pine straw for bedding

ccat1

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Sep 3, 2015
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Question....
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.
 

staceyj

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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.
 

aart

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I have several pines around our pond and was wondering if pine straw would be good bedding in a run or coop?
Longer pine needles can be a good addition to a multi-material litter....like 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.

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.
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.
 

Johnny98

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Jan 2, 2018
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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.
 

ccat1

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

henless

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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?
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

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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.
 
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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.
 

HenHouse Henry

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Question....
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.
I have always wondered about pine straw. We don't have a lot of pine on this side of the Cascade Mts. Lots of firs. I use straw and pine shavings, I know a lot of folks don't like straw but farmers have been using it for bedding for centuries. Just keep it stirred up and dry. Try throwing scratch on the floor in the evening so the girls tear up the bedding..
 

3KillerBs

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I have always wondered about pine straw. We don't have a lot of pine on this side of the Cascade Mts. Lots of firs. I use straw and pine shavings, I know a lot of folks don't like straw but farmers have been using it for bedding for centuries. Just keep it stirred up and dry. Try throwing scratch on the floor in the evening so the girls tear up the bedding..

This thread is 4 years old. :)

Here in the Carolina Sandhills region we have lots of pine straw free for the raking (or for sale at reasonable prices), because of the Longleaf and Loblolly pines.

It makes a fine litter in the run, in part because it doesn't pack and mat and it always dries out on top quickly after even the heaviest rain. I don't use it as a primary bedding in the coop because the same waxy cuticle that makes it so useful in the run in a wet climate means that it's not absorbent enough in the coop.

I do mix it into the shavings though because it helps keep them from packing and matting.
 

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