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Help with Straw Bedding

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello. I have a medium sized coop with six lovely hens. Recently, however, I've been having some trouble with their bedding. I'm using straw, but the problem is that the hens keep (intentionally or unintentionally) kicking it out of the coop into their run, which is dirt. Herein lies the rub: straw left on dirt will within a few weeks form a matrix as hard as concrete, which I normally have to break up with an icepick to allow the hens to dig dustbaths and allow water to drain. Has anyone else encountered this problem?

Thanks.

post #2 of 4

I actually put straw in my run where the chickens have killed the grass, to keep it from being muddy. Haven't had any problems with it making cement though. Maybe yours is pure clay soil? You could get a load of river sand from a quarry, to put in your run. It's cheap and the chickens love dust bathing in it. I have the river sand in my coop.

post #3 of 4

I put some straw down in the run on occasion too,

they usually scratch it up to get at the dirt and keep everything pretty scratched up and 'loose'.

 

But ....to keep coop bedding in the coop, the bottom of the pop door should be about 8" above the floor of the coop.

Then you can have ~4" of bedding that won't get dragged out of the coop.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #4 of 4

I rake up the hay from the run every week. Keeps it from turning into the mud mat.

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