bedding Isues, need advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ema, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Ok so I am still having trouble locating pine shavings, been about 1.5 months with no shavings so I had to resort to Straw.

    every so often I add another bale on top. I never had any issues, until today, I went in to check on them after DH and I started tarping the run and found a very strong Ammonia odour coming from the coop I have great ventilations so I know its the bedding itself. 2 days ago I turned the bedding over and added another bale because I knew we were expecting a sudden temp drop and a winter storm.

    so I now I have to change the bedding, can't exactly it do it tonight at its quite late already, but the only thing available here or at the feed store out of town is cedar. I do not want to use cedar. Is there anything else that can be used for bedding?

    I use plenty of DE on the roosts, bedding etc....but I forgot to add some 2 days ago when I turned the bedding, I am just worried about how uncomfortable they must feel right now, because if I found the smell strong I can just imagine how they find it!!!!! any ideas anyone can offer me would be greatly appreciated!

  2. bad_coffee

    bad_coffee Songster

    Feb 8, 2010
    It's a bit more expensive, but we get aspen bedding delivered by

    Is there a lumber mill/carpenter by you that you can buy woodchips?

  3. downhome

    downhome Chirping

    Mar 20, 2009
    genesse county, MI
    when that happens, I remove the straw and lay down more. all I use is straw and sometimes hay when I get it cheap. 1-2 dollars a 100lb bale.

    the girls eat a good bit of it before it gets soiled, plus any seed heads still attached. easy to pick up with a pitch fork.

    its really not bedding but litter. all my birds roost. something to knock the mud off the feet and absorb the moisture.

    I do use the straw for bedding for the dogs though.
  4. snowcone

    snowcone In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2010
    maybe if there is a local school that has a wood shop class, they would have some sawdust/shavings.

  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    You can put down a couple of inches of pelletized lime (Calcium Carbonate) and that will neutralize the ammonia
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  6. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    I use straw all the time I get it in exchange for eggs from the farmer down the road.
  7. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Putting a poop board under their roosts seems to help alot. Just scrape it off daily. I read that Cedar is bad for chickens.

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    That's weird that your feedstores don't carry normal shavings. Remind me not to move up north [​IMG]

    If you are stuck, though, I think your options are something like this. Either:

    -- continue to use straw but change it out more often.

    -- use cedar and ventilate very well and remind yourself that many commercial broiler barns use cedar bedding with no detectible effect (mind, this is with excellent ventilation and short-lived birds)

    -- if you have any DRY supply of dead leaves or raked-up pine needles or like that, you could use that, although DRY is the operative word.

    Probably if it were me I would go with straw-but-change-it-more-often.

    A droppings board under the roost, that you scrape clean into a bucket every morning, would help quite a lot in extending bedding life.

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat, who can think of OTHER reasons TOO, not to move to N Ontario... brrrrrrr [​IMG]
  9. The Fairy Godmartyr

    The Fairy Godmartyr Songster

    Aug 7, 2010
    Try WalMart or a pet store. They usually sell large bags of pine shavings in the small animal section. It will be more expensive than a feed store, but if the coop isn't huge, it should still be doable.

  10. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    no wood shop classes up here, walmart has only cedar, for what ever reason.... it seems like everyone only has cedar left, I went out today and checked all the stores again. and getting someone to help me at walmart today was like pulling teeth, no word of a lie. so I walked out, its getting close ot the holiday season and I know almost everyone that works there, I know they are real busy, so I figured if I had waited that whole time and no one was available there wasn't much point on waiting some more. :)


    Usually everyone carries pine shavings, but its been a while since they've had anything but cedar.

    I get my straw bales for 4 bucks a bale. I am going monday to pick up some more. I mean I got lots of hay, and yes the chickens eat it but I prefer to use the straw over the hay any day. I wish I could have gone today but that fluffy white stuff has been coming down non stop since just after noon.

    I don't have poop boards, maybe that is part of the issue. I will get my Dh to build me and install some under their roosts in the next few days and see if that changes anything after I change all the litter.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by