straw (hay) or wood chips in coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by capebird, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. capebird

    capebird Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    I've seen both in coops... and being completely new at all this...
    are there benefits / is one better than the other? I'm looking for suggestions
    on what to cover the floor of the coop with... hay or pine wood chips? Also...
    how about the nest boxes... hay or pine wood chips?
    thanks for the help!
  2. luvinrunnin

    luvinrunnin Songster

    May 12, 2011
    I'm planning on using sand. If I didn't use that I'd try the wood stove pellets. But sand is plentiful, and even if I needed to buy it instead of just scoop it from my property, it's not terribly expensive to get just one load, which would last a good long while for the coops.
  3. shadewolfo10

    shadewolfo10 In the Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    Sand is good for the run because you can use a kitty scoop to pick up all the nasties!

    But, for the nesting boxes we use hay and it works well with frequent changing! You just have to be sure not to let it get moldy [​IMG]

    But, hay is also better because it allows the hens to "mold" it to the shape they want [like a nest], and wood chips won't allow them to do that..
  4. rival001

    rival001 In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2011
    I like use wood chips because its easier to clean out and for nest boxes, i use pine wood chips.
  5. Bob's Leaning Coop

    Bob's Leaning Coop Hatching

    May 22, 2011
    We used corncob that is ment for horse bedding. We first used in the brooder box and it worked great. One of the things I like about it is if it gets wet it just turns to dust and the girls like to roll in it and dust themselves. It doesn't stick to silkies feet either. I haven't seen anyone use this, but I like it so far. In the fall I will clean out the coop and put it in the garden.
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    I'd use whatever dry organic material is most readily available locally, and preferably of course with the least environmental impact. A lot of different things, or a mixture, can work equally well. And I can highly recommend using a deep litter method. The manure smell of our coop has noticeably lessened since we switched over to DLM, and we only have to clean it out a couple times a year (this is in the tropics, in temperate zones most only clean it out once a year). Then you can use the spent material for your garden.

    Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Don't get to worried about it cause the hens will kick most of it out anyway [​IMG] Keep in mind, anything absorbant will have to be regularly changed out to stop mold so you need to decide how much money you want to spend, It can be chips or cob, it can be straw, or it can be something as free as long grass or clippings.
    Again remember most of it will be on the floor anyway. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  8. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    Only trouble with straw is that it has a tendency to clump up with poop and become a real pain to clean out and almost impossible to mulch. We used pine wood shavings and/or sawdust
    several decades ago, so that is what I went with now. Easily freshened especially with Sweet PDZ, easily scratched into the dirt by the chicks where it becomes the worlds best mulch.
    My opinion.

  9. Bob's Leaning Coop

    Bob's Leaning Coop Hatching

    May 22, 2011
    That is true they do kick it everywhere. I found the corn cob at Tractor Supply. It looks like the stove pellets. This is my first time use. It's been in the coop for 3 months now with 39 hens and two turkeys and that is a lot of POOP. So far no smell and dry and dusty spots.
    Has anyone else ever used this before? I is suppose to be good for the garden as well. I had some outside of the coop and when it rained the worms really came up where you didn't see any before.
  10. capebird

    capebird Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    thanks all for the replies. I hadn't thought of corn cob....
    I haven't put the chicks out in the coop/run yet, they're only
    2 weeks old. But maybe I'll experiment with a few different materials and see
    which works best. I'm new at this so it's a learning experience.
    Thanks again.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: