Best Bedding for the winter in Wisconsin??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ab333, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. ab333

    ab333 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 28, 2009
    I am currently using pine shaving but am wondering if stray/hay would be better for the winter??
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I'd stick with the pine shavings. Add some Stall Dry, Sweet PDZ or DE to help, that's what I do and we have nasty winters here in the mts. of WV where I live. Hay/Straw will draw dampness, get moldy quicker than the shavings, and also harbors bugs!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    If you use straw or hay use some pine pellets under everything. Both will hold in moisture making everything damper and if we get a thaw you'll have a real mess unless you put something really absorbent underneath. Last year I did a thin layer of pine pellets that just covered the floor, 3-4inches of shavings, and then 2 bales of straw in a 170sq ft coop. Too much work and they ate all the straw by spring. This year I have half as much pine pellets and twice as much shavings ready to be spread out.
  4. scarter

    scarter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2008
    Roberts, WI
    I live in WI and didn't know any better last year. I would go out to the coop every few weeks and freshen up the coop with new hay and some DE. I was trying to get more of a deep litter method going since my chickens don't have a heat source. I'd throw some cracked corn in all the corners and they'd go crazy churning it all up for me. In the summer I raked it all out and never had a smell or problem with mold. I do have a bare floor and that might be what saved us. This year I'm thinking of getting pine shavings to see if that's any different. Seeing as I had no problem I might just go back to freshening up with our extra hay. It can be done but after reading so much about it here I just wonder if I got lucky last year.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Shavings are probably the best from a warmth standpoint. THey are a better insulator than loose straw, and also they offer more potential for a cold chicken to snuggle down into them and warm up that way.

    Nothing against straw if that's what you *have* or prefer for other reasons; just, for winter-specific purposes shavings have advantages.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    We are using pine shavings and "feeding" hay on top of that. Pine shavings seem to work better for daily poop pick-up, if you do that.

    Our birds are in a tarp hut inside a pole shed. I am nervously watching...
  7. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    I use pine shavings and deep litter method since it's a very large building. We had a bit of snow last night, and the building was warmer than outside. Nothing was frozen. It's a little windy today, and it's pretty cold, but they don't seem bothered by it. It was business as usual this morning when I let them out to free range. [​IMG]

  8. Chooksaurus

    Chooksaurus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    NW WI
    Using straw here. It seems to be doing well so far, but it is our first winter with them and it just started really getting cold.
  9. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I use pine shavings, the only time i use straw is a bottom layer in a calf hutch then the shavings on top after the birds have trampled the straw a little, that makes for easier clean up in the spring when I move the hutch, I,ve had chickens in winter for 6 years now,
  10. fla_native

    fla_native Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Haines City Fla
    A first class ticket to Key West?

    Sorry, I just had to! I have a friend who lives in Wisconsin and he called me yesterday crying cause he was freezing to death![​IMG]

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