Hay in coop? And other coop advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Marissao717, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Marissao717

    Marissao717 Hatching

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    I put pine shavings in the built-in roost should I have anything at the bottom of my coop. It's now all mud.
    What do you use for watering chickens? It gets old rinsing out they watering thing and filling it up-
    Also when you supplement do you use a feeder or just throw for pecking?
    My chickens are 12ish weeks old and I'm new to this! Thank you!
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

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    Okay so first you are talking about the run (the outdoors part) right? I like hay to to help with the mud. Just put a pile and the hens will scratch it and spread it around.

    I use regular waterers.. a five gallon and a one gallon on opposite ends of the run. Depending on your space you can use a bigger waterer or if you are close to a spigot there are ways to use nipple waterers but someone else will have to comment on that.

    Supplement as in scratch and scraps? Scratch I throw all over so they can "scratch" for it (hence the name). Depending on what the scraps are I will put them in a pan, like if its something watery/moist/runny, or I will just dump them on the ground in a fairly clean spot if its things like veggie peels and egg shells.
     
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  3. Marissao717

    Marissao717 Hatching

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    Jun 22, 2017
    Bethlehem, GA

    Yes run, lol! All great ideas I have some hay I'll go spread it right now. Thank you!
     
  4. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

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    Just to give you different ideas, I use raked up leaves in my run during the fall/winter. Then in summer I use grass clippings. They decompose a lot quicker than hay and they makes new dirt. I used to have hay but when I walked on it, it just sank in the mud. Then when it dried out, it was really hard to rake the old hay up to clean out the run.
     
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  5. Marissao717

    Marissao717 Hatching

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    Jun 22, 2017
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    Thank you so much!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    @Dmontgomery do you use fresh green grass clippings?
    If so, any problems with gorging causing impacted crops ....or white molds on clippings?
     
  7. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

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    I usually let it dry out a day or so, but not longer than that. I use a 54" "lawn sweeper" to coolest the cuttings. I've never had a problem with impacted crop, not yet anyway. I've watched them and they don't even seem to be eating the grass. They just scratch around in it mostly, looking for insects.
    I've never seen any mold either. I mow after all the dew is gone and rake it up after any dew has dried, so the grass is never damp. I don't know if that makes a difference.
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I think it does make a difference.

    I have seen them gorge on shorter fresh cuttings, think because they are confined they do go nuts for moist greenery, so they get very few if any. Haven't had impacted crops, but have seen whole grass in droppings.

    I do much the same as you, but let the 'grass' get rather tall(6-12") before cutting, spread it out with discharge pattern, then let dry a few days. If weather is cooperative, I'll use discharge pattern again to push it into rows then rake up and use as 'hay' in the run.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    I use hay in the run and in the coop. I keep a pitchfork there, and occasionally pile it back up again, allowing areas to dry out and allowing birds to scratch through it again. In the spring, I take this hay and use it as mulch on the garden. The chicken greatly reduce the weed seed load. Sometimes I sprinkle scratch on it, in the coop, which will make the chickens turn the hay over, and freshen the coop.

    I do live in a semi arid climate. I think climate has a great deal to do with how you manage your coop/run. What works in one place may not work in another.

    In the winter I use black rubber bowls for water, as they freeze and I can stomp them out. In the summer, I use a 5 gallon bucket with nipples as I can keep more water available to the birds. However, it still has to be changed regularly as it get a green algae growing in it.

    Mrs K
     
  10. You might try adding a little apple cider vinegar (ACV) to the water, it'll stop or reduce algae growth and provide added nutrition.
     

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