As seen with most applications for hemp, animal bedding made from hemp is both functional and environmentally friendly. Just as a hemp CBD farm can help sequester carbon from the environment, while also providing valuable wellness products, the benefits of industrial hemp are multi-faceted.
In the best-case scenarios, industrial hemp outperforms the materials which it replaces. This is certainly the case with hemp building materials such as insulation, as well as agricultural products like hemp animal bedding. Importantly, hemp bedding can be effectively used in both commercial and hobbyist applications.
Hemp is a far more environmentally-friendly source for animal bedding than traditional sources such as hay and wood chips. Incredibly, industrial hemp bedding is also better for the health of animals and people. To help give you a clearer picture of the benefits of hemp bedding, let’s walk through the fine points of this amazing product.
What is Hemp Animal Bedding Made From?
Unlike CBD products made from hemp flowers, animal bedding is sourced from the stalks of industrial hemp. The fibers of industrial hemp stalks have been used for thousands of years to make things such as rope. There are various usable parts within the stalk of the hemp plant.
Traditionally, people have utilized the long fibrous material on the outside of the hemp stalk known as “bast.” Hemp bast is extremely strong and is commonly made into durable textiles and papers. Conversely, “hurd” is the smaller material within the inner core of the hemp stalk. Importantly, hemp hurd makes up over 70% of the usable material taken from industrial hemp.
Until recent years, hemp hurd was largely considered a waste byproduct of bast production. However, innovative companies have begun utilizing hurd in new materials such as hempcrete, hemp insulation, and animal bedding.
Environmental Benefits of Hemp Animal Bedding
The environmental benefits of hemp animal bedding are multifaceted. Looking to hemp farming, hemp plants are far quicker to grow than the trees used for wood chips. Even more, hemp crops themselves are better for the environment than most traditional crops.
Wood chips are one of the primary sources of animal bedding. Yet, an acre of trees takes far longer to mature than an acre of hemp plants. In fact, most trees aren’t ready to harvest for 20-80 years, while hemp plants mature in just four months. Needless to say, over a period of time, an acre of hemp will produce far more animal bedding than an acre of trees.
Straw is the other major source of animal bedding used today. Commercial hay farms employ many environmentally degrading practices common with industrial production. Oftentimes, hay farms practice mono-cropping techniques that leach the soil of valuable nutrients. Even more, the use of harmful pesticides is a common practice in commercial hay farming.
Unlike most industrial farms, hemp farms actually rejuvenate the soil in their given locale. Interestingly, hemp plants contribute to a process known as “bioremediation.” They do so as they naturally remove harmful toxins from polluted soil when growing. Hemp plants can also be effectively grown using minimal organic pesticides.
What Types of Animals Can You Use Hemp Animal Bedding For?
Hemp bedding can be utilized anywhere that traditional animal bedding is used. Even more, it works great indoors and outdoors. People even use hemp pet bedding inside their homes for animals such as hamsters and guinea pigs.
A few animals that benefit from hemp bedding include:
- Guinea pigs
There are a few places where hemp animal bedding is particularly effective. For example, the chicken farming industry is heavily dependent on imported wood chips. Switching to hemp bedding for chickens can help lessen the environmental impacts of tree harvests while also giving American farmers the option to buy locally. Horse owners are already turning to hemp animal bedding because it is significantly better for their animals’ health. As they are extremely expensive to care for, it only makes sense to lessen their exposure to dust with hemp horse bedding.
Is Hemp Animal Bedding Better Than Traditional Materials?
Not only is hemp bedding more environmentally friendly than bedding made from wood and straw — it outperforms both materials, too. And, because it doesn’t produce much dust, industrial hemp bedding is better for your animals than traditional options.
Hemp animal bedding lasts longer than straw or hay bedding — as such, it reduces the amount of animal bedding you need to purchase each year. Similarly, with more durability, it reduces the labor needed to maintain clean living conditions for livestock.
Hemp animal bedding also performs extremely well on the job. Industrial hemp animal bedding is far more absorbent than its traditional counterparts. In comparison, straw can hold about two times its weight, while wood chip bedding can hold around three times its weight.
Hemp bedding is also better for your animals. For example, animal bedding made from wood chips is notoriously dusty. When used inside barns, wood chips can wreak serious havoc on livestock with respiratory issues, such as horses. Especially during winter when horses are kept inside, studies show an increase in respiratory issues with the use of wood chip animal bedding.
Is Hemp Animal Bedding Better for People Too?
Government studies show “for people with respiratory conditions” such as asthma and emphysema, small amounts of dust can make breathing difficult. Similarly, for healthy people, “breathing in high concentrations of dust over many years is thought to reduce lung function in the long term and contribute to disorders like chronic bronchitis.”
By switching to hemp bedding, you can avoid the health risks associated with breathing in excessive wood chip and straw dust. For added benefit, you spare yourself from having to wear a respirator on the job every day. Whether you are protecting family members or employees, health and safety will always remain a top priority.
The applications of the hemp plant are infinite. Whether it be with building products or animal bedding, hemp is more eco-friendly and functional than most traditional materials. At High Grade Hemp Seed, we’re committed to spreading education about this amazing plant and all of its sustainable wonder. If you are interested in learning more about hemp animal bedding, or hemp CBD, please contact us today.