wood pellets for bedding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JudyMcKinn, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    I read a thread not long ago about how some thought the wood pellets used for horse stalls works great for chickens, rather than wood shavings or straw, etc. They said they expand with water, and keep down smell, etc. I had never seen them, but today we went to a new Tractor Supply store near here, and they had them. They had a 40 lb bag for $5.99 for horse stalls, and a 20 lb. bag for $5.99 for small animals. They looked pretty well the same, and the price was 1/2 for the horse type. I bought a bag of the horse stall pellets, but they look so much like egg pellets that I am afraid my hens will fill up on them (tho they have laying pellets in front of them all the time)
    Does anyone use them, and what experience have you had with them? It seems like someone said they spritz them with water, so they expand, before putting them in the coop, but one wouldn't want to put wet litter in the coop, would we? Any info or suggestions appreciated.
  2. LlamaChick

    LlamaChick Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 1, 2008
    Llama Country
    I was trying to find info for these right know actualy!
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I wouldn't use them. You're right, the drier you can keep the coop the better. I have a painted wooden floor in my coop. I try to get up spills from the waterer asap, so I'm not going to purposely put something damp or wet on it.
    Also, I can't imagine that they are as warm as pine shavings. My chickens all like to roost at night, but every once in awhile someone will snuggle down in the shavings. When I try to picture one of them snuggling down in pellets....., nah doesn't sound comfortable.
    Don't know about anyone else's chickens, but my chickens would fill up on them at least a few times, maybe more if they really liked the taste.
  4. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    I've used the wood pellets since the day I brought the chicks home. Now that the chickens and ducks are out in their coop, I use a combination of the pellets and shavings. I definitely would not spritz the pellets with water... they'll break down naturally with time. My birds love to dust bathe in the remains from the pellets. They absorb moisture well, are easy to manage, the chickens/ducks have never tried to eat them, and they don't kick up into feeders/waterers like shavings do.

    The ones I buy are for horse stalls... and are what our feedstore uses for the chicks they sell.
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can buy wood pellets cheaper than shavings, though there is a shortage at this time. A lot of my friends use them for horses but I'm not keen on using them for poultry because they resemble layer pellets...[​IMG]
  6. geareduplyn

    geareduplyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2008
    Salley SC
    Your chickens will not even look twice at the pellets, and definitely will not eat them. They are more likely to eat bits of wood shavings. IMO they are the best bedding solution that has come along in many years. I first started using them about 15 years ago, and was actually using the pellets made for Pellet burning stoves. The pine pellets are superior though. For your chicks you will never have to worryabout them eating the bedding and getting stopped up and dying.
  7. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    geareduplyn, how deep do you put the pellets? inch deep? or just scatter a few, or what?
  8. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    I was concerned about them eating them. So, no problem Gary?? I was thinking about trying the corncob bedding...anyone tried that??

    I think I'll try one of my coops with the pellets if I can find them around here.
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's good to know. Thanks!
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I'd wondered the same thing awhile back, and posted this:


    You'll find more feedback there.

    I've always got the pelleted bedding on hand, but I did a test run with it, and personally I don't care for how it works. With pine shavings, the poo sort of gets little pieces of shavings stuck to it as the birds walk past it & such. That doens't happen with pelleted bedding, because it's much heavier. So, the poo just stays on top of the pellets, and the birds seem to have MUCH dirtier feet when I use them. I've got a feather-legged breed, and I want their feet as clean as possible. I tried different depths of pellets, none of them worked well for me, so I switched back to the pine shavings. Sigh...wish they would have worked, because the pellets take up far less room to store than the shavings.

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