Rye or Wheat Straw - which is better for nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aschassberger, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. aschassberger

    aschassberger Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to get some straw for my two nest boxes (6 chickens 20 wks old - not laying yet). I currently have pine shavings in there, but I wanted to get straw since they will (hopefully) be laying soon. The place closest to me sells rye and wheat straw. Which one is better? I'm also going to use some bales for a vegetable garden (apparently you can plant directly in the bales), and they say that either of those kinds works for that... but I want to make sure to get the safest one for the chickens!
    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Doesn't really matter a lot. Chopped will work better than 'straight from the bale'. Get whatever's cheaper per weight; or if there is a substantial difference between their structure, pick the one that is less stiff and thick and prickly.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. aschassberger

    aschassberger Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, Pat! [​IMG]
     
  4. tbarbee

    tbarbee New Egg

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    I would not use either straw after seeing the crop surgeries on here it seems like sometimes they eat and it clogs up there crops search crop surgery on the forum before you buy any straw
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    BTW is there a particular *reason* you don't want to just keep using pine shavings? THey work perfectly fine in nestboxes you know, in fact that's all I use.

    Pat
     
  6. boykin2010

    boykin2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    use hay pine shavings absorb moisture to well and they become mildewy.
     
  7. aschassberger

    aschassberger Out Of The Brooder

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    @ Pat: well, I figured since I was getting straw for the garden experiment, I would just put some in the nest boxes too - I've heard it's better than pine shavings, but maybe not? I'm a little afraid they might eat it now! I did just buy a HUGE bag of pine shavings, I might just keep using that. The goof balls sleep in there still, but I figure that's a maturity thing and they will eventually use the nice roost I built them. It's higher than the boxes, but they still like the boxes for sleeping. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the tips!
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Um, pine shavings do not actually absorb moisture all that well, less well than straw anyhow (but why is this relevant in a nestbox? you clean out whatever poo is desposited there, right, so's not to have pooey eggs?? I have never EVER had a dampness problem in a nestbox) but note that shavings are actually considerably MORE mold-resistant than hay or straw, because of the resins in the wood. *Hardwood* shavings can be a bit more mold/mildew-prone. But then, so is hay [​IMG]

    Just sayin',

    Pat
     
  9. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have put sheets of lanolium in my nesting boxes..because some of the girls insist on sleeping in them... even if they are blocked off... none of mine are laying yet... hopefully in a few months...any ways I use pine shavings and pull out the entire square when they need to be cleaned.. almost all of the poop and wet pine shavings stick to the lanolium which I just hose off and put back after it has dried.
     

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