The shavings industry started in the mid 1900s with the growth of the lumber industry. The traditional bedding used for horses, prior to that, was straw. It was a readily available product but not an ideal animal bedding. One problem with straw was that it required a lot of space for storage. The primary drawback, however, was its lack of absorbency. It simply didn’t work well. So people continued to search a better solution.
The solution came with the realization that sawmills had been producing shaved wood by-products from planing lumber. It was an abundant raw material that was very inexpensive, much more compact, and highly absorbent. This started a shift in the horse world to wood shavings and as the demand increased, companies began finding ways to improve the material. They set up screens to take out residual dust which made a higher quality product that was healthier for animals. Different woods species were tested such as Pine, Fir, Spruce and Cedar. Shaving material became widely accepted and is still the standard in animal bedding today.