1. Tilly's Nest

    Tilly's Nest Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Cape Cod
    It may seem like a dumb question, I live in the Northeast and I was just wondering what works best. I heard that chickens can eat the hay and it can lead to crop problems. What have been your experiences? What keeps the most warmth? Is the cleanest, least bug-prone? Thanks in advance![​IMG]
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I can't say about those questions but can say that for my situation of composting I need to turn to straw. The bales around here are about $2 more so have so far disposed of spent hay on yard area and over bank to river. This of course is not something that can contimue yet hay with it's seed I certainly don't want in my compost pile for extra weeds next garden season.

    Thankfully I've only bought one bale and used 1/2 on part of yard rework and saved rest for nesting boxes for when the pullets finally decided to give something back. It's used up now. And as my recent eggs are a bit dirty I'll be switching over to straw so when dirty simply goes into the compost for the garden.
     
  3. KungPaoRooster

    KungPaoRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2009
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    My opinion, The straw gets doesnt get matted down as quickly and holds up longer than hay. I use leaves for my chicken runs in the fall/Winter. People are so nice to bag them up in the fall in the recycle bags and put on the side of the road [​IMG]
    For My egg boxes, I use wood chips and straw. Seems to keep my eggs the cleanest.
     
  4. Dixieangeln

    Dixieangeln Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read somewhere that hay can be toxic to chickens if it gets wet and moldy-- so I decided to put shavings in the coop instead.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, and btw, if you see a great deal on straw let me know. I plan on getting about 5 bales at once to use as a wind barriar for the run during winter. Ya know, little sheild for those blustery days as I take batts out of a bale now ans then to replace the nesting boxes.
     
  6. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Hay and straw are not interchangeable. Straw is a bedding and hay is a food (though in my opinion not a food for chickens.) I use bales of straw in the run as a jungle gym and as wind break. In the coop I use wood shavings -- at 5.99 a bale its about the same as the cost of a bale of straw, but holes up better.

    For chickens, I have no use for hay.

    Jenny
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  7. downhome

    downhome Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2009
    genesse county, MI
    seeing that my birds roost above and more or less poop on the floor and what ever covers it litter is litter to me. hay,straw,chips,shavings,leaves. but animals that actually bed on the floor you really would want straw.

    they are going to dig through what ever i put down, and anything you put down if it gets wet is going to mold and mildew.

    hay costs more then straw though I get a good deal from a farmer down the road every once in a while got 20 bales of straw for 20 bucks that got me through the winter with the dogs and chickens !
     
  8. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    In my experiance hay molds father quickly. I have never had straw mold.
     
  9. AlaskGirl

    AlaskGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any opposing opinion to wood shavings? I can buy large black yard trash bags of it at 1.10 a bag and I use it by layering when the old is too dirty. I am looking at the most affordable choice and it seems to be working fine...
     
  10. Tilly's Nest

    Tilly's Nest Out Of The Brooder

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    Cape Cod
    Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. This is terrific. I have been using pine shavings throughout the coop so far, but I wanted to cozy up the nesting boxes a little for the harsh Northeast winters. It looks like straw it is!
     

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