Pine Shavings or Straw

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MikeTheGardener, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. MikeTheGardener

    MikeTheGardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    158
    13
    73
    Sep 3, 2014
    New Jersey
    Just want to get everyone's take on this ... I currently use pine shavings as the coop bedding but was thinking of moving to straw. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. JesseK

    JesseK Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    2
    93
    Apr 5, 2012
    IA
    I like a combination of straw and pine shavings. I would say 80/20 straw/pine.
     
  3. MikeTheGardener

    MikeTheGardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    158
    13
    73
    Sep 3, 2014
    New Jersey
    Interesting ... I never thought of doing a combo. Are you using this type of set up now?
     
  4. JesseK

    JesseK Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    2
    93
    Apr 5, 2012
    IA
    Yep. I think it happened because I needed to change the bedding and the feed store was out of pine shavings. So I got straw that day. Then later on I added pine shavings to it. The straw fills the coop up nicely and seems to stay thicker and the shavings mix in to absorb odors.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,852
    7,013
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like kiln dried pine shavings on the floor, they are way more absorptive than straw. I use a thinner layer(1-2") in the summer and thicker layer (4-6") in the winter so they can snuggle down for a rest during those frigid cold days. My coop floor is insulated and 12-18'" off the ground. I totally change out the shavings spring and fall and set to compost.

    I like straw in the nests because it holds together better to form a cushion for eggs, and less likely to get scratched out of the nests. I also use straw to spread thinly over the snow in the run so they will be more active, they don't like to walk on the snow...and I put more down during snow melt to cut down on the mud getting tracked into the coop.
     
  6. beardedmessman

    beardedmessman Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Jul 1, 2012
    I use just pine shavings. Works pretty well. Cedar shavings also work good to keep odors down.
     
  7. wwarren8200

    wwarren8200 Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    5
    71
    Feb 2, 2014
    Florence,AL
    I like straw for the hens in the coop and in the run i like fine shavings/chips 50/50
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,852
    7,013
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Cedar shavings can be toxic to chickens.....their respiratory systems are fragile and it can cause breathing problems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  9. araceli

    araceli Out Of The Brooder

    81
    2
    48
    Jul 8, 2011
    I used straw until a chicken died from impacted crop after eating a bit of straw and having it clog tbe crop. Not trying to sound like a downer, juat sharing.
     
  10. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm currently using a straw/pine mix as well... The straw keeps the bedding 'poofy' and helps with compacting, while the pine dries up the poop... Seems at least for me to be working well... I have been out there with a pitch fork turning it about every 2 weeks...

    The initial bedding I put down was 6 bales of straw and 6 bags of pine... Since then I have been adding leaves, pine needles and even dry grass as I clean up the yard for winter...

    And if it matters the straw I used was more of a cattle feed straw, not the true yellow bedding straw... Almost like a 50/50 hay straw mix with some corn stalks/leaves tucked inside, to be honest, pretty ugly straw but the price was right and it works fine for bedding...

    I tried pure pine and pure straw earlier this year, but wasn't happy with either, the pine cost too much and the straw wasn't absorbent enough the mix seems to be the best of both worlds for me...
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by