Thoughts on grass clippings 4 nest box and pine drops 4 wood chips?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ringo71, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Ringo71

    Ringo71 In the Brooder

    May 17, 2008
    I noticed when I went to Meyer to pick up my chicks that they used what looked like grass clippings in the box that they sent the chicks home in. I wish I would have noticed this when I was in the store, but unfortunately, I didn't. [​IMG]

    I was wondering if I could let a section of my lawn grow to about 6-8 inches, mow it, leave it lay till it dries, and then bag it in old dog food bags for storage? I figure that I could save a little money by not having to buy straw for the nest boxes if I could get away with it. hehe

    I would only be using the grass for the nest boxes. I plan on using pine shavings for the floor. I also have a nice little deal for that too. I work construction so I have all kinds of left over pine drops left over from cutting boards to length. It smells and feels exactly like the pine shavings you buy at TSC. I'm going to try to run the left over pine boards through a plainer and see how that works. A saw makes it too fine. lol

    We burn about 1-2 tons of left over pine drops a year. I'm hoping the plainer will produce the right size chips for the floor of my coop. I'll be checking it out tonight. [​IMG] I know it doesn't take too many board pieces to get a big pile of shavings, so hopefully this works.

    I'm sure that anyone could go to a construction site and get free pine left overs. After we are done framing a house we normally have 1 or 2 truck loads that we have to clean up. Hopefully I can put it to good use. lol
  2. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Songster

    May 19, 2008
    The planner shavings are a good bit smaller than the shavings you get in bags from the store, but they work just the same. I use them in my coop.

    The thing about the grass will work. But you have to make sure you have it completely dried out or it will mold on you. What you are doing is making hay, which is dried grass. Straw is dried wheat or rye grass.

    Sounds like a great way to save some money.

    Good Luck

  3. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Make sure the grass clippings isn't from grass that you used weed and feed type fertilizer on. some of it will be eaten no doubt, and you don't want to poison the birds.

    The planner shavings that I have seen are quite a bit bigger than the pine shavings that I use. I guess it depends on the depth of cut. They should work great. Lucky to have access to them!
  4. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Songster

    May 19, 2008
    unless you weed and feed right before you cut the grass you don't have to worry about it. If you read on your weed and feed it tells you when it is safe to let animals on etc. As long as you wait that period you should be fine.

    I use stuff like that on the acreage I run my cattle on. So just follow the instructions and you should be fine.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You will have to get the clippings REALLY REALLY dry, which means spreading them out in a very thin layer (unless you're doing this with your mulching mower and just letting them dry where they fall on the lawn, which is ok too) and most likely turn 'em once or twice with a rake.

    You have the advantage over Actual Hay Producers that the nutrient content of your product doesn't matter, so that helps some [​IMG]

    When they are realio trulio totally dry, I would suggest storing them in something AIRY like a milk crate. If the grass is in long enough pieces you could alternatively pile them on top of a pallet (you can put chickenwire or windowscreen on top of it if you don't want pieces sifting through). I would not bag them, not even in a woven or paper bag -- chances are they'll turn into a mold farm.

    Store somewhere indoors and NONhumid, and I'd suggest checking them periodically (grab a handful from the middle of the pile or box, and sniff deeply) in case there's sometihng starting to grow that you'd wanna know about. Probably you will get mice nesting in you 'hay' but this is not necessarily a big deal, for nestbox-liner purposes.

    Good luck,

  6. Ringo71

    Ringo71 In the Brooder

    May 17, 2008
    I don't use any fertilizers on my lawn. I guess I only care if it's green. lol Actually, I'm pretty lucky as my lawn always looks great without having ever put fertilizer on it. Originally I didn't fertilize because most of my yard runs to the pond and I didn't want algae to go crazy.

    Hmmm... I wonder if the algae could be used for food? I guess it's really not true algae, mostly looks like a fern and only grows in shallow areas. I know it's full of little critters. I pulled some out the other day and there were all kinds of bugs and little fish in it.


    I'm going to try the chicken wire idea for storing the grass. I never thought about the stuff molding in a bag after I dried it. I can't stand straw for some reason. The smell of it makes me ill. lol

    I just ran a couple 2x4 pieces through the plainer and I noticed it was a little bit bigger than what I'm buying now. It smells and feels EXACTLY like the bag I just bought for my brooder. I'm thinking that will work for sure.

    Thanks for the responses. Time to go plain down a gazillion pine drops!!! lol

    Why do I get such a kick out of spending so much time plaining wood for these silly chickens?
  7. amysue2012

    amysue2012 Songster

    Oct 6, 2007
    Montpelier Ohio
    Ive heard of trying to make grass clippings into hay (which it essentally is) I was going to try this for goat feed in the winter. Let it dry put it in a large dark colored garbage bag get out all the air and tie till needed. Top of bag may mold if not completely dry...didnt cost you anything just throw it out and use the rest. This comes from a wise old neighbor. I havent tried it yet myself.
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    It will grow mold in plastic bags over the summer. You would be better off making yourself your own haystack with your grass once it is dry. Baled hay is not wrapped in a plastic bag. It has to breath and stay dry.
  9. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    To keep grass clippings for winter feeding. You have to partially sun dry it, and very loosely put it into a container that has vent holes.

    Just about any grass that is put up for the winter that has not been dried correctly or does not have enough venilation for the amount a moisture will start to smolder and catch fire. As the grass decays it will produce heat. This heat is can be enough to start a fire in the storage area. Grass used to make hay bales is usually sun dried for one to two weeks before they are bailed which really dries them out.

    Last year we were buying bagged grass from pet stores, it is usually sold for rabbits. This year I am hoping to get some grass put up for the winter.

    We use same type of wood chips (we were getting the waste from a pallet making company). But most of it is stored out side now. so we have to dry it before using it. Basicly I spread it over concrete in a thin layer and run a rake over it a couple of time to turn it over. When it looks dry enough I sift it using a 1/4 inch x 1/4 inches screen.
    I disassembled an old refrigerator last year, turned it on it's back and mounted some wheels on it so we could have a place to put the chips until needed. While the Chicks and Turkeys were in the brooders/pens we did have to change it once a week. So it can take a lot of this stuff.

    The only time we had any problems is with chicks. But we started to use pieces of old blankets in our brooder and after the first week we don't see, to have a problem with them eating the chips.


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