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cold weather bedding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bushdad, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. bushdad

    bushdad Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2016
    I live in Michigan which gets below -0 in winter and wondered what the best bedding is,straw or wood chips ?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    My favorite bedding here is dry leaves. I pick them up from folks who rake and bag them. Works out good for me: free bedding, and I don't have to rake it. Works out food for folks with leaves: they don't have to haul them to the dump. I find that leaves are not as apt to turn into a frozen chunk the way straw or shavings do. With a little (maybe a lot) of hustling, I can collect enough to last me a year. I also use those leaves in the garden, compost, on the hugelkulture mound, in the orchard, chicken run, and any where else I want to suppress weeds and build fertility.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I like free. There is just something that sounds good about that word.

    There are a lot of things that will work; straw, hay, wood shavings, and leaves immediately come to mind. If the chickens need to, and they usually don’t, they can snuggle down in them and stay warm. I’ll emphasize, they generally don’t need to. Sand and wood chips will also work as bedding but they can’t snuggle down in them as well.

    I don’t know how you manage your bedding. Do you clean it our weekly or maybe once a year? Do you compost it or put it directly in your garden in the fall like I’m about to do? What’s readily available and inexpensive? Does your coop get wet so it needs to dry? To me there are a lot of things more important about deciding which bedding to choose than trying to help keep them warm. With a dry well-ventilated coop with wind protection they don’t need bedding to help keep them warm.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I use shavings but than start to add in some hay. I toss in slabs for them to forage through, than it becomes a good thick layer that gets them off the floor. As needed I toss another slab in. During the warm months I go back to just shavings as hay can mold in warm weather.
     

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