay Creek animal bedding is very dry compared to industry standards. It is lab tested to have a 12-14% moisture content. If you would like to find out how to get a load of wood bedding delivered to your Wisconsin farm, contact Hay Creek Companies. (715) 884-2930