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Shavings vs. sawdust - Page 2

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Philosopher View Post
 

Good thread!

Last Spring I switched from straw to shavings for litter in the coop. I will never go back to straw!

My rearing pen typically holds up to 20 birds to maturity. With straw, I was swamping out a soupy mess every couple of weeks. Last year, the birds got through the whole cycle, with me only having to "top coat" the bedding once.  When I cleaned out the pen, the floor was still dry underneath.  The other blessing was the used litter came out one shovel full at a time, and not in a woven mass the way straw did.

My feed store sells a compressed bale of shavings that is 3 cu yds that expand to 11 yds of bedding. The price is under $9.00! Cost wise, it's a no-brainer.

One thing I feel is important: the shavings I use are hardwood shavings. I stay away from cedar or pine shavings/sawdust because of the resins in them. When they get wet they can burn the animal's feet. I learned the hard way with dogs.

All shavings are not created equal. I look for material that is between 1/4" and 1/2" diameter. Any smaller, you get too much dust, any bigger and the birds don't like the feel of it. As a matter of fact, I had to remove the shavings from my ducks' shelter and replace it with straw. The ducks would absolutely refuse to walk on the shavings. 

Cost, absorbency, ease of cleanup all make shavings the hands down winner in my book.

As to the title of this thread, I would stay away from plain sawdust, for all the negative reasons already addressed in other posts. I have an unlimited source of sawdust, but it is too fine, contains evergreen resins, and just turns to wooden mud over time.

FWIW...YMMV.

@Old Philosopher never heard of this, could you elaborate?

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."

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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 #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

@Old Philosopher never heard of this, could you elaborate?


I'm obviously Old Philosopher but the reason for not using cedar is the oils left over in  the shavings are way too strong for a chickens lungs so it burns them as for the pine if properly dried like they do for the bales of pine shavings the oils of the pine aren't an issue, so I use pine but fresh pine shavings however would have the same effect as the cedar if they are not properly dried.

post #13 of 13

Well, kiln drying will get rid of the moisture, but not the resins. Take a handful of either pine, or cedar shavings and get them wet. Doesn't have to be chicken pee, just water. Smell them. Make your own decision. 

:idunno

Life is easier if you plow around the stumps.
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Life is easier if you plow around the stumps.
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