Straw V Hay for Bedding

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BenandHelen, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. BenandHelen

    BenandHelen Chirping

    May 30, 2015
    New Hampshire
    Hey (pun intended) everyone. I was wondering what peoples thoughts are about hay and straw? I am currently using straw as the begging in Duckingham Palace for our two Pekins. Are there advantages to either one? We use hay for the nesting boxes in the chicken coop as it seems to be softer. The duckas seem to enjoy the straw though and when I pull it out of the palace weekly I spread it around the 20x30 “pen” that the poultry share. The chickens REALLY enjoy scratching through it for whatever. So, Any opinions on straw V hay for duck bedding?
    Shuoppi likes this.
  2. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Aug 22, 2017
    Los Angeles (Woodland Hills)
    Same basic material. Hay has seeds. Do you want to be pulling up little wheat stalks all over the place? Straw will have the odd seeds that missed the winnowing but it will be much less of a problem.
    BenandHelen likes this.
  3. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

    May 16, 2015
    Straw is terrible bedding /nest material, it doesn’t absorb at all and gets slippery when wet . My girls kicked it over a 2 inch edge from the nesting boxes ..

    Hay is food to many animals , I wouldn’t want my hens eating it.

    I’ll stick with sand .... love my sand . Great in nesting boxes , broken egg? Scoop it , poop in box? Scoop it .

    Dust baths ? No problem it’s everywhere,

    Good luck
    BenandHelen and Chick-N-Fun like this.
  4. Aquachick

    Aquachick Songster

    May 7, 2014
    Western Washington
    Personally I don't use either one I use pine shavings for bedding and nesting material. It composts beautifully and absorbs messes much better. It also breaks down and makes fantastic compost.
  5. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

    May 28, 2015
    Chesterland, OH
    My Coop
    I say use what works for you. You will get lots of opinions on what works— but it works for the opinion giver.

    I use pine shavings. I have them in the chicken nest boxes and I use them mixed with shredded paper on the floor. My coop has a wooden floor and I tried sand but it got cold in the winter. So instead of going back and forth between sand in summer and shaving in winter I switched to shavings all the time. I clean it about once a week. The areas under the roost get shoved out the door into the run for sure. But sometimes what gets kicked into the corners I push back to the middle and “top off” the flooring.

    Personally hay is food and generally more expensive. Straw is cheaper but not very absorbent.
    Again— if it works for you, use it!
  6. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Songster

    Apr 27, 2017
    West Tennessee
    I use hay in summer and straw in winter.
    JedJackson, Jpat and BenandHelen like this.
  7. I have a roost area inside my coop and i put cement under that for easier lean up, i use pine shavings there.
    In my nest boxes i use straw. I have used hay in the past but i got some hens that found it has yummy seeds and leaves and they spent alot of time scratching around in there, breaking eggs and removing all the hay. Straw has literally nothing edible for them. My main coop has a dirt floor and i just add fresh dirt every year.
    Now i only have chickens at the moment but i would think pine shavings for ducks coop area and straw in nest boxes.
    JedJackson and BenandHelen like this.
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hay is feed and straw is bedding for livestock.
    Pine shavings is a great bedding for Birds..It absorbs poop and limits the stink..
    snow5164 and JedJackson like this.
  9. JedJackson

    JedJackson Crossing the Road

    Jul 6, 2016
    NW Washington state
    Straw. Especially in winter as hay can get moldy.
    snow5164 likes this.
  10. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Songster

    Apr 27, 2017
    West Tennessee
    It's also more expensive and not readily available in some rural areas. Hay in summer months works for us and is easily compostable. Straw in winter tends to trap heat and thus controls in coop temps.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: