Coop bedding

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KDOGG331, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Flock Master

    Jan 18, 2008
    Okay so I've been using pine or aspen shavings, mostly pine, for my chickens since I got them last year and it's working out well for us. I like them because the ones I get at our feed store are nice and soft and fluffy and help keep them warm in winter, especially when I pile them deep.

    But I just saw chopped straw at tractor supply.

    They've always had it but I never really read it, it's the compressed bales, says it's good for chicken coops.

    I've heard of people using straw or hay in coops and runs but went with shavings since it seemed easier and i had heard mites were more likely to occur with straw/hay. Is this true?

    However I've also heard the straw and hay holds the heat well because it's hollow. Also heard certain kinds compost well and some don't.

    So I guess I'm just wondering if anybody uses hay or straw (chopped or not) in their coops/runs or with other animals and if they like it? Or if anyone uses something else. Considered sand too. Is it possible or a good idea to maybe mix wood shavings with straw?
  2. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    I tried straw a few years ago when I first got chickens. And it was pretty awful, it makes a huge mess. And seems to get moldy and musty quickly from the chickens water spilling on it. It can be really dusty too which defiantly isn't good for the chickens. I like pelleted pine bedding the best and pine shavings are good too. You can try straw and see how it works for you. If it doesn't then just switch back to your old bedding. But personally I think sticking with pine shavings would be best.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I"m not a huge fan of straw overall. For me, it's not that absorbent, it tends to mat together and make a slimy mess.

    Now, that said, this is baled straw. Chopped straw, I'm thinking the smaller pieces wouldn't mat together. Still not really absorbent, I don't think, but you could try it and see how it works for you. I have lots of birds and live in a very moist area. It may not be as much of a concern for you, depending on your area and density of birds.

    I do like a mixed bedding. If you want to try adding some to the shavings, I say go for it. It's not really going to hurt anything, and then you'd be able to answer the next person's question [​IMG]
  4. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    I use both shavings and straw (and dried tree leaves, when I can get them). Shavings are the expensive option for me, so I only use them in smaller spaces where I want to extend the time between cleanings. I get straw and leaves for free so I use them a lot wherever I can. The older birds love to root through dried leaves looking for bugs and seeds. If they were shredded, I'm sure even young ones would do fine with leaves. If cost were no consideration, I would use shavings and add leaves as I had them for entertainment, but straw works ok for me too.
  5. I use Sand...I think it is fantastic....Easy to clean with a kitty litter scoop and a pail...No stink...

    Dani & Mikey likes this.
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Flock Master

    Jan 18, 2008
    Great input and I love reading everyone's opinions so thanks :)

    It almost sounds like it might be more trouble than it's worth but I might try mixing some, couldn't hurt anything I suppose.

    I only have 8 chickens and it's relatively dry here so I don't know if moisture would be an issue or not. It does rain and has a lot lately but not every day or anything. I'm in Massachusetts.

    I also don't keep anything in the run, all food and water is outside, so I'm thinking that might make it less likely to get moldy and slimey?

    I can see how it could get gross in the run or otherwise exposed to water though.

    Maybe I'll just try mixing them.

    I thought about using sand but wasn't entirely sure. Maybe I'll try it. I did add some to the run though.

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