Can my hens have pine needles

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Easter eggers, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Easter eggers

    Easter eggers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 4, 2011
    I was just wondering because I live in a place with a lot of pine trees and a couple of my hens ate 1 or 2?
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I put pine needles in my chicken run. I've not seen them eat any but I suppose one or two might have gone down the hatch.

    Just keep an eye on them.

    I tried straw once and my JG ate it and got sour crop bad. So I don't do straw but I know many others do without any issue.
  3. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    I often use pine needles. Occasionally it seems to colour the droppings rusty red (as they're poking through looking for insects), but in general I can't see any harm. What does cause a problem though are the pine cones, which here (these are common plantation pines) seem to cause bumblefoot. They're covered in prickles. Sigh!

    But the needles are working well. When it rains, droppings are flushed through and the top seems to stay relatively clean. Lasts about 6 months if not scratched off. [​IMG]
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    I try to gather ALL of my litter from the curbside in the fall and spring. Its free, other than the gasoline. Oak leaves are my first choice, they last the longest and seem to do a really good job keeping down odor, I suspect due to the tannin. Pine needles would be my second choice, but they're not very plentiful here, we have mostly broadleaved trees in this particular part of Michigan.
  5. sunnyvera

    sunnyvera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2010
    NE Ohio
  6. 1AcreRooster

    1AcreRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens live under several pine trees, the needles have never bothered them. They love to scratch up the little worms that seem to thrive under the needles. I think it helps with odor control as well.

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