Thoughts on hay

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Fmarie1016, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Fmarie1016

    Fmarie1016 In the Brooder

    21
    25
    37
    Sep 19, 2019
    I usually use hay in my coop. My husband came home from a job on a farm and said that the lady told him not to use hay, because they get bored and eat it, eventually binding them up and causing a problem. Does anyone know anything about this? Should I switch to a different bedding. Also, they are free range when I'm home but they are not old enough to be out alone yet so I feel like they get enough entertainment during the day.
     
  2. FortCluck

    FortCluck Crowing

    2,589
    10,128
    466
    Sep 9, 2019
    Central Virginia
    I use hay and straw, and I've never seen them eat the hay. If they are free ranging then they should have enough entertainment to keep them from being bored.

    It sounds like to me that person may have kept their chickens in the coop for a long period of time and that's what might have happened because they were bored from being cooped up.
     
  3. Fmarie1016

    Fmarie1016 In the Brooder

    21
    25
    37
    Sep 19, 2019
    I have seen them eat it, and whenever I clean the coop and lay more hay they come running in to eat it. Honestly I just think they like it, especially the Timothy hay I put in their nesting boxes
     
    sorce and Sequel like this.
  4. FortCluck

    FortCluck Crowing

    2,589
    10,128
    466
    Sep 9, 2019
    Central Virginia
    I've never had any issues with mine eating hay, they would rather eat the grass and bugs that are outside. Mine have been free ranging since they were a week old.
     
    Sequel likes this.
  5. Fmarie1016

    Fmarie1016 In the Brooder

    21
    25
    37
    Sep 19, 2019
    I'm just worried about them being able to defend themselves against the local cats and such
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    68,056
    64,359
    1,477
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Gorging on too much hay too quickly might clog the crop.

    IMO, it's not the best bedding anyway.
    Can depend how many birds in what sized space in what climate.
     
    Sequel likes this.
  7. FireGal

    FireGal Chirping

    45
    177
    79
    Aug 27, 2019
    Northeast Arkansas
    I have questions about hay. We are in Arkansas, so cold winter but not ridiculously cold. Our coop is 8x8x10. It has roosting bars floor to ceiling on one side. It is built from wood with a metal roof, and a full size storm door. It has a sealed wood floor that currently I just clean every day -no bedding of any kind because they roost. I am thinking of putting hay on the floor and around the walls a few inches to a foot or so deep to help keep it warmer during the winter. At the moment the girls don’t huddle together but they might start when it gets cold and I want to be prepared.
    Thoughts?
     
    Sequel likes this.
  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I think it just depends on what you have available and what works best for you.

    I can't imagine them starting to huddle in an Arkansas winter.... :idunno

    Mine don't huddle unless they are chicks.

    So... whatever works for you.... but I find wood chips/shavings are easiest to deal with and best.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    68,056
    64,359
    1,477
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    @FireGal What does the bolded part above mean?

    Would be good if you started a new thread here with pics of your coop inside and out so we can help you prepare your coop for winter.
    Ventilation is much more important than 'insulation' on the floor.
     
    Chris-n-Kate and 21hens-incharge like this.
  10. sorce

    sorce Songster

    143
    302
    126
    Aug 26, 2019
    I use Timothy hay simply because my daughter had it for the hamster. Never caught em eating it, though they do get out most of the day.

    I agree @aart , @FireGal bedding makes it easier to clean and at way less intervals. Free yourself!

    Sorce
     
    21hens-incharge likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: