will Hay hurt chicks?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by snowflake, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    :/has any one put hay out for chickens ? My chicks do not like the snow so I thought I would get a bale of hay and spread it around outside their coop . something for them to scratch around and eat but I am concerned about digestion,, don't want to plug their crops or anything. Does any one know if hay will hurt chicks?
     
  2. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read of a lot of poeple putting hay in the run (not straw), especially during winter, for their chickens. From what I've read it won't hurt them and will actually give them some winter exercise scratching around for seeds and such. My chickens, like yours, don't really like the snow too much, so I put some hay in their run. It keeps them above the mud/frozen ground a little bit and they do seem to like scratching around in it when I throw them some scratch or BOSS.
    I think you have to keep an eye out for small rodents making nests. I keep the hay layer kind of light for that reason. And, depending on how much mud/snow, etc. you get, you may have to change it out a couple of times during the season. But, again, from what I've read it won't hurt them.
    Good question though, and I hope some of the experts weigh in on this with other possible cautions or experiences.
     
  3. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use a lot of hay in our coop. Never have any problems. They do like to scratch around in it and do consume a certain amount.
     
  4. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :)Thank you; I'm on my way out now I think I will pick some up and try it. I have wood shavings and straw in their coop but they really like going outside and the only snow free area is under the coop and that is a bit muddy and has little growing for them to scratch at.
    Mary
     
  5. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I put straw out for my chickens. Cheaper then hay (hay is for horses, straw is for bedding)

    I will put down some cracked down, and then put a little layer of straw over it, it gives the chickens something to do in the cold winter months. Mine don't care much for the snow but they like to scratch around in the straw
     
  6. 95yj

    95yj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Vermont
    hay won't hurt chickens, there are very few naturaly occuring things that chickens will digest that will hurt them. Around me hay is way cheaper than straw cause gardeners don't like using the hay since it has seeds.
     
  7. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Around me hay is way cheaper than straw cause gardeners don't like using the hay since it has seeds.

    Ditto~!​
     
  8. adkchickmama

    adkchickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It has been pretty cold up here for Dec. I put down hay in the run to keep their feet off the ice and snow. They also like to scratch around in it for seeds. Used a couple of hay bales as natural "steps" to their roost since they kept knocking everything else down. And I use it in the nests, changing it daily to keep the eggs clean, they seem to like it better than the pine shavings.
     
  9. 17roses

    17roses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use a combo of straw and pine shavings. The chickens seem happier than just pine shavings. Just be careful, it is slick to walk on.
     
  10. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Just make sure that there is adequate ventilation and air movement in the coop. Hay gives off a lot of dust which could make their breathing difficult, and if the hay has been or remains wet it could contain aspergillosis.
     

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