Deciduous wood chips as bedding material: Estimation of dust yield, water absorption and microbiological comparison
Dust yield, water absorbing capacity and airborne microbes of laboratory animal beddings made of deciduous wood were compared. Three different bedding materials, aspen, alder and birch, two chip sizes and effects of a softening treatment were studied. Overall dust yield from Chips was relatively low. Aspen should, however, be preferred to alder, because it was less dusty. Small (1 X 2 X 1 mm) aspen Chips yielded less inhalable dust than the large chips (4 X 4 X 1 mm). Water absorbing capacity was better in small chips than in large chips and could also be increased with a softening procedure. In this study softening of small aspen chips resulted in unacceptable high dust yield. Though alder had a better water absorbing capacity, aspen seems to soak up urine well enough during a normal change cycle.