Defra says cut more antibiotics, but you can still save lambs simply by changing your bedding.

Scientific studies and sheep farmers are showing that using pine shavings in your lambing pens can:

  • Cut antibiotic use
  • Save more lambs
  • Reduce time, labour and cost


Beating E. Coli

STOCKMAX shavings are made from 100% Scots Pine (pinus sylvestris), and many scientific research studies have proved that E. Coli is one of the many
harmful strains of bacteria that Scots Pine kills completely.

In a study carried out at Nottingham Trent University in 2016, Dr Kelly Yarnell measured the survival of E. Coli in several different types of bedding. Whle E. Coli survived in significant quantities in straw, the E. Coli count found in pine shavings was below the minimum level of detection.

The cleanliness and dryness of the STOCKMAX is definitely a huge benefit we are seeing over straw. This has led to a noticeable labour saving as we are not having to change pens as regularly. Also, we value the antiseptic qualities of the pine. Particularly at lambing time, and especially if a ewe has had a caesarean, keeping them clean and dry is critical.
Tom Darling, Duns


The use of antibiotics in treating infection is becoming increasingly expensive and ineffectual. Antimicrobial resistance is now widespread in agriculture and growing, with resistant strains of E. Coli now emerging. Research has proved that resistant strains are transferable from animals to humans, leading to drastic cuts in antibiotic use in farming.

I like to use STOCKMAX because it’s clean and hygienic. The pine is a natural antiseptic and the shavings don’t wrap around the ewes’ feet in the pens, or round the lambs’ legs when they’re new-born and trying to get onto their own feet. From a personal point of view I also like it because it’s dust free, so I don’t get any bother with my hayfever when I’m bedding pens.

Ian Murray, Wooler.

Saving Lambs


In 2018, BEDMAX commissioned a specific study at Harper Adams University to measure the key factors that effect the health and outcomes of ewes lambing on straw and pine shavings. 40 Suffolk X Mule ewes were housed in 10 groups of 4 ewes, half bedded on straw and half on pine shavings.

The study concluded that pine shavings bedding demonstrated:

  • Higher lamb survival in first 48 hours
  • Higher thermal value/temperature
  • Higher dry matter content
  • Lower ammonium nitrogen content

Aberdeenshire vet and sheep farmer David Miskelly has recently used STOCKMAX Pine Shavings in his lambing pens.

As part of the continued drive to encourage responsible use of antibiotics by sheep farmers and, in particular, the blanket treatment of lambs for watery mouth, we trialled STOCKMAX shavings in our lambing pens this year and did not administer a single prophylactic watery mouth treatment to any of the lambs born as singles. We have been delighted with the results and STOCKMAX shavings have been a great hit as it delivers a dry, fresh, hygienic bed in the lambing pens, at a comparable cost to straw. 
David Miskelly


Pine has always been recognised as an antiseptic. Recent scientific studies testing the antibacterial properties of softwood shavings including pine and spruce have proved that pine is unique in eradicating many strains of harmful bacteria including E. Coli and E. Faecium, and preventing their regeneration.

The ideal bedding for All Young Animals,  PINE is the key to the effectiveness of STOCKMAX shavings in helping to prevent disease and ill-health in many other animals housed and bedded indoors.

These include:

  • Cows and new calves
  • Game chicks during rearing
  • Poultry of all kinds
  • Working dogs and hounds