Bedding suggestions for folks with allergies please?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Suechick, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I'm almost finished our coop for our little flock of chicks and am trying to figure out what to use for bedding that will be easy to take care of and not cause allergy problems for my DH and DS. They have allergies to straw and dust so that rules out hay/straw and shavings (as they make too much dust. Do I'm hoping that someone has some good ideas for us. Right now the floor of the coop is linoleum for easy clean out.

    TIA for your suggestions
     
  2. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sand with a little kitty litter mixed in? Then you can just sift the clumps of crap out and rake. I like to do that in summer but its too cold up here in MN for it now. I am also highly allergic to straw. If I get the coarser wood shavings, not the sawdust, it seems ok on my allergies too.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Uh, *chickens themselves* are incredibly dusty too. Much, much, much more dustier than good-quality shavings or wood pellets. So the bedding is not likely to be the main problem [​IMG] (Although I certainly see why you want to minimize additional dust etc from that source)

    You could try shredded paper cleaned out *frequently* and kept *very dry*, I suppose... it is not inherently dusty, but it can glump down and grow mold if you don't stay on top of it. Personally I dislike it as animal bedding, but with your additional considerations it might be worth a try.

    (e.t.a. - hey, sand isn't a bad idea for California, if you can get a very nondusty grade of sand. worth a try! I wouldn't add any kitty litter - not necessarily great for the chickens, and just another potential source of dust. Just pick the poo out fo the sand regularly.)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  4. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what about shredded paper with diatomaceous earth? or paper, de, and sand?
     
  5. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, if I didn't add the kitty litter the sand would settle down and get like a solid rock base before long. The kitty litter keeps it loose and workable. It also doesn't absorb the crap and ball it up as good without it either. I have silkies and don't want their foot feathers covered in crap. [​IMG] The cheap clay like kitty litter is very dusty. I used the 40 gallon buckets of Fresh Step in every pen. It didn't seem to hurt the birds and kept the chicken's foot feathers in decent shape too. The only reason I don't do this year-round is because of the cold temps up here. Right now all my birds have pretty deep shavings in all the pens. If the dust bothers the guys, get them a pack of those disposable masks for if they have to go in the coop.
     
  6. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The paper works ok for maybe a day. If it gets wet at all you have a gooey mess. Hard to maintain.....

    Some of the pigeon guys I am friends with use corn cob bedding. Not dusty, but can be expensive. All they have to do it rake out the clumps of crap there too.

    One of my friends has a small enough coop that she uses for her bantam ducks. She'll lay down a cheap tarp first and then put the straw or shavings on there. When it comes time to clean, all she has to do is roll up the tarp and drag the mess outside to dump in a garbage bin. Then you don't have to deal with all that dust in an enclosed space.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:DE is dust, though. Trying to avoid dust, gotta avoid DE (altogether, or at least anywhere exposed), in my opinion.

    Pat
     
  8. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm, so much to consider, thanks for all your opinions. I think the DE is a good idea because of the possibility of mites, and the main "dust" allergy here is to the dust mites anyway, so DE sounds perfect! I'm inclined to go with a larger wood chip since I'd like to compost the litter after it is used for my garden.

    Any other ideas out there? Keep em coming....
     
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    What about pine pellets? Feline Pine kitty litter but I've been told that it's also used in stables instead of straw. Doesn't break down until it is wet but even then it's like crumbles
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  10. Wooden_Pony

    Wooden_Pony Chillin' With My Peeps

    My suggestion is high quality Dust Masks, like what we use here when cleaning out the coop. Because no matter what "dust free" product you put in there the chicken dander is going to make it even worse.

    Use a "low dust" pine shavings like America's Choice or Thoroughbed combined with your dust mask. Works for my DD and DH and they both suffer from allergies. [​IMG]
     

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