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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ZaneyMama, May 28, 2010.
Straw, pine shavings or something else? And is straw the same thing as hay?
Hay, its softer, but you will get varying opinions.
I like wood shaving for the floor, hay for the nest boxes and straw in the run.
My girls like shavings.
Mine love alfalfa so hay all around!
I know some one who uses rice hulls because they act like cat litter, clumping around mud and poo thus keeping eggs cleaner. I use straw or hay, but will be getting rice hulls for the winter since my girls track so much mud in (and we get lazier about collecting eggs when the weather is miserable)
Really it comes down to personal preferance.
Quote:"Hay" usually refers to alfalfa but can also (and more correctly) be wild grasses which have been allowed to grow, then cut, let dry, and bailed, or even wheat or oats which have been cut with the grain still attached, allowed to dry, then bailed. "Straw" on the other hand, refers to the "stalks" of wheat, oats, etc., which are usually "spit out" the back of the combine (harvesting machine) after the grain has been harvested. These stalks are then bailed.
FWIW my mother always used straw but, as others have noted, there are as many opinions as options as to which is best.
While oat hay is excellent feed when it has been cured and handled correctly, if it has been bailed while it was too green it can develop a very nasty strain of mold which will abort calves in pregnant cows or, if the cow gets enough, I've seen them die from it. Not sure how chickens would react to it but I'm betting not good.
Sorry if this is way more than you wanted to know.
I use mostly shavings in the nests, with a little straw at the very bottom for strength of cushioning.
I use wood shavings on the floor. For my nest boxes I use pine shatters (or so they call them around here). They are long pine needles (usually like 6" long). I just pick them up on really sunny, hot days from under the trees. The girls, and my head rooster, love them. And the fact that they're free is pretty nice too!
i use weat grass it grows alot in the corner of my yard..
grow it outs then just put it in their boxes..they kind of eat it though haha
but its good i guess since ive noticed they do change when they are hatching..
so just to keep up their energy..
I like straw or hay for the nest boxes because it will hold a "bowl" shape to contain the eggs.