Pine shavings vs pine pellet bedding

CatWhisperer

Crowing
8 Years
Jun 16, 2013
1,503
5,056
401
northwest Arkansas
I have used deep litter with pine shavings for the last 6 years. I got bunches of chicks this year and tried out equine pine pellet bedding in the breeders and really liked it. We are finishing construction on a second chicken coop and I can't decide whether to use pellets or shavings on the floor. They both compost well. Has anybody used and compared both? Opinions please.
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
17,152
58,520
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Melrose Park Illinois
It appears to be an even toss up. Shavings,,,,,, you get more volume for same price.
Pellets, you get less volume, but it expands, and absorbs more.
My personal view,,,,, I would prefer shavings for my chickens, over pellets,,,, because of my concern ,, them eating those pellets. They do not really eat many shavings,,,, if any.:idunno
I personally use hay (Timothy, or Alfalfa) for my coop bedding, nesting, and floor cover.
I am going to try a bag of Pellets for use in my cat litter boxes. Supposed to be VERY GOOD for that purpose. Using the clay litter now, and it does get dusty.
If you used Pellets with your chickens, in the past, and you like results , Maybe that should be your choice.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
 

ColtHandorf

🙄🤚 Sass Master
Premium Feather Member
Feb 19, 2019
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Klondike, Texas
This is from another forum and related to keeping smaller indoor birds such as finches, but it is relevant:

"Avoid the pine pellets... they look pretty but when wet they can smell terrible, swell then when dry they fall apart into sawdust.... showed them to my vet and she said do not use it, the sawdust is very fine, easily spread with movement and can be inhaled by the birds, once in the lungs it can irritate and cause respiratory issues. We did a test outside on the porch with one brand, the odor was terrible, made my eyes water."

The full thread can be seen here:

http://www.finchforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36076&hilit=pine+pellets

I'm friends with Cindy on several other forums and social media websites. Her avian vet doesn't recommend the use of the pine pellets and she's mentioned in on multiple occasions. So it might be something to think about.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
122,722
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New Jersey
I've used both, but prefer the shavings because of the way the pellets tend to break down. My favorite is 'cleaned' ground corn cobs. The problem with them is that good product is hard to find and very expensive. All products were used 'deep litter' in pigeon lofts.
 

Cie

Chirping
Mar 25, 2020
17
51
66
SW VA
Hi! I was just thinking about bedding options. Im making a horse stall into a 12x12 coop for my girls....I have had horses for many years...and used straw, shavings and pellets. In reading the above comments I noticed that pellets were being used dry, in pellet form. They are meant to be used like this:
Has anyone used them this way? What was the dust level ( with chickens) of pellets which were wetted first vs shavings? When I used them with horses, I thought there was less dust with prepared pellets than with shavings....but horses don't scratch the ground like chickens....Thoughts? Thank you
 

CatWhisperer

Crowing
8 Years
Jun 16, 2013
1,503
5,056
401
northwest Arkansas
I have done both in brooders. Chicks scratch no matter the bedding material and it always and frequently ends up in their food and water (ugh). I've always bedded coops in shavings. I think broken down pellets would blow everywhere when coop door is left open and on cleaning day.
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 24, 2014
1,222
2,759
296
Rhode Island
I use pellets in the brooder because that’s in the house and I find them much less dusty.

I use shavings in the coop because they’re cheaper, easier to clean out, and don’t pack down like wet pellets.
 

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