1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hay ~vs~ Shavings

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Salt and Light, May 28, 2008.

  1. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    0
    129
    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    I am wondering if hay wouldn't be a cheaper and better alternative than using wood shavings. Any input????
     
  2. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    401
    9
    121
    May 23, 2008
    vermont
    hay isn't absorbent, easily grows mold and mildew, is dusty, and is a bloody mess to clean up. it could be more cost effective, especially if you have a local source for mulch hay, but i personally wouldn't trade the effectiveness of shavings for the inexpense of hay. i've used straw as bedding for post surgery and post foaling with my horses and i always do a little happy dance when i can go back to straight shavings.

    try it, see what you think. just beware of damp and mold, which could kill your chickens. you have to be nasty neat if you're going to use hay as bedding material.
     
  3. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Whatever the cost difference, if any, shavings are still worth it.
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    I plan on using straw because we get it for 2 bucks a bundle close by us. Otherwise I would use pine shavings too. If it's to much to clean up I will go to pine shavings...it may cost more but I don't think I will be cleaning the coop as often as I do the straw. I will find out in a few weeks [​IMG]
     
  5. WrenAli

    WrenAli Chillin' With My Peeps

    190
    0
    129
    May 4, 2008
    Lebanon, OR
    I have had luck with using hay/straw and shavings together in my horse stalls. I imagine it would work for chickens as well.
     
  6. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    0
    129
    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    I am totally clueless about this whole chicken thing <lol>, but I don't really understand not cleaning the coop everyday, or ever other day or whatever it needs. My son cleans our neighbor's horse stalls EVERY day. What am I missing??

    Would the hay also provide good forage for the birds? Keep in mind, I am clueless so I'm just sort of "stretchin' my wings here".
     
  7. bayouchica

    bayouchica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi, I'd be careful in using hay.I used to use it for my nestboxes only to find my hens chowing down on it. :mad: It did lead to some of them having impacted crops.I only use wheat straw now.
     
  8. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    401
    9
    121
    May 23, 2008
    vermont
    Quote:the other thing you have to know to use straw is what type of straw it is (i assume you know, since it's all over the place around you!) i wouldn't use rye straw for any animal application whatsoever, as it could harbour ergot, a fatally toxic fungus.
     
  9. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    0
    129
    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Well, I'm glad I asked!! I won't be using hay!!!.
     
  10. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I use straw for ducks and geese - the shavings just don't have the staying power required for these messy critters. I have learned that you cannot really deep straw with waterfowl - gets stinky pretty fast. Shavings are about the same price as straw, but I only use them if I run out. In my opinion the straw is easier to clean up, plus the donkeys like to lay in it. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by