Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main end-uses for wood shavings and the softwood industry’s by-products?

The main by-product of the softwood lumber industries finishing of wood is “sawdust” mixed with “shavings”. As left by the lumber mill, the shavings are extremely dusty, dirty, and filled with debris (bulk shavings providers often ship unscreened product direct from the lumber mill). However, all Champion Shavings product is 100% screened after leaving the mill, but before entering our bags. We separate finer, fluffier, and coarser shavings pieces according to our strict specifications. The shavings can then be used by numerous sectors of animal industry, such as:

  • Equine farms
  • Poultry farms
  • Dairy farms
  • Small animal pet market (gerbils, hamsters, reptiles, etc.)

Should equine shavings be kiln-dried?

It is a matter of choice. Clearly, one of the advantages of kiln-drying shavings is that the resulting chips are not only very dry, and therefore highly absorbent, but they also keep the bag from “sweating”. However, the drier the wood, the smaller the flakes tend to be. Champion Shavings has strict specifications for all flake sizes and moisture content.

Are blown-in or dumped shavings a quality product like bagged shavings?

We believe that the very process of using a dust screening bagging line goes a great distance in removing extraneous and harmful dust particles. If you choose to use un-bagged (bulk) shavings, you must be prepared to accept dust and possibly debris.

Which is better: paper or plastic bags

The advantage of plastic is that the bag is weatherproof.  Our water-repelling plastic cannot be affected by rain or snow.  Another advantage to plastic is that we “heat seal” the bag closed.  Paper bags must be glued or stapled closed, clearly a danger to your horse if the staple is lost in the stall.  Plastic bag are also much stronger then paper, and do not tear as easily.  If you drop a paper bag from your left onto the floor it will easily break.  However, our durable plastic bags allow for rough handling multiple times before consumption in your horses stall.

Plastic holds any residual moisture, contained in the shavings that have been bagged. In certain climates, like Southern US, trapped moisture attracts ants, which can be major irritants to horses. However, paper bags are better for aerating and drying the chips once bagged. Residual bagged moisture can continually escape the bag, keeping the contents dry. Ants and other pests are not attracted to the bags.

Champion Shavings recommends that you use plastic bags.  Our plastic bags are 100% recyclable*.

*Recycling programs vary by State/Province.  Please inquire with your local recycling center.

Why are some shavings bags heavier than others?

It is purely a matter of amounts of sawdust plus small pieces, as well as large pieces AND the thickness and size of the actual shavings pieces. One bag may contain more dust. It will be heavier than one which has no dust. One bag may be fluffier and have thinner pieces. It will be lighter than the one that has smaller and thicker pieces.  Moisture content is also an important factor.  A bag of shavings that are not kiln dried can weigh up to 30% more than a bag that does have dry shavings.  Don’t be fooled by a competitor telling you there is more shavings in a heavy bag.  Shavings should only be measured by expanded volume.  Want more general information on all shavings compressed and expanded volume?  Visit this page for The Weight and Measure Act.

Canada : Measurement Canada

What’s the difference between volume and weight?

Do not be confused between the two measures- weight is the force exerted by an object pulled by gravity while volume is a space measurement. In this sense, more volume of shavings seems to weigh more than the actual weight. One can never guess the actual weight of a bag by looking at the volume. And, every bag of the same volume will, most likely, each have different weights. Why? Because fluffy shavings with no sawdust will be extremely light compared to a bag of pure sawdust. It has to do with the density of the contents. However, weight is also affected by moisture.

So, one can have a 3.4 cubic foot (compressed) bag of pure, but wet, dustless shavings equal to the weight of a 2.8 cubic foot bag of pure, but dry, sawdust. Particle size and moisture – they are the great tricksters in the shavings business. Don’t be fooled. Ask for the best: extremely dry, dustless, fluffy shavings packed in a plastic bag!

Why are some shavings bags heavier than others?

It is purely a matter of amounts of sawdust plus small pieces, as well as large pieces AND the thickness and size of the actual shavings pieces. One bag may contain more dust. It will be heavier than one which has no dust. One bag may be fluffier and have thinner pieces. It will be lighter than the one that has smaller and thicker pieces.

How do residual moisture levels in the bag affect dust levels?

It is important to note that dust, even if dust was screened at the time of bagging, is constantly produced while the bag is in storage and in transit due to the forces of friction and abrasion. So, even the best produced bag can continue to ‘self-produce’ dust. If, however, the contents are air-dried then dust levels are held to a minimum.

If green shavings (non-kiln dried) are in the bag, then, dust is automatically held in check due to the elevated moisture content.

Why are there different sized shavings bags?

The bagging machines are designed to bag one size. They bring about a compression ratio of somewhere between 2:1 to 3:1, depending on the condition and age of the machine. This means, for example, that a bag with 3.25 cubic feet compressed started with between 8 and 10 cubic feet uncompressed. Similarly, a 2.8 cubic foot bag starts with between 6.5 and 7.5 cubic feet, and so on.

Which should I always ask to get in a quality shaving?

  • equine-quality shavings only:
  • dust-extracted.
  • dry below 16% moisture.
  • plastic bagged,.
  • a blend of big through small pieces (medium)
  • light, coarse and fluffy pieces,
  • no splinters, wood chunks, or stones (debris)

What are your standard shipping procedures?

When you order shavings from us, our normal delivery time is 5-10 days from point of order. Once we load the truck and complete the necessary paperwork for freight, our reliable network of freight carriers work around the clock to get your delivery to you on time-every time.

Please remember that if you are located in the United States and we are shipping to you from one of our Canadian locations, US Customs requires either a Federal Tax ID number or a Social Security number to clear the border.

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