I think you'll just have to try everything and decide what works best for you and your situation. Personally, I use the pelleted bedding and think it works great for the ducks and geese. I like it because it does absorb a lot and since their droppings are mostly water, it works well for me and mine. When it gets wet it does break down, I just rake it all even and add a little PDZ and another bag on top. For my birds, the straw was terrible. They packed it down and the goo and moisture stayed on top of it. It had to be taken out instead of worked in like the pellets. I do have a pan under the waterer so it catches most of the water, that helps too. You'll just have to find the lesser of all evils. Any way you look at it, they are messy little buggers. Good luck!