hay for bedding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by littleloveblue, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. littleloveblue

    littleloveblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2011
    I have a new coop we just finished building. We used The Garden Coop plans. I have pine shaving on the inside box and I'm using the deep litter method. The outside part of the coop (which is still covered by a roof) is much larger though (we expanded on the plans). The floor is dirt, but it seemed to be getting gross pretty fast. It would take a lot of pine shavings to cover, so I bought some hay. Does anyone else use hay? Can you use the deep litter method with it? The area is covered but more exposed to the elements, like water, than the box which stays dry but it also has more air circulation to dry out. We always used hay in horse stalls growing up, but I guess it was mucked out and replaced when it got bad. Can I stir it up and add more on top? It gets packed down but will it compost like the shavings?

    Any advice or other suggestions appreciated!

    Cary... new to chickens, with 8 sweet gals:)
  2. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    After the chickens removed all the grass from their run and we had a very wet spring, the run got extremely muddy and I used some hay to help with that. Unfortunately, the hay olny helped temporarily and then it became more of a problem as it started to decompose and was squishy to walk on and held water and never dried out. I am in the process of converting the whole thing to sand. If you intend to compost and can clean out the hay in the run regularly (weekly maybe???), it might be okay. But it really doesn't work well long term in my experience. I truly wish I had just gone with sand from the start.
  3. pjknust

    pjknust Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    I use hay in my hen house, I dont have a run. My whole yard is their run. a couple yrs ago we had lots of rain and my hen house (dirt floor) was a bog! I started adding hay. I keep it really deep in hay and it works great for me. I only clean under the roosts every now and then, I just keep adding hay, they scratch it around and it just dissappears, I add more. Right now its $10 a bale!

    pam in TX
  4. littleloveblue

    littleloveblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2011
    thanks pam, that is helpful to know:) i guess i should have added that they do spend most of the day in the yard right now. we only keep them in if we aren't around and of course at night!

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