straw better than hay for warmth??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by klf73, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    We called the local feed store to see if they had hay, we told them we wanted it to help keep our chickens warm. They told us to use straw because it was warmer. Is this true? I am asking because we have received misinformation from them before [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I always use wheat straw hay in the winter, and yes it does keep any outside animal warmer. The thing with straw hay is it is hollow in the center and traps air which in turn heats up well with the birds body heat. regular hay just doesn't work as well.
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Plus, I would think they would probably eat a lot of the regular hay.
  4. simba49450

    simba49450 Songster

    May 23, 2008
    use straw most definitely, works great and keeps my girls warm in the michigan winters.
  5. jubylives

    jubylives Songster

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    I tried hay last year and had problems with moisture and mold. It could have been just the hay but up to then and now I don't have moisture and mold issues and I use wood chips and straw.

  6. Mr_Jeff

    Mr_Jeff Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    Durand, MI
    Just to clear up some confusion, hay is food and straw is bedding. I see the two words used interchangeably but they are two different things. I am not looking to correct any body really, just want to make sure people who don't know better realize the difference. After all, hay is more expensive than straw. I'd hate to see someone buy hay when all they really need is straw.
  7. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    Being a newbie to chickens, I was talking to my daughter's sitter who grew up with chickens. I told her I needed some hay, and she asked for what... I told her for the nest boxes, and to cover some bare spots in the yard. She informed me that hay would not be a good idea because it would create a weed problem in my yard. Never thought of that! I'm now going to be on the lookout for straw! [​IMG]

    Good info to know!
  8. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I wish I could use straw. Hay is expensive and I have too many mouths to feed to use it for bedding (can't make the goats understand that). I've been using shavings, which are also expensive and not as warmthy. Straw however, makes my allergies do the nasty. It makes me sick and scabby. I'm open to any other suggestions. I've exhausted my brain trying to come up with something we can all benefit from.
  9. 1Chick Magnet

    1Chick Magnet Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    i am also a newbee. an old time chicken farmer told me to use dry leaves. does that work?
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Long as they are nice and dry...tend to harbor lots of mold.

    Thought of ground corn cobs? Some folks swear by them and they tend to absorb excess moisture. Or maybe a mixture of these and shavings.

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