chopped straw for bedding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mommyp, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. mommyp

    mommyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Vestal
    I just finished reading a great book on chickens and the author recommended something I had not heard of before . Using chopped straw over cedar shavings for pullets. This may sound dumb but is ther a simple way to chop straw? We are not really farmers ( we have chickens rabbits goats and an alpaca) so we don't have traditional farming equipment.Maybe the answer is simple and My hubbie and I are tired so the obvious escapes us but if someone has an idea we would be very grateful. thanks
     
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    My opinion is NO.
    Hay or straw can get mouldy and cause "breeder pneumonia" which can kill your chicks.
    The cedar has oils which can irritate their little lungs.
    I used cedar, only a few chips in with shredded newspaper in the rabbit hutch/chicken coop.
     
  3. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    What about those tall grasses? The Miscanthus type? I cut them down every spring, could I use them chopped up for coop floor? Or should I just pitch them into the compost pile? just wondering...
     
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Pine shaving are the best thing to use in the coop, just can't be beat. Grasses and straw work well in the nest boxes, providing they are good and dry.

    bigzio
     
  5. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Thanks for that answer, Bigzio I appreciate it.
     
  6. mommyp

    mommyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info. The author recommended the chopped straw for a small flock.And says that weekly your chores are minimal . Also this is for started chickens not chicks. I agree about the pine being the best for the babies. I am just looking for something to make chores easier for my little guys who have chickens for 4-h.:)She says to remove the stinky straw weekly and stir up the cedar chips to keep it dry. I know moisture can be a problem but the pine shavings can get damp also. I know some is preference but here in upstate NY we get lots of rain and so smell and moisture are a continuous battle. It is soooo worth it though. Who knew we would love chickens so much mom included:)
     
  7. MarkR

    MarkR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Ivy, Virginia
    Use your push mower to run over the straw a few times. . .instant chopped straw. But you don't have to really. I've used my miscanthus as straw before when I cut it in late winter and it was fine. I chopped that up because it was 7 feet tall, but with normal hay or straw I wouldn't bother really.

    I like pine shavings when I can get them (other than in those small bales for your hamster, you need more than that), but straw is fine.

    Note: do this away from your coop. It's amazing how the most sensible chickens will go through anything to get as far away as possible. Then you'll spend several hours trying to herd up your flock of suddenly paranoid hens out of the woods.

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
  8. mommyp

    mommyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much Mark . I knew the solution was probably simple we just could not wrap our brain around it. We are currently using just pine shavings in the 4 cubic ft. bales. I guess we'll continue till we figure this out. What do you think about cedar helping protect against parasites?Thanks mommyp
     
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Cedar is really great for ticks and fleas, but I used only a bit in my hutch...If I was going to use it in the chicken pen, I'd probably use 1/2 bale of cedar to 3 of pine, and stir well.
     
  10. mommyp

    mommyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks spotted crow. That makes sense .Especially because pine is so much cheaper:) This our 3rd year with chickens and we are trying to tweak. But I guess if it ain't broke dont't fix it. Mommy P
     

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