Bedding Type - Is Corn Cob safe?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by *silkie nut*, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. *silkie nut*

    *silkie nut* Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Dec 13, 2009
    We're currently on shavings... but were thinking of switching to 1/8" corn cob bedding for easier "mucking".

    Does anyone use corn cob? Is it recommended or can it pose hazards if ingested?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    4,654
    27
    251
    Jun 15, 2008
    I don't think the corn cob itself would pose chickens a health hazard. It has no useful nutrition but I would assume adult hens would figure that out and not overeat it. I wouldn't trust chicks to do so before they suffered nutrient deficiencies. The downside to corn cob is it molds if it gets damp and it doesn't absorb well. It won't keep things dryer than shavings will and corn is one of the worst things to grow toxic mold. The cobs are slightly better than the grain but not by much. I don't use it around my animals just in case I miss a wet spot and they eat some. You can kill a lot of animals quickly with the right mold. If you do use it I would put something more absorbent like pine pellets around the roosts or waterers to make sure it stays dry.
     
  3. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Akane is right about mold.

    I was bedding my horses on corncobs and one developed Small airway Disease.
    I had to treat him with pricy steroids for 3 months.
    The only change in care had been the corncob bedding so I switched back to pine shavings and his lungs cleared up.

    There is also info that links the corncobs to respiratory problems in dairy cattle.
     
  4. *silkie nut*

    *silkie nut* Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Dec 13, 2009
    interesting, thank you! we will definitely not be going with corn cob in that case!

    our next option was wood pellets, "pre-fluffed". we use this with our horses and bunny litter boxes and find it to be a great product. any concerns with chickens?

    we have a small coupe for our four 3 month olds that we're using for this winter and are finding lots of waste with using shavings as it's so hard to pick out the bad spots at times. we were looking for something a little more 'fine' so we could potentially use a kitty litter scoop. is this a silly idea?
     
  5. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,525
    19
    171
    Oct 31, 2008
    Reading
    We have used pellets the last two years. They break down into sawdust and absorb moisture well in our coop. We clean out about 2-3 times a year and it seems to work. This winter we added shavings too because it's been colder sooner and we wanted something fluffy for insulation value on the floor. We also have more chickens in the coop so we are watching the situation. But, yes, we will continue to use a base of wood pellets.
     
  6. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    4,511
    15
    241
    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    I've been using it since Sept. When I kept a waterer in the coop there was mold around the base of it but since I've taken the waterer out, no issues. I have straw/white pine needles on top of it. Chickens also enjoy scratching in it, especially since the ground outside is frozen
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by