1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

What substrates for coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cococrisp, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. cococrisp

    cococrisp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2009
    I'm wondering what substrate I should be using for my coop. I can get hay for free but could also buy shavings. What is the best substrates and which ones are suitable.
  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    hay is cheaper, but gets yucky faster. Shavings absorb better and I think easier to work with. Some people use sand and rake/scoop. Have never done this myself, so not sure of this one.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Some people have chickens turn up with impacted/sour crop problems when using hay, although many people use hay with no problems.

    To me the big factor is that shavings are real easy to spot-clean whereas with hay it is hard to do anything other than clean the whole darn mess out and start over. If that's what you'd be doing anyhow, and are willing to wait and see what happens w/r/t the impacted crop risk, then the free hay would seem sensible (as long as it is not moldy at ALL!). Otherwise, shavings are a better choice IMO, being much easier to spot-clean. Remember that a $5 bale of shavings expands a lot once opened, so unless you chuck out all the bedding rather frequently, it is really not very expensive to bed with.

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. cococrisp

    cococrisp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2009
    Thanks for all the info. How often would I need to change the hay verse shavings. If there is a risk that my chickens get sick using the hay and that I would only need to spend a little on the shaving every couple weeks I'd do that. What is this sickness they can get with they hay?


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by