I'm a homesteader and I am going to be growing my own feed as well as my own grain. This means (if it goes as planned) I will have a free source of straw for for chicken bedding. At this point I don't believe I have a free source of shavings/sawdust, so I'm designing my coop around the assumption of using straw for bedding. We hope to get chicks this spring! I will not be using a deep litter method. These will be part-time free range chickens in a large paddock system consisting of chicken gardens. So my question is why do so many discussions on BYC seem to say that straw can cause an impacted crop? I would guess once in a great while there is a crazy bird that will eat straw bedding, but surely that is the exception and not the rule? Could part of the reason for the plethora of these topics be because so many people seem to confuse hay (feed) with straw (bedding)? Could people actually be using hay as a bedding? That seems crazy to me... would you line your cat litter box with dry cat food? Or course not. If you used hay as bedding I'm sure the chickens might eat it at it (especially if they're lacking in green foods)... but to use hay as bedding is confusing the situation already. So is there a really common occurrence of impacted crops with using STRAW as bedding? Or is it some people are actually using hay as bedding (for whatever reasons) then blaming impacted crops incorrectly on straw? My guess is it's the latter... But if it's the former, what could cause a chicken to eat straw bedding? We're in Maine, USA so our coop will be oversized since on the bad weather days the chickens might be stuck inside for 2 or 3 days a few times a year. But I'm trying to plan to give them ample space, a diverse selection of stored feed, and all the supplements they need. I wouldn't have thought a happy, healthy bird in that kind of environment would find straw bedding appetizing at all, let alone appetizing enough to get an impacted crop from eating it. Thoughts? Thank you for reading!