Contain, corral and protect your animals using a durable and strong building material that won’t harm them or the environment. Recycled plastic lumber by Bedford Technology does just that. Whether you’re looking to transport or provide shelter for your animals, choose a product that can handle whatever Mother Nature or your animals can throw at it.

Large Animal Containment System Building Materials

Traditional wood, metal and PVC are familiar building materials for all types of large animal and equine projects. However, recycled plastic lumber is a great alternative that is low-maintenance, cost-effective and safer for the animals and the environment. Let’s explore these materials and their characteristics in more detail.

Recycled Plastic Lumber

Recycled plastic lumber is a durable choice for paddocks, stalls and other heavy-duty uses related to containing and transporting large animals. Plastic lumber is superior to wood in that it won’t rot, splinter or crack and is chew-proof. Plastic lumber is also safer for horses than traditional wood because horses cannot kick through plastic lumber. Whereas with traditional lumber, horses are able to kick through and if not repaired immediately, can get lacerations to feet and legs from the splinters and broken boards.

Plastic lumber can also withstand extreme heat, cold and moisture without degrading. It is an environmentally-friendly product that doesn’t leach chemicals because it isn’t chemically-treated, it is manufactured to last without additional treatment processes. Plastic lumber secures, drills and cuts like traditional wood and, with a 50-year warranty, your large animal containment systems will last.

 

Wood

Traditional wood is a common building material to transport and contain your large animals. Fencing, horse stalls, paddocks and stables and other heavy-duty uses utilize wood as a primary building material. Wooden timbers, while functional, can actually cause more potential problems in the long-term than other building materials like increased maintenance costs due to deterioration, mold and rot.

Wood, although strong and durable, isn’t always the ideal choice due to sensitivity to moisture and high impact, which can cause breakage and deterioration over time. It is also a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, which is formed in porous spaces. Traditional wood becomes very porous when it is exposed to moisture or has been chewed on. These germs can be dangerous for the animals and can cause long-term health problems.

Another reason why wood isn’t ideal is because oftentimes, it is pressure-treated. This process helps to preserve the wood and protect it against moisture deterioration. Pressure-treated wood can leach chemicals which are harmful to animals, humans and the environment.        

 

Metal

Metal is often used for fencing and doors. Portable fencing is most often manufactured out of metal, and the most common forms are metal piping, barbed wire and mesh wire.

Pipe fencing is highly visible and is a very solid fencing solution. However, it is quite expensive to install and has very little give if the horse or large animal bumps against it. Barbed wire, although less common is still used as a containment method, but can be very dangerous to the animals being contained and potential visitors. Mesh wire is more flexible than metal piping, but depending on the hole opening size, hoofs can get caught in this wiring, which can cause injury.

All metal is also susceptible to rust from air or water exposure. This could potentially cause infections if animals are cut and will require replacement. Metal can also attract plants and vines which can be quite difficult to remove.      

 

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC is a common building material and is often seen as fencing systems and doors. While it is fairly low-maintenance, it also isn’t the most durable solution because it can easily be knocked down by large animals and becomes brittle in extreme heat and cold. Horses, especially will “test their limits”, including fencing limitations, and can easily knock out PVC posts, which will disable the fencing system.

 

Additional Resources:

SelectForce® by Bedford Technology

FiberForce® by Bedford Technology

Recycled Plastic Lumber in Action

 

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