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bedding material for free?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by maybechickens, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. maybechickens

    maybechickens In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    We are preparing for chicks for the first time... for their coop we have a garden shed that's very well built, almost more like a house (without a finished ceiling) than a shed. It has concrete block walls, a shingled roof and concrete slab floor with slight sloping and drainage. There's a fan and lights and plumbing. There's a door to an outer screened porch. We plan to cover the screens with 1/2-inch hardware cloth with minimal ugliness (we hope) to stop the raccoons.

    The question is- What can we use for bedding that is free? We could buy the shavings etc, but why do it when we have tons of oak leaves, pine straw and grass clippings? We have 1.5 acres of heavy woods. My concern with this idea is that we'd be bringing in other stuff inadvertently... maybe fleas, ticks, bacteria, etc. Then again, chickens forage in this stuff all the time. Is this a good idea or not?

    Thank you for listening! :)

  2. MayDayMel

    MayDayMel Chirping

    Feb 17, 2013
    Trinity, AL
    I have been cutting tall grass that has dried (similar to hay) from the field close by. We also have tons of evergreens an used pine needles years ago.
  3. maybechickens

    maybechickens In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2011
    <bump> Anyone else want to add their experiences? I really just need to know if I'm likely to be causing problems by using pine straw/leaves from our own yard.
  4. Kjordanov

    Kjordanov Songster

    Jul 19, 2012
    I post on our local buy,sell, trade looking for shredded paper! Works awesome :D
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I live in a wooded area and use as many autumn leaves as I can. Instead of raking them, we use our mower that has a bagger on the back and mow them up. Doing that also chops them a bit. Just remove the bagger and dump the contents into the coop. Easy and works great!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  6. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    In the summer months I bag my grass clippings and toss them into the run or coop.

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