California Riding Magazine • June, 2010

DryNest Animal Bedding
New and familiar bedding products
offer labor and cost savings.

Larry Kraay began DryNest Animal Bedding 30 years ago by hand bagging sawmill byproduct himself and selling it to fellow horse owners. Since then, he’s grown the Hailey, ID based company into a multi-million dollar business, but has not left behind the labor that started it all: cleaning stalls. He is involved daily at his 30-horse Rafter K Ranch. “I work with my materials every day, so I know what works and what doesn’t and why.”

What works best, he says, may not fit the majority of horse owner’s vision of bedding their horse knee deep in fluffy wood shavings. Even though shavings continue to be DryNest’s signature and most popular product, representing 98 percent of its business, the cleanest, most absorbent and cost effective product is a new one: DryNest Pine Fines.

Pine Fines resemble heavy sawdust, even though not created by a saw blade. It’s made from the screenings of DryNest’s traditional flake shavings. These tiny particles are aspirated, a process in which air is blown through them allowing airborne dust to be vacuumed out. The result is a highly absorbent, dust-free bedding material that facilitates a significant decrease in labor and bedding costs. Kraay cites one California stable where the annual bedding budget for traditional shavings was cut from well over $50,000 to under $25,000 by switching to Pine Fines. For these reasons Pine Fines is especially appealing in California, where the cost of removing used bedding often exceeds that of purchasing fresh shavings. With Pine Fines, the volume of waste is cut by more than half, contributing to additional savings.

Kraay likens Pine Fines to kitty litter in that it confines urine to a small spot in the stall, where it can easily be drawn out. Conversely, the airy nature of traditional shavings means that urine quickly passes through to the stall floor, where it spreads into a large wet area, spoiling and using more bedding. That requires removal of significantly more bedding to maintain a clean, dry environment. Manure, too, sits atop a Pine Fines stall awaiting easy removal, rather than falling through, hiding and spreading in a lofty pile of shavings.

Thin Is In

For those who choose to stick with flaked shavings, a wafer-thin flake is in the best state to absorb moisture. “The cut or configuration as well as moisture content of the material is what allows it to be absorbent,” he explains. “We have all learned to like the look of big fluffy shavings, but they are not as effective at absorbing as Pine Fines.”

DryNest also manufactures and sells traditional wood shavings and pelleted bedding, the precursor to Pine Fines’ form. “We have the very best-performing bedding regardless of your priorities,” he says. “They are all consistent from load to load, clean, with no dust, and priced aggressively.”

All forms of DryNest bedding are made from pine sourced from the secondary lumber industry. This is significant, Kraay explains, because this is where low moisture content allows those ideal shavings to be produced. “The primary lumber industry makes dimensional lumber, 2 by 4s, 2 by 12s, etc. The consistency and even the species of the lumber vary greatly from day to day and the wood’s moisture content is often high. Our products come from the secondary industry, where they take finished pine and do the same operation every day to produce moldings and other finish work pieces.”

DryNest serves California and West Coast stables directly through its manufacturing plants in Oregon, Idaho and Canada. They sell directly to retail outlets and stables that can take a minimum of a half semi.
The company is a big supporter of the equine industry. Kraay makes his Rafter K Ranch available for Event Derbys, training opportunities and regularly finds ways to give back to horses through their owners by support of equine activities.

For more information on DryNest Animal Bedding, visit www.drynest.com or call 800-436-3431 to discuss your bedding needs.