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Crushed Straw

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickensforkids, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. chickensforkids

    chickensforkids Out Of The Brooder

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    I bought crushed straw for the nesting boxes. I like it because it is soft, fluffy, and it goes in the boxes well. Unforutnately it appears as though the hens are eating it. Their poop has been full of straw like pieces since shortly after I started using it. The poop is way harder to clean up, but mainly I'm concerned that they could get sick from eating the straw. Thoughts?
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    It maybe a lot like grass to them. Chickens do eat grass. Make sure they get plenty of greens (could be in the form of veggie scraps) or allow to graze on grass along with their regular feed. Make sure they also have access to free choice grit in a separate dish at all times to avoid impacted or sour crop. If it is a big problem with the bedding you may need to do something else. I use pine shavings and there are others out there that say they are having great luck with sand.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    is it actual straw, that is almost inedible, being only the remaining stems of oats after they are harvested, or is it grass hay, which I give my chickens to pick through and eat, your chickens are craving roughage or grasses, do they have access to any green material.
     
  4. chickensforkids

    chickensforkids Out Of The Brooder

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    The straw is very fine and chopped up, it resembles hay but I believe that it is all straw. I live in the Northeast so there isn't much for greens available outdoors right now. They can't free range where I live, but I give them tons of greens when they're in season. Right now I give them any green scraps that I have from the house.

    Should I take out the straw and just use shavings so they're not eating it?
     
  5. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Honestly in my opinion I would replace the straw. If they are eating it I would be concerned with crop issues being that straw is so tough to digest not to mention it has no nutrition.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I probably would switch to shavings and see if they try eating them, I find it odd your hens are eating it, I'm not sure if it would cause problems. What are you feeding them as far as ration.
     
  7. chickensforkids

    chickensforkids Out Of The Brooder

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    I mix together a layer pellet and a starter because I have mixed ages. I have only noticed the younger group eating it, but their is straw in the poop under both of the roosts so I suspect that it may be both groups.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Not sure why straw in poop would make it harder to clean up.

    What exactly is the 'chopped straw' product?

    I just use regular straw for nests, shove a whole flake in there and hollow out a 'bowl'.
    Never seen them eat any of it.

    Not good to mix layer and starter together for a mixed age flock.

    Just feed the starter and have oyster shell available in a separate dish for the layers.
    My Feeding Notes: I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I agree with aart, just feed straight starter, they may be needing more in their diet, scratch can be thrown out a handful a couple times a day, scratch is for behavioral enrichment. It could be the start of a deficiency.
     
  10. chickensforkids

    chickensforkids Out Of The Brooder

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