Substrate alternatives, would like comparisons, please!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Anatopism, May 29, 2012.

  1. Anatopism

    Anatopism In the Brooder

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    May 10, 2012
    Olympia, WA
    So I've recently developed an allergy to pine shavings... Started to notice it a little while ago where I would get home and get kind of itchy.. but nothing too out of control. Then, as of last night, I scooped a couple heaps of pine to the birds' new brooder pen, and within minutes my arms were red, bumpy, my palms itched, and I felt on the verge of a panic attack. One zyrtec later, was feeling better, but now that it's the next day, by sinuses have been all sorts of messed up.

    What I am looking for, is a short, concise rundown of alternatives to pine shavings, that are still just as easy to maintain, and are going to help keep any odor down. Aspen would be my next step, except I can't seem to find any in my area for a reasonable price (I go through about 2.5 "bales" of horse-pine from the feed store a month).

    I'm wondering if I need to just bite the bullet and start buying the smaller, more expensive bags of aspen, or if maybe something like shredded paper, or hay, might work better. Seeing how inexpensive hay is on craigslist, I've considered using it multiple times now with the chickens and the rats, but I honestly don't know how well it holds up/how quickly it decays, and how it combats odor issues.

    I know there are threads out there with some different substrate types, but most of them seem to lean towards pine and deep-litter method, which now is not really an option for me. So.. in a side-by-side comparison post, which is the next best thing?

    Thanks for any help :)
     
  2. JeffOeuf

    JeffOeuf Songster

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    Mar 23, 2012
    Springfield Missouri
    See if rice hulls are available in your area. If they are, I think you'll find them a superior bedding material.
     
  3. Anatopism

    Anatopism In the Brooder

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    May 10, 2012
    Olympia, WA
    Thank you for the suggestion :) I will talk to by local feed store about if they can order it in and how much it is. From looking online it looks pretty pricey, but it never hurts to check it out if it's available. Currently spending under $10 for a bale/bag of pine that is too large to strap a seatbelt around in my little car, and is too heavy for me to lift (so somewhere over or around 50 lbs.. I'm fairly weak. Haha).
     

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