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Choosing bedding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SandraMort, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    I'd like to try to choose a bedding now so I can start to price it before I move. I need something that I can buy in bulk for the DLM. I'd prefer it was easily biodegradable so I can compost it for the garden and I'm told that wood chips don't break down well. Does straw work or is it not absorbant enough? What else can I use?
     
  2. brooster

    brooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    There was a thread on this the other day, shavings are the best.
     
  3. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    What subject, which board? I didn't see anything on composting...

    Quote:
     
  4. brooster

    brooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    Not on composting, but it is best for chickens, i use it and it composts good enough,you can just throw it in the garden and turn it over. I keep my compost pile wet and it composts good, but if it is dry it doesnt compost well.
     
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I use about 6 to 8 inches of straw in the winter and pine shavings in the summer. Here a huge bag of pine shavings 3 cubic feet compacted runs me about $5.99 and a bale of straw about $5
     
  6. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    vermont
    Quote:most people use wood shavings. those take about two years to break down completely when composted, though. chips take much, much longer.

    straw is not only not absorbent, but it can harbour pests and grow lots of potentially toxic moulds. some people do use hay or straw, though, so it can be done. it just needs to be done carefully. be observant about the condition of your bedding so that you can head off problems before they start. where i live, straw is pretty expensive. hay is cheaper, but getting more expensive all the time and has the same problems that straw has.

    other possibilities:
    corn cob bedding (expensive)
    newspaper pellet bedding (very expensive, but crazy absorbent and biodegrades really quickly)
    peat moss (expensive and getting more expensive all the time; deoderizes and needs almost no time to compost- ready when the poo is broken down)
    shredded paper (cheap or free, depending on whether you own your own shredder and have a lot of junk mail; isn't absorbent; composts readily)
    sand (cheap; drains but doesn't absorb)
     
  7. ccrecelius

    ccrecelius Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2008
    French Lick, Indiana
    Extremely informative Ravenfeathers. It wasn't my questions, but I sure do appreciate that you answered it!
     
  8. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    Quote:Oooh. Allergic to mold. Next idea!

    other possibilities:
    corn cob bedding (expensive)
    newspaper pellet bedding (very expensive, but crazy absorbent and biodegrades really quickly)
    peat moss (expensive and getting more expensive all the time; deoderizes and needs almost no time to compost- ready when the poo is broken down)
    shredded paper (cheap or free, depending on whether you own your own shredder and have a lot of junk mail; isn't absorbent; composts readily)
    sand (cheap; drains but doesn't absorb)

    Do I need to use all one kind of bedding? Can I take (for example) two or three inches of newspaper pellet bedding and add some more of something every time I go into the barn? If "newspaper pellets" are absorbant, why wouldn't shredded newspaper be? I could have all my local relatives/friends save their newspapers for me, that would be very economical.​
     
  9. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    vermont
    oh, and i forgot wood pellets, although i'm not sure if anyone uses that for poultry? anyone? they're readily available (as fuel for pellet stoves), fairly absorbent, but i'm going to guess they have a compost time similar to wood shavings. i'm afraid i'm pretty ignorant about this type of bedding.

    i also should mention that some people have concerns about heavy metals in inks and don't use shredded paper or newsprint-based bedding for that reason.

    there are other, specialty beddings and litters available, but most of them are going to be quite pricey, mostly due to the boutique nature of the product. extol, anyone? [​IMG]

    Do I need to use all one kind of bedding? Can I take (for example) two or three inches of newspaper pellet bedding and add some more of something every time I go into the barn? If "newspaper pellets" are absorbant, why wouldn't shredded newspaper be? I could have all my local relatives/friends save their newspapers for me, that would be very economical.

    no, use as many types as you like! when i have a horse foaling or recovering from surgery, i use shavings as a bottom layer and straw as a top layer, because the straw doesn't absorb fluids, but it also doesn't stick to wounds or newborns.

    the reason the pellets are more absorbent than the flat newsprint is because of the pelleting process. it's the pellet that absorbs and expands, rather than the material itself. does that make sense? i think it makes more sense in my head than it does "out loud". [​IMG]

    i should add that i know several people who use shredded paper of all types with good results. aethetically, it doesn't appeal to me and i prefer something that will soak up wetness, but it is extremely economical!​
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  10. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    Quote:SO glad you said that, I'd forgotten that dh asked me to find out the difference between those and Equine Pine (wood shaving dustless pellets).

    i also should mention that some people have concerns about heavy metals in inks and don't use shredded paper or newsprint-based bedding for that reason.

    Ooooooh. Good to know. I'll have to look more into that.

    i should add that i know several people who use shredded paper of all types with good results. aethetically, it doesn't appeal to me and i prefer something that will soak up wetness, but it is extremely economical!

    Very nice. Yes, economical is my first choice.​
     

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