straw vs. wood chips?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by norahsmommy, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. norahsmommy

    norahsmommy In the Brooder

    What are the pros and cons of straw and wood chips used as bedding? My grandfather in law used straw for his chickens and he still gets it free from all the local stores that use bales of it in decoration. They give it to him instead of throwing it away. It would be wonderful to get bedding for free, but I am not sure I want to use it. I would think wood chips would be nicer and easer to keep clean but I don't know where to get it that it wouldn't cost a bundle. Also, which breaks down better to use as compost? Which do you like better and why?
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Many previous threads on this ~

    I prefer wood shavings, ideally Aspen since there are few essential oils. Some folks use pine. Not many would recommend cedar.

    In my opinion straw gets too mucky, moldy and is very difficult to clean out.
  3. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    I would bet straw breaks down better...I have used both...never got either free...for a floor I prefer chips...for cages I prefer straw.
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    I think that straw might compost easier, but it holds more moisture so has to be cleaned out of the coop more often.
  5. EllyMae

    EllyMae Songster

    Quote:I second that !
  6. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    i put straw down first as an "insulation", it STAYS there better then chips,, then i put chips on top of that.
    chips = lose easyily
    straw = gets yucky fast and doesnt soak up liquid.

    i do this in both coops and nests.
  7. supermom

    supermom In the Brooder

    Sep 10, 2008
    I use straw because it is MUCH cheaper than the wood chips in my area.
  8. ChickNChicken

    ChickNChicken Hatching

    Jul 20, 2008
    Canton, Mass.
    I use CareFresh, looks like shredded paper but it's made
    from reclaimed wood pulp. It really seems to work well. But,
    I'm new at this (my three Dominiques, my first-ever chickens,
    are almost six months old) so am open to hearing if that's
    a good or bad idea.
  9. RW19290

    RW19290 Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Southern California
    Quote:I like wood chips or shavings because its easier to clean out. Trust me, I've experienced with all sorts of bedding. I've also heard that parasites can hide in the small holes of straw. scary!
  10. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I use my leftover litter in a compost for the garden and flower beds, so straw hay is a better choice for me, it does break down better and I bale all I can use on my farm so it is economical also. it just boils down to what ever works best for you with all things considered.

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