Well, hay!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Last year I had a bale of straw to put down on the muddy places in the run and yard. The chickens got ahold of it and had a blast. But I'm thinking that the straw has no nutritional value at all. I keep seeing the square straw bales for sale around here and I'm thinking of getting some to toss in the run this winter when they aren't getting to free range as often. What do we think of hay? They'd still have access to layer pellets and the occasional treat. The hay would be for entertainment mostly.

  2. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    I put hay in the hen house and the run area. I break it up and spread it around the hen house. It keeps it smelling fresh as opposed to the straw smell. I also put in in the run in the flakes and let the girls scratch at it and tear it up. Gives them something to do, and they enjoy picking through it and eating the grass's.
  3. mountainchick5

    mountainchick5 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2009
    I just got a bale of hay to put in the coop on top of the shavings. I heard that it adds some insulation for the winter. The chickens LOVE it! They can nibble on the seeds and it gives them something to do when it's too yucky to run around outside. So far they're having a blast. [​IMG]
  4. jenikay63

    jenikay63 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2009
    I'm not positive, but I think feeding hay or straw to chickens could be problematic as it can cause impacted crops. I've seen a few posts on this site about impacted crops and when surgery was done, it was hay and straw that didn't pass through.
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Yes, that is true. I'd love to put some hay out for my girls, but I'm really nervous about impacted crops. Perhaps if they have plenty of grit it is not a problem? Would like to hear other experiences...
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Yeah, that was my worry. I know the girls would love to play in it. They don't seem to eat the straw. They do pick out the random seed heads and munch on those. With hay, technically all of it is edible. I worry that there might be health repercussions.
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I buy bales of alfalfa for my birds. I try to get nice green bales. They love to scratch in it and before you know it the little leaves are all gone and there are only stems left.
  8. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I had a small bale of alfalfa that was left when my guinea pig died, so I put it in the nest boxes. The hens ate all of it, but no one suffered any problems because of it.
  9. txredneckmedic

    txredneckmedic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    I give my chickens fresh alfalfa all the time
  10. buck431397

    buck431397 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2009
    Pilesgrove, NJ
    i put hay in my run, and while it was fun for a while, now its a big soggy gross mess. Of course, that could be my ducks making that mess, but im gonna have to change my bedding in there.

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