Rice Hulls for Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by peep-a-boo, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. peep-a-boo

    peep-a-boo Out Of The Brooder

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    I saw an ad for rice hulls that said it can also be used to put in your coop. Any opinions?
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Someone in my area was selling the same thing. I too have wondered about this. Waiting for any replies.
     
  3. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I speak from NO personal experience, but someone I know uses it for brooding chicks. My question is... where do you buy it?? I've never seen it!
     
  4. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE rice hulls for the coop. I am fortunate to be able to buy them from a very small feedstore in Austin. The owner travels to a town several hours away to pick them up. They are hard to come by. When I first started using them I was using the wrong thing - composted rice hulls. You want the dry, uncomposted rice hulls. They dry out really fast if they get wet and, in my opinion, keep the smell down. I lay them down over sand. My coop is not enclosed, three sides are covered in wire (hardware cloth?) so it is very well ventilated. This very likely has some bearing on keeping the smell down. It's easy to clean. I sift through it and remove the poop. It is a most wonderful addition to the compost pile. It breaks down fast.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  5. sjmarshall87

    sjmarshall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats pretty interesting! use it to line the coop as you do with shavings or straw?? How much does that cost?
     
  6. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    P.S. I see you're in Dripping Springs. You're just a hop, skip and a jump away from me. We're in Austin. I get mine from Buck Moore here in town. I was buying the composted hulls at Natural Gardener. It looked very much like peat moss. You really want the uncomposted stuff. Plus, it's cheaper and lighter.
     
  7. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've used both shavings and straw. I garden so have an active, ongoing compost pile. I would much rather add the hulls to the compost than either the straw or the shavings. I buy a very large bag, I don't know cubic feet wise, but it's $12. It covers my coop which might be about 6x8? Sorry, bad with numbers. We started out with the 5 birds so it's not all that large. The hulls last several months provided that I sift it regularly.
     
  8. Chocobo

    Chocobo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have started using rice hulls as well.
    What do you use to sift it?
     
  9. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a variety of sifters that I use for the hulls. I have hardware cloth attached to a wooden frame that my husband made. It's kind of heavy and bulky but it's about 2 x 3 ft so I can actually scoop a shovel in and shake it around. That gets rid of the big pieces. Truth be told, I really don't use this sifter too often cuz, as I said, it's sort of heavy for me. I use it to show my husband that I appreciate his time and effort [​IMG]

    I also have a smaller, lightweight square "bucket" that is about 15 inches x 15 in. and 5 inches deep. I bought that at a fancy schmancy plant nursery. I like to use it because it is lighter than the wooden one that my husband made. It also has two, interchangeable screens that fit into the bottom. I get a ton of use out of this because I use it in the garden too. It's pretty versatile. It seemed expensive at the time but I get my money's worth out of it.

    And last but not least, and I know this sounds crazy but sometimes I just use the kind of slotted plastic scoop that you use for kitty litter. I think it was like .99 cents. If I am on top of the scooping this is all I need. It's quick and easy. I just scoop the poop into a bucket and dump it into the garden compost. This is my favorite tool to use for the scooping. It makes me feel a little too fussy and obsessive compulsive but it works for me. I wouldn't do a huge area with it but most of the poop is right under the roosts. Hope this helps!
     
  10. JeffOeuf

    JeffOeuf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use rice hulls, but I'm really new. They're cheap here and heavily promoted locally as a soil amendment and compost component. The problem on a national basis is that if they have to be shipped very far, they are no longer cost effective. One of the largest rice growing areas in the country (NE Arkansas) is within 200 miles from here (SW Missouri). The hulls seem to be doing a great job with my 5 girls. If you're near a rice growing region, I suggest you check them out -- Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas I think constitute the vast majority of the US rice production.
     

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