Pine Shavings or Straw?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OlpA, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. OlpA

    OlpA New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Apr 30, 2007
    Abilene Kansas
    I have 25 RIR that are 5 months old. I have a concrete floor and was wondering what is best to use on the coop on the floor. Should I use pine shavings or straw? I currently use staw but they keep stuffing the waterer and feeder with staw.

    Is there any way I can get them to keep the straw out of the water and feed?
     
  2. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    That's funny! I use pine shavings and was thinking about using straw because they get the shavings in their food and water. I don't know what to use now.
     
  3. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

    348
    3
    151
    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Same problem as Southernchick here! Was going to pick up some straw tomorrow, actually. My problem is that I can't hang the feeder and waterer as high as I'd like because I have 1 bantie in the mix. I think the rule is that you don't hang it any higher than the back of your smallest chicken. So, what's perfect for her means shavings in the food and water from the others.
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    52
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Raise the waterer up on a cinder block and keep it high enough to be at about back level. That should stop alot of the shavings and straw getting into the trough.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I put mine on a cinder block then if I have a smaller one who can't quite reach, I put a 2" thick board or some other step for shorty. That way, the water stays up high, but the shortest ones can still reach it.
     
  6. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    2,407
    14
    213
    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Straw does not keep the smell down the way pine shavings do. It is also more difficult to clean up, in my opinion. I always say to use pine shavings all the way.

    BTW, I use cinder blocks, too.
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    52
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I don't like to use straw. Straw and hay are two different things. Straw has a hollow tube and gives bacteria a place to thrive and grow - hence more smell than when using pine shavings or hay.

    My chicken barn was built in 1915. It is 5 rooms, 25x25 ft each (larger than many houses). The roof line slopes from over 12ft to 8 ft high. It sits on a block column foundation 2 ft off the ground. I am only using 2 rooms now. Deep litter hay is the most economical for me. I do use shavings in the brooders and a light sprinkle in the nest boxes.

    Once the waterers are up and stuff isn't wet the smell should begin to disipate. DE (food grade) will also help with the smell by killing off flies and other insects. I powder it around liberally.
     
  8. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

    348
    3
    151
    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Quote:Thanks for that info. I'm a weensy bit allergic to hay, but I can deal with it. The price of shavings is just getting a bit much. Walmart is more than half the price of the local pet shops, but I was informed that they only carry in winter. I just bought some there last week! I don't know what's going on there, but I'm going to call a few other locations today.
     
  9. biretta

    biretta Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    0
    129
    Jun 7, 2007
    Pet stores would definitely be very expensive. I get a large (can't tell you exactly how many cubic feet, maybe 9-10) bag of compressed shavings for around $7.00 at the feed store, where you'd generally be able to find very large quantities. Check to see if there is a farm and garden store within driving distance.
     
  10. ChicksinBoise

    ChicksinBoise Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    3
    131
    Jun 14, 2007
    I hadn't thought of using hay, that's a great idea! There are plenty of farmers around here that sell it for around $5.00 a bale. We have straw right now but I agree, it can get smelly. As soon as this bale runs out, we will pick up some hay for the winter.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by