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Anything Special Needed On A Coop Floor Or In Nesting Area?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 1234duck, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. 1234duck

    1234duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is hay good for bedding & ok to put on the coop floor? In the fenced in area where the chickens will be kept, there is grass & some dirt of course it will start off being mowed but will the chickens keep it smashed down or will it need to be mowed still every once in a while? Asking cuz we might need to have wider access into the fenced area. Should we put "some" gravel down if not going to be mowing? Thanks, ~Julie~
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Is hay good for bedding & ok to put on the coop floor?

    You can use it if you want. Some people have problems with chickens getting serious crop impaction from hay, but most don't, especially if ample outdoor space is also provided with vegetation such as grass (but see below about that). Personally I kind of hate to see perfectly good FOOD (which is what hay is) used for animals to just cr*p on, but, <shrug>. Hay and straw are much harder to spot-clean than most other materials such as wood shavings.

    Other choices include straw (much like hay, except usually cheaper and NOT a foodstuff), which works best when chopped but can be used long-staple like hay is; or commercial baled wood shavings e.g. what's sold for horse bedding, which work very well as long as you get a good nondusty brand. A whole lot of other materials are possible too, most are decidedly inferior to the above IMHO but that is sometimes offset by their being free to some people.

    In the fenced in area where the chickens will be kept, there is grass & some dirt of course it will start off being mowed but will the chickens keep it smashed down or will it need to be mowed still every once in a while?

    Unless it is a REALLY REALLY large fenced in area, you will not have to worry about mowing the grass because it will be all gone pretty soon [​IMG] (Even in a really really large run, large expanses will still go to dirt). You may need to do some mud management.

    Should we put "some" gravel down if not going to be mowing?

    Only if you expect a mud problem -- see muddy run link in my .sig below for more detailed discussion of the subject.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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