Straw and wood shavings appear to be optimal bedding types for calves, according to research from the University of Arkansas.

In terms of growth rate and feed efficiency, there were few differences between the five types of bedding studied, including sand, rice hulls, wheat straw, wood shavings and granite fines. But fecal scores were better among the calves housed on wheat straw or wood shavings, and the calves also had fewer scour days.

Researchers also say in the November 2004 Journal of Dairy Science that straw and shavings provide better warmth and absorbency than the other bedding types.