Is It Possible To Use Dried Grass Clippings As Chicken Bedding???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SandyC, May 17, 2008.

  1. SandyC

    SandyC Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am trying to think of good ways to cut cost. I have a very large yard and use no sprays or chemicals on my lawn and I was wondering if I could use the dried grass clipping from my yard as bedding for my chickens and if so, if there was a good way to store it to be used in the winter mixed in with wood chips?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I can't imagine why not as long as they were good and dry! I line my nest boxes with them sometimes...much softer than hay or straw.
     
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    I would be worried about mold and it giving them impacted crops.....
     
  4. Eggseronious

    Eggseronious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just let it dry good, its the best nest liner that you can get. [​IMG] Ive been thinking of using our old tobacco balers and making some mini size hay bales. We have to rake the yard, so why not! It just needs to good and dry.[​IMG]
     
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    No problem using them for nesting, I had to "mow" my yard by hand for some grass nesting hay for my broody Silkie girl.....

    As long it is dried good, no chemicals, then its not a problem. Keep grits handy in front of them at all times to make sure some of the "dummies" dont eat the grass to get impacted crops.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The thing is, you would have to deal with it as if you were making good hay -- that means getting it REALLY DRY before storing (and then storing in a place and manner that will keep it from getting humid again, which is a recipe for mold). This is not nearly as easy as you might think, especially for fine stuff like lawn clippings.

    I would say leave them on the lawn (do not bag) for a couple days -- honestly, if I were going to do it, I would get a good accurate kitchen scale, and actually weigh them to determine how moisture content changes so that I *knew* I was waiting til they were dry enough -- then rake up and store in loose piles in a completely enclosed, dirt- or wood-floored building. Preferably up on windowscreen- or burlap-covered pallets. (A concrete- or gravel-floored building would probably be ok as long as you will use the 'lawn hay' up by midwinter -- but after that, you will start running into humidity and mold problems.)

    If you don't want to have to rake 'em off the lawn, then you will need a large area to spread the bagged clippings out so that they can dry. Perhaps a paved driveway. But it will take a While for them to dry, and you need to be as careful as described above not to try to store them til they are really ready. With real hay, it needs to have a moisture content of no more than 15-20% max -- I would err on the side of caution with lawn clippings, since their fine texture and tendency to pack down in storage will make them extra prone to mold.

    Honestly it sounds like a terrific amount of work for not much benefit, to me. If you really want to harvest your own hay for bedding, I'd suggest using a string trimmer on a field of tall grass that has grown up all summer, and dry and store *that* -- you will at least get some reasonable volume of material out of it [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. Gullygarden

    Gullygarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    works great if it is dry when you put it in- really dry.
     
  8. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Again, yes, so long as they are dry. Grass clippings are really "wet" when fresh. If they mold, it's because they weren't dry to begin with OR they got wet after. But any organic bedding will mold if it gets and stays wet, not just grass clippings.
     

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