Kenaf Horse Bedding for Sale -- 214% More absorptive than pine shavings and 200% Longer Use time over pine shavings

American Kenaf Society | Frequently Asked Questions | Order

All new Nafcore is made from Kenaf, an all-natural renewable crop. It is low dust, absorbs 2.5 times more than typical shavings, and neutralizes ammonia. Its use reduces stall labor and manure piles. Average use is 1 replacement bag/week.

Nafcore bedding is sold in 25 lb. bags for $15/bag. To place an order, please contact me at (804) 651-1423 or simply fill out the order form below and I will contact you. If you do not want to order, but would like more information, please feel free to fill out the e-mail and comment sections and we will reply as quickly as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. How is Nafcore™ horse bedding different from wood shavings and sawdust?

  2. Why should I use Nafcore™ horse bedding?

  3. Is there any circumstance under which a horse might eat Nafcore™ horse bedding?

  4. Is there any risk if a horse ingests Nafcore™?

  5. Can complications develop if a horse ingests Nafcore™?

  6. Are there any "special" recommendations for working with horses bedded on kenaf?

  7. Is it true that Nafcore™ can help save money on labor?

  8. Does manure stick to Nafcore™ bedding like it does to regular bedding?

  9. How deep should Nafcore™ bedding be in my stall?

  10. When should the stall be changed?

  11. Is Nafcore™ really 'dustless'?

  12. Does Nafcore™ have any additives?

  13. What is kenaf?

  14. Why do horses seem to play or eat the Nafcore™ bedding?


Question: How is Nafcore™ horse bedding different from wood shavings and sawdust?

Answer: The answer to this question covers several points about Nafcore™ horse bedding:

  • Nafcore™ is more "absorbent". Kiln dried shavings will typically "adsorb" (i.e., liquid wicks along the outer cells of the shavings pieces) 250% of their weight in liquid. Nafcore™ "absorbs" (i.e., liquid fills the spaces within the Nafcore™ pieces) 600 to 750% of its weight in liquid.
  • Nafcore™ absorbs liquid more slowly. This action allows urine to pass through the upper layers of bedding and be absorbed from the bottom up. For horses that urinate in one spot and do not stir up the bedding in the stall, a cake may form at the bottom, and will need to removed periodically (about every four to seven days). You will not need to remove wet spots as with wood shavings.
  • There are no more wet spots. Due to the absorptive/evaporative cycle associated with Nafcore™ horse bedding, the bedding can be left in place for several days to weeks, depending upon the individual circumstances. Simply remove the manure as you would normally and mix any damp bedding in with the remaining dry bedding. Many horses mix the damp and dry bedding during the course of a day.
  • Nafcore™ provides ammonia control through activity from beneficial bacteria that survive in the kenaf particles. These bacteria are not harmful to the horse. The bacteria will break down the ammonia components to help minimize the typical odors associated with urine. The bedding will change color over time (to a dark brown) due to the absorption of the ammonia and mineral components of urine.
  • Nafcore™ resists compression. The cellular structure of kenaf will not break down under compressive loads. Because of this, there is less dust generated in the stall during typical usage. Nafcore™ therefore provides more cushion for the horse and an improved thermal barrier between the horse and the floor of the stall. This also means that the horse will be standing on top of the bedding rather than sinking down into the bedding. Furthermore, it may not be necessary to provide bedding at the same depth typically used with shavings.

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Question: Why should I use Kenaf horse bedding?

Answer: Kenaf has several outstanding characteristics making it a unique bedding product for horses:

  • Relative low dust compared to typical wood shavings
  • Three times the absorptive capacity of wood shavings and straw products
  • Excellent ammonia control
  • Prolonged longevity in the stall due to moisture absorption and evaporation cycle
  • Ease of use resulting in reduced stall cleaning time

Kenaf works differently than wood shavings or straw. Urine passes through the top layers of kenaf bedding and the liquids are absorbed by the bottom of the bedding layer. This leaves a dry top layer. For the horse who constantly walks and stirs the bedding, rapid evaporation of the liquid component of urine allows the bedding pieces to be available for additional absorption. Due to the increased absorptive capacity, kenaf bedding can be placed in the stall at a reduced depth.

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Question: Is there any circumstance under which a horse might eat Nafcore™ horse bedding?

Answer: Yes, but there should be no greater interest on the part of the horse for Nafcore™ than for any other new bedding or material placed in a stall. Horses are naturally curious and often explore new items with their mouth and may ingest some new material due to their curiosity.

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Question: Is there any risk if a horse ingests Nafcore™?

Answer: Under ordinary circumstances there should be no greater risk of ingesting kenaf bedding than there is in the ingesting of coarse hay in similar quantities.

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Question: Can complications develop if a horse ingests Nafcore™?

Answer: As in the case of ingestion of similar amounts of course hay, complications may develop. This depends on the horse and the amount ingested. Circumstances that might lead to impaction associated with ingestion of kenaf are the same as for the ingestion of other coarse roughage products. These may include inadequate hydration of the digestive system associated with sub-optimal fluid intake caused by strenuous exercise, extreme heat or cold, extensive travel or diarrhea.

