1. mjanderson437

    mjanderson437 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2013
    SC Lowcountry
    So, I've read not to use hay in nest boxes because it can harbor mites. Then I just read to soften concrete floors with a covering of straw. What's the difference? Doesn't straw also have a hollow center? What's the difference? It didn't say pine straw, just straw.

  2. Cosmo

    Cosmo Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2008
    Asheville NC
    Straw can be oat or wheat and is hollow in the center making it light and easier to stay dry. Hay is grass that is solid and has seeds in it. I use either straw or pine shavings from the farm supply store. Either one works fine.
  3. mjanderson437

    mjanderson437 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2013
    SC Lowcountry
    So is hay actually a bad thing? We have a hayfield... so obviously I'd rather use that. Straw...not so available. Pine shavings to cover that area would be expensive but I need to, I will.
  4. campine2000

    campine2000 New Egg

    Oct 5, 2011
    Dallas tx
    I"ll put in my two cents on litter. Don't know how big your coop is? Mine is 1600 sq ft and use rice hulls . I'm able to get them from some area feed stores. Birds can eat them and its great fiber and eventually compost great elsewhere unlike pine shaving. Shaving are fine but if material is available like the hay -go for what is handy. Money doesn't grow on the trees! Also try a sand on your floor if its concrete before throwing on the hay that may make it easier to rake up. One suggestion is make sure that hay doesn't have the scabies mites that like to eat humans ! You will hate that!
  5. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We use coastal hay in our nest boxes. (started using this a few months ago) Our chickens love it! -no issues at all with mites thus far. We do change it out about once every week or two.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Yes straw is hollow and is a great insulator. The problem with straw is that it blows around easy (out in the run) and it can be messy as the girls scratch and dig. I put afew bales of tied straw in the run for them to climb around on. Straw, hay and pine chips are fine as nesting material. Hay tends to hold moisture so that would not be my favorite choice. I only use hay to feed the goats. :) Pine chips are wonderful on the floor, in the nests, or out in the run. I have even used plywood sheets on the ground to cover a muddy area.... I throw a fresh block or two of pine chips in the coops and around the run every few weeks or so.
  7. mjanderson437

    mjanderson437 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2013
    SC Lowcountry

    My coop is a converted dog kennel and has a cement floor. I just want to cover the cement floor in my coop but without introducing additional issues. Luckily, the ground in the run drains well, so i don't have an issue with mud typically. You must get the pine shavings somewhere more economical than Tractor Supply.
  8. jrudolph305

    jrudolph305 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2009
    Meadows of Dan, Va
    I just used grass clippings in our coop and it seemed to work fine. Also used them in the nest boxes. Would add some every now and then and then clean it out monthly.
  9. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It has been posted, in the past, that long strands of hay can be a crop impaction hazard. The chickens will eat it and it will tangle in the crop.
    I have not used straw or hay, so I have no experience with either.
    I use grass clippings and leaves mostly.

  10. Pack Mom

    Pack Mom Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 11, 2012
    New Jersey
    When we first got our chicks the farm told us not to use straw. He said it is hollow and mold can grow on the inside and you will not see it until your have big troubles. We use pine shavings, a large bale is only 6 bucks at the farm supply store. Dorothy

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