Straw or pine shavings?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by greginshasta, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    Today is moving day for our chickens. They are just 4 months old this week and we have been building the coop for the past 2 months.

    The coop has vinyl floor wrapped 12" up the walls, specifically so that we can use the DLM and have the material contained and away from the wall surfaces. We need to decide if we should use straw and/or pine shavings when we cover the floor for the first time today.

    We picked up a pair of bales of straw just after Haloween and stored them in a shed, so they are nice and dry. Leftover from the grocery store pumpkin display, we got them for about $5 each.

    I 've seen plenty of postings indicating that straw becomes a problem if it gets wet. In our case, I think keeping the straw dry will not be a problem.

    The waterer will be suspended from a chain and I'll probably rig up a tray to catch any splashes. And the coop actually has a foyer entry area which they will pass through before reaching the rest of the coop - if their feet have any moisture on them, or any rain water that blows in will be largely contained at that location.

    So what say you? Should we use the straw? Mix with pine shavings? Pitch the straw and just use pine shavings?
  2. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    Hey, I have read that straw is not good in the coop as it will harbor mites. I use wood shavings in mine. Good Luck
  3. joanm

    joanm Songster

    May 13, 2007
    I tried straw in mine and didn't like it. I find pine shavings are much easier to stir and scoop to clean.
  4. jenichick

    jenichick Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    I've been using straw for 6 months with no problems, they like to pile it up and lay in it. Coop doesn't smell at all. I have had no problems with dampness etc. I use pine shaving until they're two-three months old, but the main coop has straw.
  5. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    I know lots of people have used straw and not had a problem, but check out my post stickied at the top of emergenices about crop operations. Mine ate the straw and they can't digest it and would have died. But I don't think I have ever heard of anyone eating the pine shavings. They seem to be a safer bet. Just my two cents.
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I use pine or wood shavings...did the route with straw my first year with chickens in the henhouse and got bugs!...straw harbors all kinds of bugs/lice/mites in the shafts from where its been two cents...wood shavings are cheaper here than straw bales anyway...
  7. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    Quote:Sounds like this problem could be resolved with a bit of DE to kill the bugs?
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    When I ran low on pine shavings, I used straw. I hated it! It smelled bad, didnt absorb odors or wetness, just didn't do what I wanted at all. I raked it all out as soon as I could get more shavings.
  9. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    The diverse opinions and experiences is fascinating. People seem to either love straw or hate it.
  10. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I use pine shavings. Being a dairy farmer I found they work best for the calves and when we got the chickens there was no question, it would be shavings.

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