straw, hay or cedar chip

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hagadorn6, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. hagadorn6

    hagadorn6 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2009
    Can I use staight cedar chip for my hens nests or do I need to layer with straw or hay?

  2. cphilip

    cphilip In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2009
    Clemson SC
    I always preferred Aspen or some such non aromatic wood shaving. Or Excelsior Mats if I can find it. I don't care for Hay or Straw but it can work. Some don't like its absorbency but you know what I don't like most about it is the fact it doesn't push or fall through wire very good. So if your floor of your Coop is wire and off ground it then makes for a clog for Droppings to collect on. Plus, I like that I can store Aspen bales in a fiber drum and just carry a bucket full of it out when I need it. Its easier to store and handle. You can get a fairly large bale of it at Tractor Supply for like 6-8 bucks. Enough to do plenty of nest changes.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  3. I'd not use hay...I have a friend who developed a huge mouse problem and we were told it was because she used hay not straw for bedding.

    I'm not sure how valid that is, but she got rid of the hay, and got rid of the mice, and they stayed gone.
  4. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    When I first got chickens I used HAY...I had to clean out my coop DAILY sometimes twice a day...the straw is nice at first, then it gets hard and brittle and pokes you....if it poked me I thought it can poke my babies especially if they are laying, the poop would also make the Hay mat up bad, and talk about flies!!!! BAD

    I switched to shavings and I love it!!!! soft, clean, no flies, and I switch out my shavings about once every 6mos...I do go in and sift it like you would cat litter, and once I trash the poop, I add just alittle more fresh shavings, no flies either!!!! and the flock loves it...

    Another word on Hay, I read in several books, and on the net...that hay is HOLLOW, so thus it can make wonderful houses for lice, mites and other parasites...AND HAY IS "HOT" in summer.
  5. chickon baby

    chickon baby Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    st charles
    We used dried out cut grass clippings when we first got our girls.We did not have enough to last through winter and bought pine chips (like for rabbits/guinea pigs) Mine did not like it and kicked it out of the beds.We then tried straw and they did the same thing...Too spoiled..Then we went back to the chips,they didnt have a choice,no grass available..Now we have saved enough for this winter...After that,I read somewhere that the hay or straw;not sure which,is not good for them because it retains moisture and can cause breathing problems..The chips were good for clean up,I use a kitty pooper scooper and that worked great.Hope this helps.As for the grass we dont use any chemicals on our yard,we take the clippings and lay them out on a big tarp to dry (at least 5 days) then we keep a old wheel barrow base in the coop w/some in the and the rest in the shed,bailed up like you would do w/straw..They love that the best and its free..
  6. Ol'FashionHen

    Ol'FashionHen Songster

    Oct 24, 2008
    The South
    I use wood chips in my coop, no on the cedar the oil is toxic to chickens. And I think hay would create mice problems. Good Luck!
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I've heard not to use cedar. I'd suggest pine or aspen instead.

  8. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    just get normal shaving,mites and fleas like to hide inside the straw then come out at night to feed on the chickens.
  9. Pine or Aspen shavings work great...less work than hay. Cedar is toxic to most everything.

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