shaveings or wood pellets?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by the-bird-man, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. the-bird-man

    the-bird-man Songster

    Oct 24, 2010
    land of the sun
    i will be geting chickens in the spring and have been pricing chicken stuff and found a local company that makes wood pellets for animal bedding. i called and they said they do not use ceder in it. i think it would be a lot cheaper to get the pellets because i can get a ton of them for about $140 and they will deliver it for $30. i have been told pellets are better than shavings and last longer, is this true? what are the pros and cons of pellets and shavings? what is your opinion on each of them? thank you all for your help. i have learned a lot from all of you [​IMG]

  2. RIBill

    RIBill Chirping

    Nov 7, 2010
    I suppose pellets could work. I can't see them being cheaper. I would also have concern that they wouldn't be as effective. Shavings work well because they are soft and light and fluffy. The chickens keep it from getting soggy by scratching and turning it. Pellets are just compressed sawdust. I would think they might become a solid mass when they get wet and dry together. Shavings are pretty cheap and go a long way because the bales are compacted.
  3. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Shavings, for sure. Anything that can hold water or moisture is going to stink. The pellets will hold water, weigh more, and be more work to shovel during clean up.

    I am all for less work [​IMG]
  4. RedReiner

    RedReiner Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Monroe, Wa
    pellets need to be sprayed with water to open them up. I use them for my horse stalls. after they open I fluff them up with a stall fork. they are like sawdust yes, not as dense though. pee spots are kept to a very small area as they soak up a lot of liquid fast so it does not spread like they do with shavings, shavings do not soak up horse pee very well lol. but yes they are fluffier. the pellets are very easy to pick and clean after they have been opened and fluffed. I have shavings in my coop for now but am thinking I would rather use the pellets in the indoor roost. easier to clean, no lost poop under the shavings.
  5. CountryBoy72

    CountryBoy72 In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2009
    Vancouver Island
    We use pine shavings , cedar is only good with mature chickens. Bad for baby chicks.
    I would be concerned the chickens would eat the pellets as they look alot like their food.[​IMG]
  6. nanawendy

    nanawendy Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    I use lite shavings with paper towels over them, the first week or so. This is to ensure the chicks don't eat the they will peck at anything. Then once they have the eating thing worked I use pine shavings. Once they become tweens or I get sick of the dust...I switch to pellets. All composts well. Up here the price isn't that different. I think it becomes a personal favorite. The only "must" is the protection that first week or so.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    I use both. When I clean a pen I sprinkle lime on the floor followed by a layer of wood pellets & then a layer of shavings. Works well for me.

  8. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:not if you feed whole and ground grains! [​IMG]
  9. sawfish99

    sawfish99 In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2010
    North Stonington
    Quote:I have used a lot of pellets in horse stalls and also used sawdust and shavings. Pellets won't smell worse. In fact they will probably keep the smell better. The key to pellets is in the prep. We found it best to add about 6 gallons of water to 80 lbs of pellets this let's the pellets disintegrate into a sawdust like consistency. They still have plenty of moisture absorbing capability and actually dry out some once spread out. That said, I don't see how you would go through enough pellets to warrant buying a ton at a time. We used about 1 ton of pellets in 3 horse stalls every 7-8 weeks. Unless you will have a huge coop, just buy the pellets as needed.

    We currently use sawdust because we can buy it for $15 / pickup load which saves a lot due to the volume we use in stalls.
  10. RedReiner

    RedReiner Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Monroe, Wa
    Quote:thats what I was trying to say earlier lol. my horse stalls dont stink like urine with pellets, if I use shavings they stink. I Have rubber mats under the shavings. but you have to spray them with water, or soak them whatever. they will pop open like popcorn and then dry into sawdust type. I fluff them with a stall fork and that mixes any of the wetter ones with the dryer ones and all of it is dry within an hour. Here is a tip though, in winter when it is freezing out, if you bring out hot water and pour on the pellets they will pop open very quickly and dry even faster. I dont know why but they do. they also make a stall fork with diamond mesh to sift the pellet bedding and that way you only get the poop and not a bunch of unused sawdust. really cuts down on costs.

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