straw or hay

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ltstrouse12, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. ltstrouse12

    ltstrouse12 Out Of The Brooder

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    do chickens like straw or hay?? Ive been using straw but I always wondered which is better
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    There are more grain seeds in hay, so the birds will pick through it more. Other than that, there really isn't much difference.
     
  3. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the purposes of bedding material, it makes no difference--people generally would choose what's most abundant, readily available, or cheapest. Dry leaves (preferably shredded to be more absorbant), wood chips, shavings, etc can all serve well also. You can use whatever is available as a carbon-rich, absorbant bedding--provided it is free of chemicals and non-toxic, obviously.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Straw is bedding. Hay is food.

    Straw is just the stems of the plant. No seeds or anything nutritious. All that's been removed to be used separately as feed. It's great for bedding, but not the most absorbent material.

    Hay is the entire grass or grain, harvested with the seeds intact. those seeds and the fine stems of the grasses are what provides nutrition for the animals that eat it. It can be used for bedding, again not the most absorbent material.

    I give my birds the hay that breaks off the bales and winds up on the floor. I'm not sure how much of the seeds or other good stuff they get from it, but they sure enjoy scratching around in a pile of it, looking for whatever good stuff is there.
     
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  5. ltstrouse12

    ltstrouse12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2015
    Thank you for the information
     
  6. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Void where prohibited.
    I've been having pretty good luck with bermuda grass. Laid down deep, I don't smell any ammonia or poop. I do throw a few handfuls of scratch in now and then to get the girls to mix it up. It's been a few months now, and I just add more to keep it thick.
     
  7. ltstrouse12

    ltstrouse12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2015
    whats in chicken scratch anyway????
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Different grains, depending on the maker. It's usually corn, wheat, oats, things like that. No added vitamins or added protein like a "feed" has. it's kind of like chicken candy or potato chips. it does have some nutrition, but it's not a complete feed. it 's a treat, or something to encourage them to "scratch' around in the bedding to entertain themselves and help the human by turning the bedding over.
     
  9. ltstrouse12

    ltstrouse12 Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks
     

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