Minimise Dust in the Stable with Straw Pellet Bedding

From the moment we began making horse bedding using pine shavings, almost 25 year ago, by far our most important priority has been to reduce the amount of breathable dust in horses’ stables to the lowest physically possible level. Exactly the same commitment lies at the heart of our production of Strawmax straw pellets.

In every one of the many national equine welfare surveys we have undertaken over the years, virtually every horse owner has told us that this is their priority too. So minimising dust was designed into the Strawmax straw pellet production process right from the start.

Scientific research over the past 20 years suggests that airborne dust up to 4 microns in size can be inhaled into a horse’s respiratory system. Particles of this size or smaller penetrate deepest into the respiratory tract, but they are virtually invisible to the naked eye, and they can only be removed effectively from any bedding material by a sophisticated, multi-point extraction system.

In our Strawmax production process, high quality straw is dried and shredded, and then passes through a series of three cyclones which separate the smallest particles from the bulk of the clean straw. These potentially breathable particles are vacuum extracted from the production process and this potentially dangerous dust is captured for recycling in high-efficiency particulate air filters.

The remaining dust-extracted straw is then pelletised under pressure, which essentially binds the content of each pellet in a natural lignum capsule. So, the pellets you find when you open a bag of Strawmax are as free from potentially respirable dust as we can make them.

In the stable, straw pellets are designed to break down, either under the horse’s feet, or as we advise, when watered initially when a new bed is being made. This process expands the volume of the pellets by approximately 300%, transforming hard pellets into a deep, soft bed. Watering also helps retain the larger, non-respirable particles of straw within the bed, but the astonishing absorbency of straw pellets like Strawmax still allows urine to be very quickly absorbed in small, isolated patches that can easily be mucked out with very little waste.

The only independent expert test of dust levels in bedding that we are aware of reported that good quality straw pellets like Strawmax contained one of the two lowest measurable levels of potentially airborne dust among the most popular types of bedding tested.

Straw pellets contained less dust than any other type of bedding except Bedmax shavings, which is why we now offer Strawmax as an economical option to owners who also understand how critical a high quality, minimal-dust bedding is for their horse’s respiratory health, wellbeing and performance.

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