Straw and wood shavings have many uses in a barn. They aren’t interchangeable, though: Each one has different qualities. While straw is cheap, there are many cases in which it’s actually better to use wood shavings. Here to weigh in are the experts at GI Shavings in Hallandale, FL.

Here are the defining qualities of each material, along with their best uses.


  • Easy To Find: It’s not difficult to find straw for sale, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Many people use it to line their chicken coops. You should be careful to only use high-quality straw, however, as low-quality straw will quickly harbor mold.
  • Decomposes Quickly: This is both a positive and a negative, depending on what you need your straw for. It makes decent animal bedding, but you have to change it frequently or it’ll start to smell very quickly. You can always add straw to your compost pile, however.
  • Dust-Free: Straw is suitable for animals that spend a lot of time close to the ground, such as pigs and chickens.

Wood Shavings

  • wood shavingsBreaks Down Slowly: Wood shavings make decent animal bedding and insulation, and it is highly moisture resistant, even after a heavy rainstorm. This makes it significantly less susceptible to mold.
  • Available Dust-Free: Be sure to specify what you need your wood shavings for. Some varieties are dust-free, making them perfect for animal bedding. Others are not (e.g. sawdust) and are better suited for other applications.
  • Attracts Fewer Pests: Wood shavings from GI Shavings makes excellent horse bedding. Unlike straw, it stays crisp longer and won’t harbor mites and other pests.
  • Smells Better: Since wood shavings can be made from pleasant-smelling woods, such as pine, it smells a lot better than straw. It’s also easier to clean: When used as horse bedding, instead of having to change all the wood shavings at once, you can just change out the soiled parts.
  • Easy To Order: GI Shavings has many quality products that are suitable as mulch, horse bedding, and many other purposes. You can get it delivered to your door in sealed packages. The company can even process your own wood!

Need quality wood shavings? Stop by GI Shavings in Hallandale, FL. You can also reach them at (954) 541-9957 for any questions about their inventory, or follow the farm supply company on Google+.