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Using wood shavings as bedding and clopyralid in timothy hay?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have been using timothy hay as bedding for my chickens over the last year.  Recently, I found out that a herbicide clopyralid is used in timothy hay fields.  It is pretty benign to animals but very persistent in compost piles and the soil.  (I compost all their bedding and manure)  Sometimes, its half life is as long as 1-2 years.  Supposedly, this herbicide can be very damaging to tomatoes, peas and other broad leaf crops.  Does anyone have experience with this problem when using bedding bought at pet and small farm supply stores?

Because of this, I want to switch to either alfalfa hay, recycled paper bedding (eco-bedding) or wood shavings.  There is a large bag of alpine and pine shavings that I can buy for about $20.  The problem is that I know they will eat it.  Will recycled paper or wood shavings cause problems if ingested over a long period of time? 

Thank You

post #2 of 5

I would love to know what you did! mine have been on Timothy bedding because that was what they came with and I continued it. I plan to finish the bale,throw it all away because of the herbicide, and then go to DLM with pine shavings,so I can use my compost, but the one time I put shavings in, they ate so much I panicked and pulled them out. I gather from all the posts that eating pine shavings is ok?

post #3 of 5

This is what I do. I made a droopings board and filled with white sand and stalldry. They do not eat it and its as easy as cat litter to scoop the poop out.  It is not as expensive as wood chips once down.  I buy play sand it is cleanner.  Now I do use soft wood chips on the floor.  They scratch around in it and get anyfeed that has dropped in it.  I have never had a problem with sour crop or them really eatting it.  I find that for me this works best.  I have a wood floor covered by linoleum that I put the shavings on and they are great to have.   I throw a little scratch grain, just a bit in for them.   My chicks are 7 and 8 weeks old and go out to a run each day that was sown in alfalfa early this summer.  They think they are in heaven.  Two years ago I had soil and wood chips which would get to moist from the soil below.  It was terrible.  I tried putting sand on the soil but that was a bust too.  It absorbed the odors and when damp was horrible as the plain soil.  For me it was live and learn.  I live in red clay area now.  What worked in sandy coastal soil does not work here. old  Gloria jean

  Love 1 hb,,  my children, many grands, one spoiled rotten cat,  mtns, chicks, crochet, lots of friends. My hens and a few sweet roos      NPIP 55928
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  Love 1 hb,,  my children, many grands, one spoiled rotten cat,  mtns, chicks, crochet, lots of friends. My hens and a few sweet roos      NPIP 55928
Reply
post #4 of 5

Thanks, that is useful. My floor is dirt and my previous coop was a tractor on dirt. I found that grass clippings (dried from my own non-chemical lawn) were a perfect deep litter and I just add more every now and then in that one. (4 x 10). Once a year or so I'd dump the whole thing into my compost and use it to grow vegetables. I was going to do that in my new hen house too. It is 6 x12.  However, just as I was ready to move my new chicks into it, we hit a rainy summer and I had no dry grass clippings to spare. Hence the experiment with the timothy, since they were already used to it. I only found out about the herbicide problem after I'd done it. How do you know what is in the sand you get- is that a local product for you?

post #5 of 5

Anybody else love to compost their coop  bedding that knows about the herbicide problem in hay?

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