The main by-product of the softwood lumber industry's finishing of wood is "sawdust" mixed with “shavings". As left by the lumber-mill, these shavings are dusty, dirty, and filled with debris (bulk shaving providers often ship unscreened product directly from the lumber-mill). However, all Champion Shavings products are 100% screened before leaving the plant. Before we package our shavings we separate the finer, fluffier peices from the coarser pieces according to our strict specifications. The shavings can then be used by numerous sectors of animal industry, including:
- Equine farms
- Poultry farms
- Dairy farms
- Show Pigs
- Small animal pet markets (gerbils, hamsters, reptiles, etc.)
It is a matter of choice. Some clear advantages of kiln-drying shavings is that the resulting chips are very dry, highly absorbent, and keep the bag from "sweating" (moisture that can develop in the bag after packaging). However, the drier the wood, the smaller the flakes tend to be. Champion Shavings has strict specifications for all flake sizes and moisture content.
We believe that using a bagging line that dust-screens 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 (a known carcinogen) and possibly debris (which may be uncomfortable for your horses or other animals) in stalls.
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, as opposed to paper bags which must be stapled: a potential danger to your horse if the staple is lost in the stall. Plastic bags are also much stronger then paper, and do not easily tear. If you drop a paper bag onto the floor it could easily break. However, our durable plastic bags allow for rough handling multiple times before us
This has to do with the amount of sawdust in the bag, plus small pieces, as well as large pieces AND the thickness and size of the actual shavings pieces themselves. If one bag contains dust, it will be heavier than one with no dust. If one bag has fluffier, thinner pieces it will be lighter than the one that has smaller, thicker pieces. Moisture content is also an important factor to note. A bag of shavings that are not kiln-dried can weigh up to 30% more than a bag that contains dry shavings. Don’t be fooled by a competitor telling you there are more shavings in a heavy bag. Shavings should only be measured by expanded volume. If you would like more information concerning compressed and expanded volumes of shavings, please visit the pages below for more details:
United States:The Weight and Measurement Act
Canada: Measurement Canada
General Information: Units of Measurement
Do not be confused by these two measurements of weight when it comes to bagged shavings. Weight is the force exerted by an object; pulled by gravity. Volume is a space measurement. One can never guess the actual weight of a bag by looking at the volume, and every bag of the same volume will (more than likely) have different weight. 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.
Weight can, however, be affected by moisture. For example, one bag may have a 3.4 cubic foot (compressed) bag of pure (yet wet) dustless shavings which would equal the weight of a 2.8 cubic foot bag of pure, dry sawdust.