Did you know livestock farming was responsible for 14.5% of global CO2 Emissions? Fortunately, there are ways to make livestock farming more sustainable thanks to hemp! Making the switch to hemp bedding can provide great environmental benefits to both people and animals. Hemp is incredibly absorbent, controls odour and moisture, and both animals and humans are exposed to less dust and chemicals than when using more conventional materials. As hemp bedding has a longer lifetime than typical animal bedding, it promotes economic sustainability as well as environmental.
It doesn’t end there – Hemp has great phytoremediation and carbon-sequestering properties, it proves to be one of the most environmentally friendly plants on the planet. All this is to say that it has significant potential to make a serious disrupt the animal bedding industry. Hemp Bedding can be used as a reliable option in barn stalls, rodent and bird cages, poultry coops, snake habitats and dog kennels.
Hemp bedding is made from the hurd – the inner woody core. The hurd has great absorption properties, and is used in a variety of infrastructure products. The hemp hurd has similar structure to bamboo in that the hurd is full of many crevasses and pores, which help trap moisture and smells. The hemp is cleaned to remove undesired particles and then mulched down into a soft, absorbent, straw-like texture.
Hemp bedding can absorb 400% its own weight, and thanks to its great airflow, it remains dry longer than straw or wood shavings, and less moisture also reduces the growth of harmful bacteria. Wet hemp clumps together like kitty litter so it’s easy to remove wet spots from enclosures. Coupled with its high absorbency, less material is needed and it won’t have to be replaced as often. As there is less pooling and spreading of waste, this reduces the smell of ammonia and other odours caused by rotting and fermenting bedding, a common attracter of unwanted flies and other biting insects!
When using wood products, there is always the risk of exposure to harmful phenols which are commonly found in pine and cedar, this is not the case in hemp! Phenols are what give a wood its distinct smell, but they can cause damage to animals’ delicate respiratory system. Over time, such damage can result in coughing, nose bleeds and more severe respiratory conditions, particularly in horses, such as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) and inflammatory airway disease (IAD). Not only is hemp bedding better for livestock, poultry and pets, it’s also better for people.
Hemp is a sustainable and affordable resource in the battle for environmental sustainability, which is more important now than ever. As long as the momentum keeps up, and governments around the world are open to its great benefits, the potential for hemp will eventually be realized. Small changes can make a huge difference in the world we live in, and making the switch to hemp bedding could be one way to contribute to this grave global issue.
Canadian company Old Dominion Hemp specializes in hemp animal bedding, feel free to check out our directory for their contact information!