Hay for bedding

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by davef72, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    The only suggestion I would add: I think it's important to give chicks (and for that matter, chickens) access to grit, if they are getting hay, or for that matter, no matter what they have available to forage in. If they have access to the outdoors, they can pick up grit in most environments unless the ground is frozen!
     
  2. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    @lazy gardener I started last weekend feeding them grit too.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Long loose pieces of grass or hay can impact a crop if they gorge on it .....and grit won't help there.
    How old are your birds....I'm assuming they are young chicks?
    Make sure crop is empty in mornings.

    Even when I give my adult birds some hay, it shows up in their droppings......
    .....not sure they digest it well, no teeth or rumen.
     
  4. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    @aart

    They are almost 9 weeks old now. I don't think they "gorge" on it. I've only seen it in a little poop. They mostly forage through the hay looking for insects.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Any hay or grass that has long, stiff stems could pose a potential danger if chickens ingest enough of it. The crop, by the way, is located on the chicken's right side of the breast as you would consider your right side of your chest.

    Chickens, however, rarely ingest enough to cause crop impaction as long as there are other things to eat. Access to fresh clean water at all times is the best preventative. Chickens mostly have the good taste to focus on the tender leaves of hay and the tender new shoots of grasses.

    I wouldn't be too concerned.
     
  6. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    @azygous I appreciate the information. I was very concerned at first, but after reading most people's posts on here, I feel much better. I'm not as concerned as I originally was.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Moderation and observation takes care of most everything.
     
  8. doubleott

    doubleott Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering about that myself, as I have been putting hay in the nesting boxes, seeings how I get round bales for the horses and donkeys. And I've noticed the nesting boxes keep being empty of hay every couple days. As I'm new to chickens it surprised me. I also see my ducks eating the hay.
     
  9. DIY Chick

    DIY Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    I've used hay in my nesting boxes for a couple years now, replacing it with fresh every couple of months. The hens sometimes kick it out into the coop, but rarely do I see them eating any of it. (I use pine shavings on the floor of my coop.) If your nesting hay is scattered about, then they're probably kicking it around. If it is missing entirely, they may be eating it. Do they have access to other feed? Seems like they'd prefer a protein-enriched layer feed to hay........?
     
  10. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    @DIY Chick

    My girls are 3 months old today or 13 weeks.

    I feed them a 22% protein layer crumb

    Snacks include veggies from our table as well as bread and mealworms for treats.

    I occasionally see them eat the hay, but they mostly scratch at it looking for bugs.
     

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