Adequate hydration is a major preventative measure against any number of potential equine problems, including prevention of impaction and other digestive problems. Recommendations for providing adequate hydration should prevent any problems that would be typical of ingestion of excessive roughage and include:

  • Providing an adequate source of clean, fresh water
  • Water availability after strenuous exercise or during excessive heat and humidity
  • Cold weather may impact water intake and hydration as seriously as hot weather
  • Insure additional water and/or electrolytes after travel and introduction to a new stall environment
  • Provide additional water and/or electrolytes with any evidence of diarrhea

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Question: Are there any "special" recommendations for working with horses bedded on Nafcore™?

Answer: There are no special recommendations for using Nafcore™. We do recommend being aware that horses may initially investigate any new bedding with which they come into contact.

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Question: Is it true that Nafcore™ can help save money on labor?

Answer: Nafcore™ provides labor savings as well. Less time is spent in the stall removing manure and wet bedding. Since less bedding is removed, less is replaced. Less bedding in the wheel barrow means fewer trips to the manure pile. A smaller manure pile means fewer trips to the field and reduced costs in waste removal.

In the not too distant future, we will have a matrix available showing the direct cost comparisons of using Nafcore™ vs. conventional bedding. In addition, we are planning to publish the spreadsheet used to produce the matrix for everyone to work the numbers for themselves. Check our site for news on this.

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Question: Does manure stick to Nafcore™ bedding like it does to regular bedding?

Answer: Nafcore™ horse bedding does not stick to manure like shavings and sawdust. Since less bedding is replaced due to removal of wet bedding and less bedding is replaced due to removal with manure, less bedding is replaced on a daily basis. Whereas shavings are often replaced at the rate of ½ to 1 bag daily, kenaf is added at a rate of ¼ to 1 bag per week.

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Question: How deep should Nafcore™ bedding be in my stall?

Answer: The initial bedding depth for Nafcore™ is dependent upon a number of variables:

  • Your preference for appearance
  • Maintenance
  • Management style
  • Flooring
  • Size of stall
  • Type & requirements of each horse
  • The length of time the horse stays in the stall
  • What the owner or stall worker determines is the amount necessary for comfort of the horse.

Some horses may require a thicker bedding level for moisture and odor control. This is especially true for those that drink frequently and urinate large volumes or have exceptional odor to the urine.

Typically a 12' x 12' stall will need between 3 to 4 2.8 cu ft bags for initial bedding. Nafcore™ can often be left in the stall for up to 8 weeks (or longer) before replacement is needed.

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Question: When should the stall be changed?

Answer: The choice of when to change out the bedding will depend on your tolerance for color change of the bedding and ammonia control. Some clients have been able to simply add more bedding (1/4 to 1/2 bag per week) as the kenaf particles break down, without stripping the stall. Some clients have been able to place only 2-3 bags per stall and achieve adequate ammonia and moisture control.

The primary factor that limits the amount of time that Nafcore™ will be effective in the stall will be the buildup of hay and dry manure on the floor. Because kenaf will remove moisture from the manure very quickly, if manure is not removed efficiently, it turns to dust. This becomes a source of moisture and odor, minimizing the effectiveness of the kenaf.

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Question: Is Nafcore™ really 'dustless'?

Answer: Nafcore™ horse bedding has less dust (not dustless), although we have periodically experienced higher levels of dust as we work through changes in our cutting and bagging systems.

In case you are experiencing dust issues, to minimize the dust, pour the contents of the bags as close to the floor as possible, periodically sprinkling with water. Water may be applied liberally (initially between 1-2 gallons per bag as a spray). Any noticeable dust will be reduced considerably.

Our expectation is to eventually have a bedding with the least dust in the horse bedding market. Wetting the bedding in the above manner (which only needs to be done once when initially bedding the stall) also increases the moisture content of the kenaf particles. This will cause the kenaf particles to expand somewhat and become much softer to touch. The kenaf is generally very dry when bagged – approximately 8 to 9% moisture. Wetting allows the particles to achieve their natural moisture level of 13 to 14% and to begin absorbing urine faster than if left dry.

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Question: Does Nafcore™ have any additives?

Answer: Nafcore™ is an all natural product and has neither chemicals added in processing nor any chemicals that occur naturally that will cause injury to the horse.

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Question: What is kenaf?

Answer: Kenaf is a natural plant fiber, not a wood fiber. The crop is grown annually in eastern North Carolina. Planting occurs in the spring (seeds are drilled into the ground like wheat). The stalks are cut in the fall (150 days after planting). After baling, the kenaf is processed into an outer 'bast' fiber (for non-textile applications) and core, for use as horse bedding.

Nafcore™ horse bedding is the natural plant fiber from the center or core of the plant. The core is a very porous, spongy, minimally compressible material. It is light, creamy tan in color and has a low lignin and high cellulose fiber content. Kenaf has a carbon to nitrogen ratio similar to a coarse hay. There are no chemicals added in the processing of the plant and no chemical residues associated with the growth of the plant. Kenaf is harvested using technology similar to hay production, i.e., cutting, windrowing, and baling before being processed.

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Question: Why do horses seem to play or eat the Nafcore™ bedding?

Answer: We have had a few horses ingest the kenaf when first placed in the stall due to curiosity or by accident while picking up spilled feed. Observe the horse carefully when first placed in the stall with Nafcore™ bedding, place good quality feed and hay off the floor, provide plenty of fresh water, and if necessary place old bedding with a small amount of kenaf as an introduction.

Another idea is to spray the bedding with a pepper/water mixture or a disinfectant spray to discourage ingestion of kenaf.

If any horse persists in eating the Nafcore™, there may be a need to re-evaluate if Nafcore™ will be a suitable bedding for that horse.

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