To straw or not to straw in the chicken run during the winter in Michigan

addisoneconman

In the Brooder
Dec 4, 2020
2
17
26
Do you ever put straw in your chicken run during the winter when there is snow on the ground to give your chickens something to do?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,677
84,273
1,522
Wisconsin
I use hay, but straw can work to get them up off the snow. My birds refuse to stand on snow here. :)
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,480
13,148
656
western South Dakota
I use hay too. I live on a ranch and we have it. I really think it keeps the birds cleaner. I pile it up, and they kick it around. I do leave some bare spots, for dust baths. If I know snow is coming, I will make mini hay stacks, and then after the storm, flip the hay back on top of the snow.

The theory is, that after the chickens have gone through it all winter, is should be weed seed free. Not real sure how effective this is, but I use it as mulch in the spring on my vegetable garden.

Mrs K
 

linguini

Songster
Jan 8, 2021
156
254
118
Bridgewater NJ (Central NJ)
Is your run dry and covered? If so, chopped straw is great If you can keep the run dry.
When straw gets wet, it won't dry easily and I personally can't stand the smell and the moldiness. I tried straw for a few weeks in my 8x8 covered run and replaced with fresh ones every few days. Eventually I switched to dry sand. Much cleaner.
 

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