Can I use a pile of grass clippings from last year?

IDchicks

In the Brooder
May 4, 2015
18
0
24
Hailey, Idaho
We are starting our backyard chicken adventure and are just getting the coop and run set up - there are so many opinons and options on what to use for bedding in the coop and run I just don't know what to try first. I live in Idaho - high desert - summers days are dry and hot, nights get cool and winters are sunny but snowy. I have a pile of grass clippings on the edge of our property from last year - never made it to a compost pile - can I use these year-old grass clippings for bedding in the chicken run? The run will be covered. The floor of the run is hard packed dirt right now.

Thanks for any and all input!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,755
36,837
1,096
southern Michigan
Welcome! Deep bedding can work well in the run. Old clippings might be fine, but not if there's mold. The birds will have a good time scratching and turning over the bedding, but lots of mold is not okay. Here in Michigan, those clippings would be mulch by now! Bagged shavings are great, and consider the dirt run a compost producing space, and chicken entertainment. Some herbicides last longer too; do you use a weed and feed type product? Not good for the birds either. Mary
 

RonP

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 4, 2014
2,197
1,304
281
New Jersey, "The Garden State"
Grass clippings are considered a green in the composting world, high in nitrogen.

Chicken manure is considered a "hot" green, very high in nitrogen.

You may want to offset the greens with some "browns", high carbon materials, like wood chips.

Too much nitrogen + moisture = foul odors...

Do a quick search on cold composting.
 

IDchicks

In the Brooder
May 4, 2015
18
0
24
Hailey, Idaho
Thanks for the input - I have started reading about the Deep Litter method and very interested- I'll check the grass pile for mold, we don't use any weed/feed type products on our grass. I'll get some wood (pine) chips to mix in, too... and just start and see how things go... I"m sure I'll have quesitons once I get into it a bit. I like the option for our winters and for the composted soil benefits for gardens!
 

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