Pelleted pine bedding? Does anyone use?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Wynette, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    I use pelleted pine bedding for my horses; I switched over to that about 2 years ago, and it's saved me a bundle of time when cleaning, and, my manure pile is about 50% smaller. I love the stuff.

    I've assumed that this shouldn't be used for chickens, because since it's a pellet, they might take it for food and eat it rather than just...poo on it & scratch around in it. (I do feed pelleted layer mash, in a hanging feeder both in the coop and in the run.)

    Anyhow, thought I'd post the question and see if anyone else has used it for adult chickens. There's a little part of me that thinks once they tasted it, they wouldn't try to eat it (that's what my horses did). Then again...I've only had chickens for a short itme, and I sure don't want to make a bad mistake!

    If they worked, I think they'd last much longer than shavings and possibly would be easier to clean out of the coop. Also, they'd definitely keep odor down (although I don't have a problem with that, having just a few, but I'll be getting more this summer).

    Thanks for your opinions!
  2. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I used a couple of bags of wood stove pellets one time when I was out of shavings. It didn't really work all that well because chickens are so dry and so the pellets stay hard which just seemed uncomfortable to me. The did try to eat it at first but quickly stopped when they found out it wasn't food. Its worth trying to see how it works for you, I don't see any harm coming from it.
  3. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    I used them for my last batch of chicks, they are about the same as stove pellets, just seemed to fall apart quicker. At the time I was feeding crumbles so the pellets didnt look like food(my guess) If they did try to eat the pellets they must not have at enough to hurt them. I just like the shavings better.
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Thanks so much to you all for your input. I may just try pellets next time, just to see how they work. From your responses, I feel a little more at ease with trying them!!
  5. Omeletta

    Omeletta Songster

    Jun 12, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    I use it for my rabbits, but find it hard to clean to cages that have trays! It turns real hard. With chickens, I think it would get turned more often, and not clump so much. It would be good for water spill areas, as it completely soaks up the mess before it can get to the floor of my cages. I found cost for me here was about the same as shavings.

  6. Roux

    Roux Songster

    I'm using pelleted pine (Woody Pet) in conjunction with pine shavings, straw (which I'm not fond of & weeding out as I go) & DE.

    The pelleted pine mostly comprises the bottom layer, although gets mixed in with everything else to an extent for extra absorption. Over that is a mix of pine shavings & straw, sprinkled liberally with DE & mixed.

    2 times a week I'll go in with a muck bucket & manure fork and "rotate" the bedding. Starting in the "front" left-hand corner (facing my coop door), I'll rake up a bunch of the bedding mix & dump it in the bucket. I then rake & fluff the bedding over from the "back" left hand corner, up to the front. Then repeat with the back right over to back left, and front right to back right. The original scooped up bedding goes out of the bucket into the front right corner.

    Any funky bedding is removed as needed & new added, usually a mix of pelleted, shavings & DE. This way everything gets mixed in thoroughly, and the pellets really do seem to do a good job of wicking up any extra moisture. I have 26 birds at the moment & have really had good luck so far with this coop is dry & cozy, and the stirring process gives me a bit of extra time to check everything for maintenance, as well as just an excuse to spend a few more minutes hanging out & observing while they're outside in the yard enjoying what snow-free patches they can find for the moment!

    I realize that's probably not the exact answer you were looking for since it's being mixed w/other bedding, but so far I haven't had any problems with my chickens eating it, and it seems to be working pretty well.

  7. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    I use pellet bedding for my horses. It can be sprayed with a little bit of water to help it break down to a sawdust like materal. It makes it easier to pick up for small animals.

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