Straw or Hay for chick bedding

Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
32
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
I wouldn't use either. I would use pine shavings. I heard a lot of horror stories about the straw/hay getting stuck in the crops
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I have used straw once and it smelled so bad so I switched it out after reading all the sad stories about using straw/hay. JMO tho.
 

matte

Songster
10 Years
Dec 27, 2009
199
4
111
BrushyCreekHome.com
If you're eventually going to put it on the garden, I would use straw. Hay will still have a lot of weed seeds in it after its time with the chickens and composting.
 

tnchickenut

It's all about the Dels!
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
2,716
32
181
Englewood, TN
I have and do use both... and I have used shavings. When I used shavings (pine) was the only time I had a death from a chick eatting the little bits. So I use hay or straw... I prefer hay... it is longer, softer, and harder for them to swallow. The straw seems to break up into finer bits.

I did used to sift the pine after those deaths... but that can get old fast when I am hatching almost back to back throughout most the year.

That is my current brood in my avatar... and that is hay. 3 days old... no issues.
 
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CherokeeCowgirl

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 30, 2010
86
0
39
In the Country
Well I have horses so I have just always used hay for all my chicks bedding. I have never had any problems with using hay. My hen and her new baby chicks are outside snuggled in a hay bed now. It is good stuff.
 

felidaet

Songster
11 Years
Dec 10, 2008
987
17
141
Vancouver, Wa.
I personally would not use either. I know that both can get moldy pretty easily if they get wet. I am going to try wood pellets in the brooder this year. I saw them in the brooders at a feed store yesterday and it looks like they will work great. I bought several bags since they were on sale for a very good price. I do have a bag of wood shavings sitting ready in the garage if I find a reason to switch quickly.
 

tnchickenut

It's all about the Dels!
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
2,716
32
181
Englewood, TN
Quote:
When does it get wet? I change mine about every 4-5 days depending on the amount of chicks. I don't know what these wood pellets look like but the word "pellet" concerns me. How big or small are they?
 

felidaet

Songster
11 Years
Dec 10, 2008
987
17
141
Vancouver, Wa.
As long as you are changing it frequently you should not have problems with mold. It could get wet from spilled water and from their droppings.

The pellets are wood stove pellets. There are no additives. It is just compressed wood. I have been told from multiple sources that the only difference between bedding pellets and wood stove pellets is that the wood stove pellets are compressed more than bedding pellets.
 

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