Curious about hay/straw bales

3KillerBs

Addict
13 Years
Jul 10, 2009
19,297
55,210
1,266
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I use intact straw bales in my run. They make good wind baffles in the winter and are useful clutter all year round. If you cut one tie the chickens will have a blast tearing the bale apart over the next several weeks so that makes a great boredom-buster.

However, I will add two very important notes:
I have exceedingly, even excessively well-drained, sandy soil. Thus the bales never sit in a puddle (though they do grown mushrooms sometimes after heavy rain.​
When the bale has deteriorated I do not spread it in the chicken run, I spread it in my garden. While spreading it I make sure to wear a mask and then I water it down well to wash spores into the ground.​

Your mileage may vary. :)
 

Scottin8a

Chirping
Mar 1, 2021
10
38
50
Ive been reading about having a straw bale or hay bale in the run area for chickens to play on and snack on. Any thoughts or reccommendations?
I buy hay bails every year for garden and chickens. I tear apart the bails and cover the runs a few inches deep with it. In a week or three I use it in the garden for mulch. The chickens remove most of the weed seeds and add a bit of fertilizer to it. It will add some weed seeds to your garden but is very manageable and any molded hay goes to the compost pile.
 

CKfarm22

Crowing
Jul 8, 2021
1,222
1,705
261
Central NJ
Ive been reading about having a straw bale or hay bale in the run area for chickens to play on and snack on. Any thoughts or reccommendations?
No!! Straw and hay bale will mold and it will get your chickens sick! Although some are worried about pine shavings having toxins, it worked for us. They like to dig around in the shavings!
 

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