Anyone using hardwood shavings? Any tips?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wateboe, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
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    I have been using straw as bedding in our large coop (12' x 12') but would like to switch to shavings. We use wonderful hardwood shavings for the 20 plus horses here on the farm, so I would love to use them for the chickens as well. I understand that they mold more easily than pine... are there any other tips for using hardwood shavings that experienced users can share?
     
  2. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
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    Quote:I am new this year with chickens but have learned a LOT on this site. Wood shavings should work out very nicely. I raised three groups of hatchlings this sumer with the same bedding of wood chips. It was always dry and fluffy. From what I read on this site wood chips or shavings are actually better than straw or hay. As long as the coop stays dry the chips stay loose. I was expecting a lot of moisture and wet manure but if you have that you are doing something wrong. Straw or hay can get matted down even if dry. Check out my brand new 16x20' coop/barn. I have a little straw down but plan on putting in wood chips.https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=14471-coop-layout
     
  3. bearcat73

    bearcat73 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bearcat73, we are neighbors... at least within the same region in Ohio!

    I am going to give hardwood shavings a try, since my coop stays dry and I have the shavings available already. I understand that mold is more of a problem with hardwood than with the softwood varieties (pine or spruce) so I will watch it closely. If it becomes a problem I will likely switch to the softwoods later. I intend to use the Deep Litter Method with DE added. I was pleased to find a distributor for DE (Perma Guard brand) in the Hillsboro area. That is about an hour from me, but worth the trip for the price per 50# bag (SO much cheaper than having it shipped directly to me.) I have used Stall Dry in the past for rabbits as well as the horses, so I have that handy as well.

    I am still hoping to hear from some folks who have been using hardwood shavings ... anyone?
     
  5. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
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    Tackyrama (I almost forgot!)... nice coop!

    Are you using hardwood shavings or softwood?
     
  6. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't use walnut or similar species (butternut, etc), because they contain a chemical that can be irritating.
     
  7. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    Quote:I have my own chipper and use whatever is handy from my woods.
     
  8. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Alamance, NC
    tackyrama , I have to tell you something. You have accomplished a task that you should be extremely proud of! I am proud of you for the methods and manners you went through to construct it.

    I have just bought some land with a couple of older houses on it, two barns, and a shop. Then I have a nice pond and timber that I plan on cutting to mill myself like you did to build a new shop so I can use the old one for my new coop.

    Since you have been doing this a bit, I posted earlier a couple of pics of mine for folks to help give me some ideas. It's under coop plans & building section.

    Now the wood chips part. Sorry to get off track, but I was really impressed with his coop folks. Hardwood chips will mold a little easier than softwood chips will because of the rate that they hold water and takes a little longer for them to dry out. But, on the same token, it takes them longer to absorb moisture as well.

    I don't think you would have to many issues with them unless you have a lot of excess moisture hanging around. I have used hardwood chips for years when I was working on the horse farm and I don't really recall any mold issues.

    Good luck!
     
  9. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Thanks for the input, all! We are still using straw, but I plan to give the hardwood shavings a try at the next clean-out. I can't wait to see our coop full of them, especially after I arrived home today to several new 2x4 roosts, a gorgeous new six-hole wall of nest boxes, and a cool new low platform for my youngsters to snuggle under... all thanks to the best husband in the worldon his rare day off! One of the old girls had already christened the new nest box array with it's first egg.

    I am VERY happy.
     
  10. HR Patterson

    HR Patterson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We were using clean horse hay, but our local sawmill gives their planer shavings away. They are a mix of hard/softwoods with none that should be avoided. The shavings are much, much better than the hay. We recycle our 100# feed bags and fill them with the shavings.
     

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