Hemp for Coop Bedding

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HappyFarmGirl, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. HappyFarmGirl

    HappyFarmGirl In the Brooder

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    Anyone out there had any experience with hemp bedding? I think my girls have mites. They have picked at themselves and each other to the point their backs and vent areas are featherless. I’ve read that the hemp may help rid them? Thank you.
     
    ValerieJ likes this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Sorry @HappyFarmGirl but hemp bedding will not get rid of mites.
    How to check for bugs below.
    Many things can cause picking.

    Like crowding.
    How big is your coop and run, in feet by feet?
    Dimensions and pics would be most helpful.

    Also how old are these birds?....and....

    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    upload_2019-8-15_9-41-16.png


    Bugs check
    Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
     
  3. HappyFarmGirl

    HappyFarmGirl In the Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2018
    Southern Vermont
    So, I Did a pre-dawn inspection and roost wipe and NOTHING. I currently have 25 laying hens housed in a 8’ x 10’ coop with roosts all around and 9 nesting boxes. They spend their days outside in 30’ x 70’ fenced in yard. I feel like they have plenty of room. Any thoughts why they may be picking at each other constantly, pulling and eating feathers. Thank you in advance. HFG
     
    ValerieJ likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Yeah, coop is a bit crowded.


    Have you seen this happening?

    Tell us more about your flock..what are ages and genders of those 25 birds?
    What all and how exactly do you feed them?
     
    Cryss likes this.
  5. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

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    Crowding the flock in the coop could possibly be the reason for feather picking. Inside the coop they need a minimum of 4sqft per bird. Your run is really a great size but the coop is overcrowded by at least 5 birds. They could use another 20sqft. at the very minimal which could be accomplished by adding another 3 feet in either direction. This would actually give your birds 4.4sqft each.
     
  6. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    I'm wondering how strict the 4 sq ft per bird rule is when they are outside with plenty of room all day. I've had 30 birds sleeping in a 8x10 coop before with no problems because they free ranged from dawn to dusk.
     
    EggWalrus likes this.
  7. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    It depends on how long they have to stay locked in the coop before they get let out.
    I have a run attached to my coop that is as secure as the coop so I never close the pop door. They are out in the run as soon as they are off the roost in the morning. So they have effectively 17.7 sq ft per bird available to them at all times.
    I used about 2.7 sq ft per bird in the coop in my first arrangement and never had a problem.
     
    EggWalrus and HenOnAJuneBug like this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The 4/10 'rule of thumb' is a general minimum guideline.
    Not carved in stone. It can fit more birds, or less.
    Many variables to consider...flock makeup, integration, climate, run configuration, etc.
     
    EggWalrus and HenOnAJuneBug like this.
  9. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

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    If you have bad winters they may not get to go outside. That's when it becomes an issue. If you live in warmer climates without 6 foot snow drifts and winter ice storms you are possibly safe. I don't have that experience. NJ is known for their ice storms.
     
  10. EggWalrus

    EggWalrus Crowing

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    Hemp for the coop? Are you gonna start throwing the Twigs and Seeds in there?
     

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