Safe sanitary pine shavings

SA poultry producers and horse product distributors battle to get decent bedding of consistent quality all year round.
Issue date : 20 June 2008

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SA poultry PRODUCERS AND horse product distributors battle to get decent bedding of consistent quality all year round. Wood chips, shavings and sawdust are commonly used, while pine shavings are also popular as they are the least expensive and the easiest to use for animal bedding and litter products. shavings retain their shape and last longer than hardwood types that soon splinter or crumble.

But mature pine wood is the preferred host of the Aspergillus fungal mould and in this way it gets introduced into poultry houses and stables. In Europe and the US, pine shavings for bedding are specifically processed and treated in-house against diseases. This practice is relatively unknown in SA, where most scrap shavings contain wood dust from belt sanders, glue, nicotine, dirt, mould and other contaminants.

Aspergillosis in chicks is one of the main illnesses in commercial poultry houses, infecting the air sacs and lungs, while Aspergillus may also cause allergies and even serious pulmonary illnesses in workers. In horses, poor air quality can lead to respiratory disorders, as well as allergic reactions to inhaled mould spores. It also increases the severity and duration of infectious disease, delaying recovery. T he Gauteng-based company Bedding has developed a process to economically and safely produce shavings from young virgin pine logs.

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They are fumigated, heat-dried and bagged at the shaving stage to destroy as well as prevent the development of Aspergillus and other moulds. In consultation with engineering companies and timber growers, Premium Pine perfected its woodshaving plant and machinery to process these shavings in bulk, affordably and consistently, all year round.

The plant is centrally situated in Modderfontein for Gauteng poultry producers and equestrian supply wholesalers and is the only one of its kind in the country. P remium Pine Shavings come packaged in recyclable black bags that can be refilled with waste to use as compost.

The product is economical, but costs vary according to individual orders and amounts required. manufacturers are currently investigating a compacting plant to reduce transport costs. As no industry standard for shavings or poultry bedding existed in South Africa, a set of standards (shavings samples, Aspergillus containment and moisture content) was recently compiled in conjunction with industry players, which included Dr Frank Travers of the poultry health service Avimune, representatives of Early Bird Farms, representatives of Premium Pine Bedding, and Country Bird (Supreme Poultry). Contact Auriel Mitchley on (011) 889 0796 or e-mail [email protected] |fw

State-of-the-art waterproof footwear

The internationally known Muck Boot unisex footwear range is now available in SA and will soon be stocked by most leading co-ops and agri suppliers. Annelie Coleman met the local distributor, Johannes Jansen, at the Muck Boot stall at Nampo. He explained that the footwear is made from neoprene flex foam – the material wet suits are made of, while the sole and foot parts are made of rubber. “This means it’s 100% waterproof from top to bottom and it’s also got breathable mesh lining, which prevents humidity and perspiration,” says Johannes.

In addition, the shoes are equipped with removable 6mm Nitracel sock liners, providing added support and comfort. Muck Boots are at least half the weight of regular waterproof footwear and have added toe and Achilles protection. The closed cell neoprene and rubber construction prevents smelly feet, while the rubber-coated uppers protect against punctures and injuries.

An added bonus is the pull tab which makes it easy to remove the shoes, but they’re also stretchy and therefore easy to put on. There are four ranges – Farm & Ranching, Equestrian, Outdoor & Sporting and Lawn & Garden with prices from R385 upwards (see Contact Auriel Mitchley on (011) 889 0796 or e-mail [email protected] . |fw

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Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.