pine straw for bedding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ccat1, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. ccat1

    ccat1 Chirping

    Sep 3, 2015
    I have several pines around our pond and was wondering if pine straw would be good bedding in a run or coop?
    I currently use straw but was up by the pond today and thought about the pine straw and figured the forum would quickly chime in.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

    Jan 1, 2017
    Coastal NC
    My Coop
    I will be interested in what others have to say. :caf

    I have a lot of pines where I live and use them in landscaping and for creating a walking path in my yard where grass doesn’t grow, but I’ve never used it for my chickens because I’ve been told there’re “mites” in pinestraw.
    I have no idea if this is true, but don’t want to be the one to test this theory.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Longer pine needles can be a good addition to a multi-material deep litter.
    But it's not very absorbent..of course either is grain stem straw.
    Probably better in run than coop, but might depend on your management techinque.

    Never heard of pine straw as being a mite habitat.
    Grain stem straw can be tho because of the hollow stems and if it's stored in a barn where wild birds congregate it's more likely to have bird mites living in it.
    If one already has northern fowl mites(the kind that live in the structure and only feed off birds at night) it might not be good to use straw as bedding.
    But the whole 'straw has mites' is a bit alarmist, it's possible but not an absolute.
    staceyj and oldhenlikesdogs like this.
  4. Johnny98

    Johnny98 Songster

    Jan 2, 2018
    We live in a pine forest and use pine straw for deep litter in the run. 30" of rain from Flo and no mud. The chickens dig constantly turning it over and eventually into dirt/compost.

    I haven't bothered using it in the coop, $4.65 every other month for a bale of pine shavings works for me but I would probably be using it if my coop wasn't raised.
  5. ccat1

    ccat1 Chirping

    Sep 3, 2015
    Thanks yall for the advice.
    I'll put some pine straw in the run but keep hay straw in the nesting area.
    Thanks again
  6. henless

    henless Songster

    I use pine straw all the time. I mix it with leaves and what ever else I can get a hold of for the coop & run floors. I put pine straw in the nesting boxes. I used to use shavings, but decided to see how the pine straw worked. The hens love it. Why pay for shavings or hay when you can get it for free?
  7. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Songster

    Mar 24, 2014
    Rhode Island
    Agree with others. I've used it in the run, but not the coop. If it was VERY dry, it'd probably work in the coop. Maybe try mixing half straw/shaving and half pine straw? If after a week it's messy, you can always just clean it out and go all straw/shavings.
  8. LittleMissCountry

    LittleMissCountry Songster

    Mar 30, 2018
    My chickens favorite place is under the pine tree, digging in the needles. I throw shovelfuls of them in the run about every other week, and they have them broken down within a few days.

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