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Long fibres are better for cattle bedding and beach towels

Jeramy Sanford for Progressive Dairyman Published on 31 July 2018

When it comes to beach towels, long fibres are ideal for comfort and moisture absorption. The same goes for fibre bedding. Long fibres help absorb moisture and reduce bacteria growth.


Fibre bedding captures the undigested lignin components in plants in a reusable form. This fibre is extracted from manure and recycled into bedding.



Manure fibres are removed by processing fresh manure through a mechanical separation system. The type of separation system used is an important factor in maintaining fibre length during the separation process.

Manure fibres are relatively short to begin with because most herds feed TMRs and not long-stemmed hay. A roller press separator preserves fibre length more effectively because there is no cutting action during separation. With a screw press separator, fibres are shredded during the separation process, resulting in shorter fibre lengths.

Long fibres have less compaction, allowing moisture to travel throughout the bedding and resulting in cleaner, drier stalls.

Surface area

When fibres are cut or broken during the separation process, the surface area of the fibers increase. This increased surface area means more available space for bacteria to live, eat, grow and multiply.

Maintaining larger fibres creates less surface area in the bedding and results in less opportunity for bacteria to grow and spread.



Longer fibres, like those found in your softest, most absorbent beach towel, are also more effective at absorbing moisture in the stalls.

Short fibres become more compact in the stall and can’t effectively absorb and hold moisture. As moisture seeps in from the outside, fibres are so tightly packed there is no way for moisture to travel into the small fibres in the middle of the bedding.

Long fibres have less compaction, allowing moisture to travel throughout the bedding and resulting in cleaner, drier stalls.

Maintaining long fibre length is key to absorbing moisture and reducing bacteria growth when working with fibre bedding. Work with your local manure equipment specialist to learn more about fibre bedding and the importance of fibre length.  end mark

Jeramy Sanford
  • Jeramy Sanford

  • Nutrient and Separation Specialist
  • GEA
  • Email Jeramy Sanford

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