Dumb question: did i get too much straw?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by egglicious, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. egglicious

    egglicious Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2011
    I am very VERY new to the urban farm, or any farm thing and purchased my first bale of straw today to put as bedding in my run. Well, I got home and spread it all out after the chooks went to bed, so it was getting dark. I made a really thick layer of the stuff and barely scratched the surface of that bale! So... can I just leave the bale in the run to be spread out later? I live in the northwest and it does get wet but the run is covered. Do I need to bag up the unused stray and put it away? This is crazy.. what the heck do I do with all this straw?! Thanks in advance. [​IMG]
  2. Little One

    Little One Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2011
    SE Virginia
    If it gets wet, it will get moldy. Store it somewhere dry if possible, at least covered and elevated off the ground. We were using hay the first few months, (already had it around because of our horses) but just switched over a few days ago to pine bedding, which is thin pine shavings sold to be used in stables. It is so much easier to clean up in the coop. Using a hand shovel you can just scoop out the poopy clumps, almost like a litter box. The problem with the hay was that it would have to all be cleaned out and replaced, plus the wet poops made it start to mold after a few days. They still like hay in their nest boxes, though.
  3. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Put the bale against a wall of your interior coop area for winter insulation if you have the extra space.
    It will stay dry, and give them something to do. [​IMG]
    I buy a bale for my rabbit hutch (2 stories) and store it in the garage, packing his hutch before each storm with fresh hay. I just fill a bucket full and bring it from the garage. Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  4. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    pine bedding is easier and cheaper i feel. but anyway just keep the straw bale dry and it'll b fine.
  5. OneTenthAcreAndAChicken

    OneTenthAcreAndAChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 10, 2011
    San Diego
    It's also really good for mulch if you keep a garden. And for that purpose it doesn't matter if it gets a little moldy. Helps to keep the weeds down and the water in. We use pine shavings in the coop and the run is just dirt.

    I'm thinking I might put a layer of straw down in the run during the rainy season to keep it from getting muddy.
  6. egglicious

    egglicious Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2011
    Thank you all for the replies. I can't really change to shavings as the straw is already down. I used it because I need to keep the mud down. :) I think I will bag up the straw tomorrow. I hope it doesn't get gross sitting on the run floor!
  7. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I always end up using at least one bale of straw to keep the mud down during the winter as the snow melts off and on. It will not be wasted. And even if the chickens end up spreading it all over the run now, they will have done the work for you and you will appreciate the straw to walk on after the first wet day. If you can keep it dry you'll still end up using it for either bedding or to keep the mud down. No harm, no foul...fowl?
  8. egglicious

    egglicious Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2011
    So, do you leave the extra straw in the run? I'm worried because since I put it down right at dusk it is just sitting on the run floor which is kinda wet. Sigh.. I can't really move it now since it's dark. If I leave it in there it will be under cover but may get wet underneath when it rains or from the dew in the morning...[​IMG]
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Just leave it there for now, and get a load of sand to dump in the run to help with the mud problems.
  10. bustermommy

    bustermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    I took a tiny bit out of the bale I had for my garden and my chickens had a great time with the rest. They spread it out very nicely and still go out and dig through it to make sure they didn't miss any seeds or worms hiding underneath. Great entertainment for them. Not intended, but oh well. And it does keep the mud down since they spread it on the path to the coop.

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