floor coverings

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by donaltman3, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. donaltman3

    donaltman3 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a couple of questions about floor coverings. I see most people recommending the use of store bought pine shavings. in the brooder and coop.. and hay or straw being mentioned for use in the laying basket area.
    Being fro south Georgia I have pine trees everywhere. Would pinestraw (needles) do the same and would they be appropriate in either location? And I also have a wood chipper.... could I just chip some pine branches and use that on the floor?

    Is there a reason people don't use cedar? My wife loves cedar for the smell and suggested we use it, but I haven't seen anyone mention it here on the forums.

    I have some diatomaceous earth to sprinkle along the floor as well inside the coop.
     
  2. donaltman3

    donaltman3 Out Of The Brooder

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    In the run part of my coop I plant to do the back 1/4 coarse grain masonry sand with a boarder and the front 3/4 will be just dirt with compost with lawn clippings and stuff for them to scratch and dig through. But I'm not sure which area should I try to hand a roosting bar over.. the composting organic side.. or the sand area.
     
  3. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, I think you can use pine needles, or chipped wood. Whatever you have. Why buy something when you have a free alternative...
    My husband is a wood turner, and I have lots of hardwood shavings, and so I use those on the floor of my coop. For the nest boxes i use grass (hay) left behind after mowing the pasture, and dried.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Nope, you can't use that wood chipper at all. In fact, just having it on your property could cause injury to your birds. You need to ship it out to me immediately, to keep your birds safe and all....I'll happily risk my own animal's safety just to be sure yours are secure [​IMG]

    All kidding aside....Yep, your own will be fine. Not sure how fine the chips are? Some larger pieces can be uncomfortable for the birds to walk on, that's why most folks go with shavings. Plus, buying in a bag from the store is most convenient for those of us who still don't have a wood chipper of our very own [​IMG].

    I do know cedar isn't advised for small caged critters, as the wood gives off a fume or oil or something that's not good for them. I think with chickens, it's going to be about density. How large your coop is, and how much cedar you're using. I wouldn't pile a small coop full of the stuff, but mixing it in with pine or whatever else you have should be fine.

    Pine needles will be okay, again they're not always the most comfortable as a solid footing, but birds love to hang out under pine trees and scratch through all the old debris.

    As to your roost---I think it depends on how often you want to clean poop. I don't use sand, but my understanding is it needs to be scooped fairly often. I do deep bedding in my coop, and don't scoop poop too often. So, were it me, I'd put the roost over the compost side and just turn the poop in to the compost every so often.
     
  5. donaltman3

    donaltman3 Out Of The Brooder

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    It is actually a finer chip than what I see being sold as shavings... its about 1/4 inch flakes.
     
  6. Yaychicks

    Yaychicks Just Hatched

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    I wouldn't use cedar unless it's so diluted by other wood types as to be indistinguishable. The aromatic oils can irritate the lungs, and as much as chickens scratch and raise dust, I wouldn't do it.
     
  7. donaltman3

    donaltman3 Out Of The Brooder

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    I just through they might like to have some coarse sand for dusting purpose. I plan to do a deep compost are as well.. maybe I could make the sandy area even a bit smaller. My run is 3.5 foot by 7. Maybe I'll just do a 16x16 square inch sand box.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  8. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

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    well how many chickens do/will you have and are they standard size or bantams? Mine often like to dust bathe together.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If what you are referring to as cedar is Eastern red cedar, it's really a juniper and not a true cedar, therefore okay for chickens, though I would let it season before using as a bedding if you are chipping it freshly cut.

    Western red cedar is the main villain by which cedar gets its bad rep for poultry. Juniper is called "cedar" by locals, but isn't really. I have nine different junipers where I live, and locals refer to all of them as "cedar".

    The "bad" cedars include white cedar (Thuja occindentalis), Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) and western red cedar (Thuja plicata). It's the phenols in the cedar that cause respiratory problems in poultry, reptiles, small mammals and humans, and that would depend on how enclosed the space is and how much ventilation there is. Used with good ventilation, I imagine the problems would be minimal, but chicks have such delicate respiratory systems, I would avoid it in their brooders.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My birds dust bathe just fine in the compost/deep bedding part of the coop...

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    but what they really, truly love and seek out are wood ashes. A day or so after we have a burn pile, I have this.....

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