Sawdust in the coop.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chknlitl, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. chknlitl

    chknlitl In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2010
    Northwest Florida
    My Dad does a lot of woodworking and builds things like furniture, hand made chess sets, decorations etc... He has a vaccum system in his shop with a collection canister and he just dumps it when its full. I was thinking i could use it. I currently use hay and pine shavings in the coop and I probably clean it out too often, but I was wondering if I can use sawdust with the pine shavings and hay in the coop. Will the sawdust cause respiratory problems and/or will the chickens eat it and cause digestive problems. I'm just thinking that the finer sawdust will help with absorbtion of the sometimes runny stuff.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I know some have and do use saw dust but I would be afraid to because of the likely respiratory issues. It would seem to me that it would only add dust to their environment for them to breathe...hopefully someone who has done it or who knows for sure will jump in here for you.

    By the way...I do not think you can really clean out the coop too much. I scoop mine daily and refresh the bedding as necessary...I completely change it out a couple times per month.
  3. razmond

    razmond In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    Total newbie here, but having had the chickens in the house for 10 wks (what? it was a big box!) [​IMG] They were just dusty. Remember Cedar is a huge no-no. Now that they are camping outside, I'm using pine shavings, even though it's bigger, it's still kinda dusty. I hear what you're saying though about absorbing that little extra... it might be a good mix... but for me... for four girls generate enough dust on their own without my supplementing. Good thought on recycling though.
  4. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    My feed store has two types of shavings available: the traditional chip type shaving, and a sawdust type. I really didn't think I'd like the sawdust type, but it's actually become my favorite and is more absorbent and fluffy. Why don't you try mixing it in with your shavings and see how you like it?
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:My feed store has the same kind of variety. I find the "course" shavings to be more like wood chips than shavings which doesn't really do the job of absorbing the wet and poop. The "fine" is mostly sawdust and really dusty and cakes up too much. Consequently I buy a bale of each and mix them. Works okay but if I can get real shavings I prefer them.

    BTW, as an old woodworker who worked with a variety of different kinds of wood, many with toxic dust, I would suggest forgoing using the shop dust for chickens. It would, of course, depend on what your dad was using but I'd be careful--not just for the wood but the fungus that is found in some dried wood is toxic as well so using pine or maple, which are okay by themselves, could be bad.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As long as the sawdust is not from pressure-treated wood or 'questionable' species (like walnut), which it probably isn't, why not just try it and see how you like it? In GENERAL most sawdust is too fine and dusty to work well, but since sawdust varies according to what kind of equipment it comes offa (and who was using the equipment), there are some kinds of sawdust that are more pellet- or fine-shavings-like and not too bad.

    If you don't like how it is in the coop, don't use any more of it [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. chknlitl

    chknlitl In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2010
    Northwest Florida
    My dad uses all kinds of wood from zebra to cyprus, juniper, cedar, cherry, pine, etc etc so it probably wouldnt be a good idea. I forgot about the cedar being an issue. Thats why we have this site. Thanks

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