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Hay vs Pine

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I think I am ready for about 15 Cornish X. I will be raising them entirely in a barn stall. My biggest concern is the waste. Does anyone have experience or ideas on using hay/straw vs pie shavings? To me it would be much easier to clean and maybe even cheaper.

Second option is to scrap the Cornish X idea for now and go with turkeys but I have no experience at all with them.
post #2 of 6

Alot of people don't like using hay, the complaints are that it gets dirty quick and can start harboring bad bacteria quickly. Which I would think could be a problem when keeping those poop machines (Cornish X)

 

Ive used it for a couple seasons and in my experience as long as i replaced it regularly, say once or twice a week it seems to work fine. Also makes fantastic compost.

 

Pine would stand up alot longer and makes great berry compost/cover when you are finished with it.

 

Do a search you will find many threads debating this.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/302994/straw-or-hay-for-chick-bedding

post #3 of 6

I always recommend pine shavings only. Straw is not absorbent enough to be good bedding. Even if you can get bales of straw cheaper you will have to replace it much more often and you wont save anything. I used to use it in nest boxes and wet spots in the run but it lays flat and starts to stink in just a few days. With pine I just fluff it up periodically and add a fresh layer occasionally. Just do one big clean out after you harvest the birds. If you can get straw free then the more frequent cleaning might be worth it... supposedly if you can chop up straw the increased surface area makes it more absorbent. I have only seen a bedding chopper once in my life and it was way to big for a backyard guy like me so idk if that is a useful option. 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I was worried because I got the impression that I would be changing pine shavings nearly daily at the end and thats a little More labor intensive in an 8 x 13 stall than I wanted. But it seems like a little less changing than daily is going to be more likely. The walls are built well in the stall so I may be able to do a modified deep litter like I do in my coop. Just start with very little and add little by little with some scratch so they turn it over. Anybody have opinions with 15 Cornish x in an 8x 12 stall how often I may have to completely change shavings?
post #5 of 6

I have a chipper/shredder that I use for making mulch for my flower beds.  It will chip up to a 2" limb and produces more of a chip than a shaving.  Would this work for use as bedding for a chicken coop? 

It is definately bigger chips than you get in a bale of pine shavings.  And the chips last about a year on the flower beds before breaking down and then I need to add more.

post #6 of 6

Are rice hulls available in your area?  That's what we use here and it's a super bedding for young chicks.  After a few days when it's good and matted I add another layer and continue to do so as long as they're producing really wet poop.  Fortunately, eventually they dry out a bit.

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