Straw or Shavings?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by henney penny, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. henney penny

    henney penny Songster

    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    I have had chickens now for 6 years or more.This year I have found that the dust in my coop is awful.I use shavings and have always.I was thinking maybe nexr year using straw instead of the shavings. Can anyone tell me if straw has a lot of dust in it?

  2. downrangechick

    downrangechick In the Brooder

    Nov 2, 2013
    NE Michigan
    I use shavings too and my coop is dusty. I believe straw can harbor parasites like lice and mites. My birds love to bathe in the shavings.
  3. Luviesmom

    Luviesmom In the Brooder

    I always preferred shaving. Straw/hay can get moldy and is not as absorbent. Chickens are dusty anyway due to dander. Maybe sand would be a better option..
  4. There is no dust in straw until the chickens have rolled it, tumbled it, and transformed it into dust under their feet. Wood shavings are no better when they break up. The colder it is the drier the environment so looking at your location i suspect that right now you are having a mini dust storm, especially when your birds freak out and stir the air violently with their wings.

  5. cstronks

    cstronks Songster 5 Years

    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    Do you have a sand run? My chickens manage to track an incredible amount of sand and dust into the coop from the run. Straw has much more warmth than shavings, but it has poor absorbency when compared to sawdust. I've never had mold issues with it, but I know that it can get moldy. Try and sweep out dust when changing the pine shavings.

    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    I use shavings in my coop. I think I will look into straw though. Whatever is cheaper I will get. [​IMG]
  7. henney penny

    henney penny Songster

    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    Cstronks,I have snow in my run right now,grass in the summer.I think I figured out why it has been extra dusty the last week,its been _25 at night so I closed the vents and run a heater so it went from 80% humidity down to 40%,and with them being inside and scratching around it really stired things up.

  8. Naturegirl44

    Naturegirl44 Chirping

    Jun 11, 2013
    Powassan, Ontario
    My coop is really dusty right now as well. In the warm months we use mostly pine chips and some straw in the nests but with this really cold weather (-25c to -32c lately) we have put a lot of straw on the floor of the coop. About 8-10 inches worth to help insulate the floor a little. I went to clean the nests a few days ago and found that chips were a solid rock of ice in the nests!! that must be so cold to sit on!! so I removed them all and with chisel and hammer, broke it all out. When I put the nests back in the coop I filled them with straw only. So far so good. I noticed one lady, while she was sitting and laying, picking individual straw pieces around her and placing them!! lol like she was building her nest just so!! lol it was so cute. I sprinkled more chips and straw over the floor today.

    Its going to be a heck of a job shovelling out in the spring!! lol if it warms up enough over the next week, i'll coax them all out into the run and shop vac all the dust on the walls etc. poor things :( my hubby wants to bring them in the house and make a room for them in the basement for the winter lol

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