You may use shavings in your coop and never have had a problem, but I do know that we get asked fairly often on our Facebook page how to treat chickens with respiratory issues. On the coop floor the bedding will provide a soft surface for your chickens to walk on and will absorb droppings and odor. Other materials, like hay and straw, are either far less absorbent or more likely to become infested. However, the fact that shavings degrade along with the droppings means you can use all of it, shavings, droppings and all, in your compost pile. Customize your coop’s bedding material to keep your chickens healthy and to prevent their eggs from cracking. Sun-colored straw, with its sweet, earthy smell and springy texture is what many new chicken keepers reach for to line their coop and nest boxes. If you’re wary of using cedar shavings in the coop, the nest box is a great place to try it out.
The depth of the litter can be as much as 12 inches, composed from one or more different bedding materials. The place we got our chickens from uses wood shavings for chicken coop bedding. Hay or straw for chicken coop bedding. A key to keeping chickens healthy and odor free is the proper use of coop bedding, or litter as it’s usually called. Straw mats down and is harder to shovel out than chips. This winter, though, it’s been above freezing for the entire month of December (after last winter, I’m not complaining!) so I can scoop out the squshy stuff that sticks to my shoes, put it in the compost bin and put down fresh straw. I use softwood shavings, for the nests I use shredded straw.
If straw is used, it should be chopped to one inch or less. I had ruled out straw and hay due to their lack of absorbency, the risk of crop impaction, hay’s propensity to harbor mites and worst of all, to mold when wet. Id like to start prepping my chicken coop and was told straw is warmer than hay. I don’t know about the warmer issue, but can tell you from first-hand experience that using hay as coop bedding is definitely not ideal. I’ve always just used hay in my coop-usually the loose stuff I sweep up or that the horses don’t eat (my hay is 300/ton, so using it for chicken bedding is a silly idea without it going thru the horses first, so to speak!).
Chicken Coop Bedding
You have plenty of safe, green choices when it comes to chicken coop bedding. Can someone tell me what is best for my chickens as bedding is it hay or straw. I use straw and it keeps them warm and dry and smelling nice. I saw one of the girls picking up bits of straw and throwing them over her shoulder to cover her eggs yesterday, didn’t realise they did this. But what do you use for litter on the floor of the chicken coop? Others agree that depending on your individual conditions, hay or straw can be too moist in the coop. I’m pretty sure I was warned specifically about using hay for bedding in a chicken coop, but we all learn our lessons better if the mistakes are our own. The hay does seem to work ok in the nest boxes and is much softer than straw, I It is not recommended you use straw as bedding for young birds as they tend to eat it, which can cause their crops to become compacted. Straw should be used rather than hay, as hay is more prone to developing fungal spores when damp, and these spores can damage the chickens’ health when inhaled. You can apply it in paths and in beds, in spring, summer, and fall. A lot of people use straw as bedding for their chickens, and then turn that out into the garden.
Litter Material For Small And Backyard Poultry Flocks
Usually I stick with wood shavings but I have been known to use hay, straw or leaves from time to time. (didn’t try it with the sand though) Don’t use it in nest boxes unless you want your eggs to have that fancy newspaper-decoupage look. I can’t say that I will be changing all my coops over to shredded newspaper but I will certainly be using it from time to time. In practice, you’ll probably find you can use the bedding just as it comes from your henhouse. Moisten the mixture of bedding and manure as you stack it, and use a long-stemmed thermometer to monitor the temperature for a few days until the temperature of the pile begins to rise. If used without composting it could damage roots and possibly kill your plants, however, once it is composted chicken manure is:. Here are some recommendations to get you started using chicken manure in your compost pile:. Chicken owners normally use bedding such as shavings, sawdust, dry leaves, or straw to provide a dry cushion for chickens and to control odor and pests. Used straw (and hay) can be brougth back onto the fields to enrich the soil, shavings can NOT. Maybe the difference is only the AMOUNT of bedding used?
Ducks and geese use more bedding (or litter) than chickens as their droppings are wetter and they make more of a mess with their drinking water. By chopping the straw, you are exposing more cut stem which can better absorb moisture and by making smaller pieces it easier to remove from your pen. I even made up a rhyme about it: Manure tea will burn a tree! Did you know that if you use straw for bedding in your chicken coop, after awhile it forms a substance stronger than Kevlar? Straw, poop, straw, poop layer after layer, building up to form a dense woven mat. Any material used under birds has to be like a sponge in that it will soak up moisture and give up the moisture to the ventilation system so that it stays dry, said Bill Brown, the Poultry Extension Agent at the University of Delaware. Poultry producers located in regions that raise cereal grains have also tried ground straw, Bermuda grass, flax, oat, wheat and rye. Sand was one of the first litter materials used, but we no longer use it because it’s not an environmentally sound practice, Brown noted. If you have to hold your nose to enter the chicken coop, you need to read these five tips to Keep your chicken coop smelling fresh. Straw is preferred because it is low in moisture, which is optimal for keeping odor at a minimum. I try to use the driest hay bale I can find that is not dusty or moldy. Two or three times a year, completely clean out the bedding on the coop floor.