If you've used both pine shavings and wheat straw for bedding...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cindyanne1, May 28, 2009.

  1. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    The point is, wood shavings DO break down slower than straw. There was NO evidence of straw in either pile.
    I have bought BOTH wheat straw and oat straw over the years.

    What happened was the spread out manure piles were affected by the weather and broke down quicker.

    When I created a mound, like horse-people suggest you do to heat up and kill worms and flies, it didn't weather and break down the wood shavings.

    BTW, I talk to a U of I Vet a few years back and he said that his father used to WINTER his Shires on oat straw, no hay!
  2. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Okay, got it, thanks! I do the same thing with my horses manure. They are all bedded on shavings and I dump the manure in the barnyard; the horses do the turning for me. They love to roll in it and kick it up. We have a tractor, but no spreader and come spring we'll just use the bucket to spread out what's left. You're right, the manure from the previous spring decomposes beautifully once it's exposed to the weather. Before I spread this year's (2008-2009) manure, I grabbed some of the old to use in my garden.
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  3. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    ISn't it nice how our animals give back?

    There ARE horses in heaven---read Revelations. Sooo...guess I'll see you there, someday, trilyn [​IMG]
  4. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    For those that use straw--Do you or have you ever had a problem with the chickens eating long strands and having impacted crops?? Being a gardener I wanted to use the straw from the 'get-go' but was warned not to because of this problem....Thanks Dixie
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Never had them eat straw. We also keep hay in the barn, and they will pick at that, but only the good parts of it. There is nothing in straw that would make them want to eat it.
  6. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    so back to my original post and the floor being cement...we found out this past weekend after a good amount of rain, that rain does come in the window of the barn and it must be sloped becuase it ran down under the coop and run and sat for probably a good day before finally drying out. So in this situation whats the recomendation? I'm worried about shavings blowing in the run and not breaking down, and I am using pellets in the coop but that seems sooooo expensive and will need done more frequently in the run. Any ideas? :-(
  7. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    Nobody has made a bedding without problems, yet. Guess when they do we'll be ready to colonize in space! [​IMG]

    Shavings DO break down. They smell great and absorb moisture. You just gotta clean 'em up when they get soiled or wet. You'll probably have to experiment with your window. Does it open vertically? Do you have a window that slides open and slides the other way closed? If you are home when it rains, you can close things up to protect the inside of your building. If not, you'll just have a cleanup job that you didn't plan on.

    Used bedding makes GREAT garden mulch. And, it composts without smelling horrible. I admit that I have NOT been through a winter using the deep litter method, yet. I know that the folks at my local FS store are on this forum, and they recommend mixing it with DE. ALL I KNOW is from keeping horses for 25 years, and cleaning up Their stalls. There is NO deep litter method for them. The MOST I can go without cleaning is one week, usually when the snow makes it difficult or impossible to take it out.

    I have been advised NOT to mix straw with shavings, but it works for me, so I do it. I think we should all go with the best buy, whether straw or shavings, and experiment with it until we find what we like best. You have just paid for what this is advice is worth. [​IMG]
  8. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I have had the problem with the smell in winter. WE didn't have a run and rarely let them out to roam in winter. WE have a dirt floor and used straw for the floor in winter. Then at the earliest warmest day we would clean it out. A very nasty dtinky job but it had to be done. It can't be good for them to breath either. Our coop is made form barn wood. It has metal on the sides and wire also. When it gets cold we cover the wire up and turn on the florescent light. Naturally a perfect place for bacteria to grow but we didn't know of a better way.

    My hussband replaced a roof lately and brought home the torn off shingles. WE put them in the coop. It instantly got rid of the smell and it's still gone. He build a covered run lately so they can come and go as they please and we don't have to worry about them. WE will still cover up the open wire sides on the coop when it gets cold and most of the doorway they go in and out of now. Leave enough space they can get out into the run if they want to.

    When we mow the yard, we put the crass clippings in the fun and in the coop on top of the shingles becasue the rough shingles makes their feet red. Kinda like sandpaper. So we cover it up. They like the grass clipings since they have cleaned out their run of grass. They also get bugs from it too. This seems to work for us and our flock likes it.

    I hope this can give somebody an idea. I do plan to add the straw to the coop floor when it gets cold again.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:In this situation I would vote for shavings. They are less apt to mold than straw is, when gotten wet and let to sit that way.

    Don't worry about shavings getting into the run and not breaking down. They WILL break down (actually many will just blow away [​IMG]), and honestly if you had lots and lots of them getting out there, which I seriously doubt you will (put a sill in the pophole doorway if necessary), the fact that they DO break down and make sucky spongy mud would be your REAL problem [​IMG] Although, as I say, it won't likely be a problem for you. But I mean, when oodles of shavings DO get into the run, that is why it's bad.

    FWIW, I've never cleaned straw-bedded coops, but I have cleaned oh so many horse stalls bedded with pellets, shavings, and straw and mixtures thereof; and my strong personal feeling is that pellets and shavings work better for most situations and are easier to clean in an economical way than straw is. (I know others may disagree, this is just my opinion)

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    If it were me I would run it through a shredder/mulcher and chop it up. That way it would absorb better and still be great for the garden.

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