Oat straw & empacted crop

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chaese, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. chaese

    chaese Hatching

    Jan 31, 2012
    Apache Creek, New Mexico
    I NEVER use oat straw around chickens! I've learned that oat straw can cause an impacted crop in chickens. The chickens peck at the straw and eat it. It cannot be easily digested and the crop gets a hard ball of straw inside. This keeps other food from digesting correctly. If the ball of straw gets too large, the chicken can die. I've had it happen and seen it happen to others. Best to use some other bedding.

    A wonderful alternative is alfalfa hay! This can be used as bedding for newborn chicks and they will not get "pasted up" and will receive the benefits of the extra protein. Try to get organic alfalfa hay for chicks. It's also a great lining for nest boxes - keeps eggs clean and safe. Chickens LOVE to eat the small leaves of alfalfa hay. It also makes dark yellow and even orange yolks as the beta-carotene in the alfalfa passes into the egg.

  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Your long stem alfalfa Hay can cause Impacted Crop also.
    The best thing to use for bedding and in the nest box is either All Purpose Sand or Saw Dust.

  3. PtldChick

    PtldChick Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I use wood shavings, pine, not cedar, and sawdust from a local woodworkers' shop.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Our family has kept chickens on straw, brooded on straw, and nested on straw since the mid 1850's. I have no idea how any of them have ever survived these past 160 years.

  5. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps
    Keep them off the Internet and they'll be fine. ;)
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Understand, I realize folks have different experiences. There are too many variables. What breeds, what feed, what kind of straw, how are the chickens housed, and so many other factors. All I know is that chickens have been around straw and hay for centuries.

    All of us have had experiences with psychotic birds who do foolish things to their own self destruction. Not much you can go about those. Heard of chicks that gobble up saw dust and wood chips too. Mine never have done that either.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012

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