Wood Shavings or Straw

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fasbendera, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. fasbendera

    fasbendera Songster

    Jan 30, 2009
    I have seen pictures of nest boxes posted on this site and they all seem to be using straw for nesting material. I read in a book that shavings are better and I have been using wood shavings for my beddiing and nest boxes. Which is better and lets face it more economical?[​IMG]

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I've tried both, shavings and hay.
    I prefer the hay. Never had a problem with the hens eating it and packed in the nest good, it doesn't get kicked out. The hens work their magic and make nice round depressions in it. My eggs stay super clean.
    Hay is plentiful around here right now and I paid $3 a square bale. I have four nest boxes. I started out with 2 bales 5 months ago and I'm just now getting into the second bale. That's changing it once a week or when a nest gets dirty.
  3. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Songster

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    I second the hay! [​IMG] If it gets wet they will eat it!
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I am a straw hay guy, just a little cheaper and readily available, seems easier for me to clean also. Plus with my wheat straw hay there are always a bunch of seeds still on the blades and this keeps them busy.

  5. I`m in. Hay is best. Been using it for years.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  6. Ive had the worst experience with straw... my hens eat it and knock it around and make the coop so messy DX
    so i switched to shaving and i love them.
  7. Jlessl

    Jlessl In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2008
    Gainesville, Florida
    I am no way knocking the use of hay, but it is more likely to lead to mite problems than shavings. This of course depends on the region you live in, how often you clean it, etc.

    I would just try one, if you don't like it, go with the other. [​IMG]

  8. fasbendera

    fasbendera Songster

    Jan 30, 2009
    I read about the possible mite problem and that is why I was using shavings. My parents used straw, we lived in MN as I do now and I didn't know if the thinking had changed. Do you do straw in nest boxes and shavings on the floor. I think I initially went with all wood shavings is because that is recommended for chicks and I have 200 chicks (Cornish Cross) going through the coop a year along with my small mixed flock of laying hens (21) and our lone yellow Japanese bantam, Princess.
  9. leasmom

    leasmom Songster

    May 25, 2008
    I used hay all winter for my chickens who are housed inside the garage in a pen. I got concerned because they were scratching and seemed very bothered by something biting them. I had to buy some mite powder. I also got concerned that they might get sick from the hay because the poop stayed right there. So I shoveled it all out and then put down sawdust-(mind you this is a concrete floor)-and it is just fluff. I am going to keep the sawdust and put straw on top but when they're outside in their coop/run on the ground, I use only sawdust. It is better for when it rains and keeps everything clean but on the concrete floor, the hay works better to me but the mite problem really can happen.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  10. fasbendera

    fasbendera Songster

    Jan 30, 2009
    Thanks for all the replies. I haven't had any problems with mites so don't rock the boat I guess. I'll stay with shavings until the cost or information changes. Thanks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by