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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by preacherman2, Feb 3, 2013.
what could i use beside wood shavings and sand i use straw now wood shaving is effecting my breath
I use straw in the winter, its warmer, and pine shaving in the summer.
I have only used straw and it is working out great for me. What about alfalfa hay? Dont know if I spelled that right. I used it for my babies and that worked because it was softer than straw.
Marie in Vista, Ca
Many people will take things from their yards that are seasonal--dry leaves, dried grass, and pine needles are things I have used. You can put the leaves in a garbage can and step on them to break them up or shred them with the lawnmower. There are thicker pine shavings that one can buy--Tractor supply sells both the course and fine--maybe the course would have less fine dust for you.
For the run/coop floor or nest boxes? I didn't know a thing about floor materials when I got my first chicks (hadn't discovered byc yet!) And dh didn't want to spend a lot of money. I'm old fashioned so I thought what did farmers of days gone by use? What would momma chickens use? Dried leaves from fall! That was the flooring I used all during chick days. Free, non allergenic for the most part, readily available and chicks/ chickens love any bugs in them. On sunny days I collected trash bags full for when it rained. As chickens in the coop my babes love it when I rake in a big pile for them. Just avoid leaves with obvious wild bird poo on them especially for chicks. Your chickens may like it better than the stuff money is spent on and your body will thank you too!
Sand is brilliant for a coop floor, and if you can get bird sand, even better as it has oyster shell etc added. It's tidy and easy to keep clean.
I used hay a few times however because - of the dampness here - the rat problems - the eggs sometimes get eaten or broken and it is a headache to try and clean them. I love using the pine shavings and find that sawdust is just too dusty.
Check out this link https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/683176/experiment-with-bedding/200#post_10300802 for an alternative. I have changed over to it and love it.
I have used Lucerne Ground cover as well, and LOVE IT always smells nice and fresh.
Unfortunately I broke out in hives a few months ago, thought maybe it was the Lucerne, so I removed it all, started backwith shavings,,well I miss that Lucerne so I have added it again, and no hives yet (knock on wood)
You don't want to use alfalfa because it gets moldy and can kill birds. Even a few leaves of moldy hay can do a bird in.