Horse owners and lumberyards say a slowdown in housing construction in New Hampshire has led to a shortage of wood shavings and sawdust used for animal bedding.
The shortage is driving up prices and forcing animal owners to look for alternatives.
With new home construction down, lumber companies simply aren’t sawing and planing wood like they used to. That has meant fewer shavings to go around.
The success of national hardware chains, who do not saw wood locally, has also reduced the supply.
Rob Johnson of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Association, says some dairy farmers have switched to sand instead of sawdust, but that can sometimes create other issues.
Others have tried using shredded paper, Johnson said, but it tends to blow around.