whats best straw,wood chips or what for bedding

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bogeys, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. bogeys

    bogeys New Egg

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    Dec 23, 2012
    we have 5 hens born october 15th coming monday and im getting ready to clean out the coop for them, we live in central indiana and im wondering whats the best bedding for them,and any special food for winter?
     
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the wood chavings as a bedding since it's very absorbent and smells nice.
    If you live on a farm or have access to a lot of hay, you can use that, too.
    Hay can get moldy and it tends to clump up and will need changing often.


    They can eat their grower feed until they start laying eggs then you can switch them over to layer feed.
    In the winter I give mine extra scratch grains just to fatten them up a bit.
    Also some warm oatmeal in the mornings is always a hit on those chilly mornings.
    Good luck!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. critterwhisper

    critterwhisper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2013
    I also live in indiana.expecting my flock in 11days.i am planning on shavings when the girls get moved to the coop.seems to be cheaper 3.49 a bag,hay i buy for my horse is at 6.50 a bale right now due to in the middle of winter,picking up hay tomarrow. I thought about straw but havent checked on where i can buy it or the price,but i dont like it for bedding for horses so i am not for sure on that one yet.
     
  4. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use straw. It works fine for me, and I have never had any problems with mold, smell, ect. The coop always smell good. I clean it every two weeks, and could go longer, but I prefer to clean in regularly.
     
  5. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use straw for bedding, mainly because I have a large area to fill and sawdust or woodchips just wouldn't be practical or affordable...the straw is also great at absorbing the wetness from the poo...I just turn the straw every other day or so, and all the poo sprinkles work their way to the bottom...I change the straw out every 3-4 months. Every once in awhile you can even find free straw, and nothing gets cheaper than free...And everything smells like hay as opposed to smelling like chickens. I guess I am using a deep litter method with the straw, it is around 6 or 7 inches deep...it works though...we have good ventilation and it isn't smelly. I also only have 12 chickens in an 18' x 20' space...so they have a lot of room up there to fan out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  6. critterwhisper

    critterwhisper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm,i may research straw prices more,thanks saltandpepper.Do you deep litter? I was wanting to compost the chicken poo in the garden,and straw makes a good mulch?
     
  7. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't do the deep litter method. the straw makes great compost, just make sure to stir it regularly. It decomposes faster than wood chips. Hope this helps =)
     
  8. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use hay because it is more cost effective. A lot of people will give away hay that is no good for horses...it's great for chickens to walk on though...Or there is a guy by our hose that sells the 4ft squares for $3...
     
  9. bogeys

    bogeys New Egg

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    Dec 23, 2012
    thanks,their a variety i dont know my chickens maybe youll all have to let me know what they all are.
     
  10. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going to order a surprise box of chickens for April I think...I also won't know what they are...which adds to the fun if you ask me...
     

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