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Hay in the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tedabug, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. tedabug

    tedabug Songster

    May 2, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Summer's here and the run is dry, but covered in poop. They have shavings in the enclosed part and grass outside. I have a newer bale of hay sitting around and I'm thinking of either using it in the run over the grass or in the coop. I saw a post once where a hen ate a bunch of hay and they had to cut it out of her throat. Mine go crazy when they see the hay because it's something new and Im worried they will eat it. What are your thoughts? Do you have hay in the coop? The grass is starting to look pretty beat up and you can't walk on it without stepping on poop. They are let out of this structure for part of the day to run around. When I say you can't walk without stepping on poop, I mean me! The grassy area outside of the structure you see in the picture is what I'm thinking of covering in hay...

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    If you don't move your coop around like a tractor, after the grass dies, I would highly recommend SAND! I use it and I'm so happy with that. I just take a little kitty litter scoop and clean up the poop daily, and it does stay nice and fresh. And if it gets wet, it's no big deal because it drains and eventually dries up nicely.

    Hay gets moldy quick, especially if it gets damp, so that's not recommended, but if you're good about cleaning it up, you can use it. My chickens never choked on any hay. I used some for a while because I got a sweet deal on it. But I now use wood shaving inside the coop, and sand in the run.
  3. team_realtree

    team_realtree Songster

    Jun 28, 2009
    I used hay in my coop so far this year. I no longer have any more but I wish I did. No they shouldn`t eat hay unless it was baled wet and is still wet and green. Depending on the type of hay you are using they might eat the tops if it has already gone to seed.
  4. turtlebird

    turtlebird Songster

    Dec 11, 2009
    No hay
    Use sand, then you can rake the poops out!
  5. tedabug

    tedabug Songster

    May 2, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    This is an old picture. We were moving it around, but we ended up with a bad mouse problem. They were digging under and eating ALL the food so now the whole coop and run has a plywood bottom on it. Yes, I was going to switch to sand in the coop and run part. I've put a cover on the run extension so it will stay mostly dry. The area I have a problem with is outside the whole structure. The part I have to walk around in to change out food and water and clean. I would love playground bark chips, but don't want to spend any more $$$ on these birds. These eggs are getting quite expensive! Could I use hay just in the summer around the outside of the structure? Sand would be too expensive for the whole 30ft. x 10 ft. area.
  6. Hugerat

    Hugerat In the Brooder

    May 14, 2010
    Sand is pretty cheep maybe 20-25 per yard plus delivery. For 300 square feet you would need about 4 yards for sand 4 inches thick.
  7. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    I use hay in my coops without any problems. My chickens don't even look at it like it's edible, although they do free range 18 hours a day on 40 acres, so that may have something to do w/ why they leave it alone.

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