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Poultry and Livestock: Straw or Hay for Chickens

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Forum: Poultry and LivestockReplies: 68, Views: 325
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rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2008
12:58 PM

Post #5857361

Ok, I want to know straw or hay for chickens and why?

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 4, 2008
1:07 PM

Post #5857371

rhodie, hay is best, as it don't prick thier butt like straw. my girls don't like either, so i put pine bedding in thier nest.
hope this helps
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2008
1:35 PM

Post #5857396

What is pine bedding??

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 4, 2008
1:48 PM

Post #5857409

it's pine shaving. i get it at feed stores in bales.
Harmonyplace

(Zone 7b)

December 4, 2008
1:55 PM

Post #5857424

jordan mine are right the opposite they won't use their nest if i put shaveings in they prefer the straw.
I use Burmuda and i put a nice bed of it in my rabbits hutch they have a nice warm bed they can eat LOL.
If your speaking of the floor use shaveing the hay when wet can get moldy.

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 4, 2008
1:57 PM

Post #5857431

mine don't like hay or straw anywhere. they want the shavings. they are just a bit spoiled!
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2008
1:59 PM

Post #5857440

OK, which is easier for the chickens, straw or hay? I know that other animals eat hay, is it safe for the chickens to eat? They basically eat anything that goes in the coop.

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 4, 2008
2:00 PM

Post #5857445

hay s safe.
Harmonyplace

(Zone 7b)

December 4, 2008
2:12 PM

Post #5857505

Yes Mine enjoy the seed heads and will break off little pieces it's perfectly safe.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2008
2:40 PM

Post #5857625

Thanks.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2008
8:08 PM

Post #5858804

Yup, I use hay. They love spreading it around and eating the seeds.
JKJ, you spoiled them girls! hehehe
teresa83
Belchertown, MA

December 4, 2008
9:16 PM

Post #5858988

shavings here - I was told that straw/hay was bad because they could injest the whole piece and it would cause problems - ...just going by what I was told - no evidence.
??
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2008
9:32 PM

Post #5859031

The reason why I am trying to find out is because DH did some research and found out that hay could do some damage to chickens. He's going to find that out for me so that I know what's up.
Harmonyplace

(Zone 7b)

December 4, 2008
11:28 PM

Post #5859381

Hmmmmm don't understand the warning about hay/straw i personaly don't like straw because it's hard and very stiff. The burmuda i use is very soft and makes good dove and pigeon nest and i put it in the hen nest. I use it on some of the cage wire floors to block out the wind on my young birds.

Maybe could it cause crop impaction when they swallow the long pieces whole?? I'm sure with their gizzard to grind the small pieces it would pass through thier system.
saanansandy
Sue, RI
(Zone 6a)

December 5, 2008
1:12 AM

Post #5859748

I use pine shavings in their nest boxes and hay on the coop floor.
MissJestr
Kingman, AZ
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2008
6:49 PM

Post #5865143

I use the droppings from my alfalfa that collect on the pallets where I store my hay for my horses. When I get new hay, I rake up the stuff that has fallen and throw it in there..
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

December 6, 2008
11:27 PM

Post #5865822

I use pine shavings also and straw in the nesting boxes,I tried to switch last week to all shavings and they started laying on the floor so went back to straw in the nesting boxes,I think it must be whatever you start them out with is what they like best.
cndydavis
Brookville, PA
(Zone 5a)

December 22, 2008
11:42 AM

Post #5917909

i use bales of wood shavings that i get at TSC. and i change under the roosts about every 2 weeks, then i can just rake and fluff the rest of the coop..i love it and the cleanings make wonderful fertilizer..just let it "age" for a season, and its ready to use..i love the easy way..
EggFarmer
Corning, CA

December 23, 2008
11:02 AM

Post #5921083

pine bedding is OK I guess - however one needs to be cautious when young chicks are around (if it is too heavily scented it can - and has - killed them). i personally use hay/straw for all of my flocks - including brooders - during Winter. Aside from the cost factor, which for thousands of birds, can really get expensive...however the main reason is that (during Winter) hay/straw actually lowers my heat bill - by SEVERAL hundred dollars each month...that simply doesn't happen with peat or pine bedding.
Patchouli78
Foley, MO

December 23, 2008
6:30 PM

Post #5922280

I use straw for their nesting boxes and a combination of pine chips and straw for their floor. They seem to like it and it works pretty good with keeping down the smell and moisture.
Lazy_Ladies
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 27, 2008
5:51 AM

Post #5931909

Anyone know why I would have read on BYC someone saying not to ever put hay in with chickens???? I have it in the girls run right now to cut down on the mud -- well that was before it started snowing... any knowledge to share?
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 27, 2008
2:05 PM

Post #5932357

I use hay in the coop, in the nesting boxes, in the run as well. In the run it keeps down the mud a bit. They love it. They eat the seeds out of it and have a field day. I think they may be referring to moldy hay. It can cause blindness in rabbits and may cause certain respitory illness if it carries a certain mold. I am not sure though. If someone knows something I donít let me know. My hay in the coop does not get wet. The coop is insulated and dry. No way for it to get moldy.
grownut
Clarkson, KY

December 27, 2008
4:14 PM

Post #5932739

Can't imagine any concern but mold from old hay, but surely someone has something? There was a recent discussion about it somewhere...


As constantly as chickens scratch around everywhere I can't imagine mold having much of a chance unless it was in the hay before it was put down...

This message was edited Dec 27, 2008 10:16 AM
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 27, 2008
4:38 PM

Post #5932791

Ya, thats what I was thinking Grow. I dunno!
grownut
Clarkson, KY

December 27, 2008
4:40 PM

Post #5932797

We're gonna blow 'em away with all this profound thought -lol!!
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 27, 2008
4:41 PM

Post #5932800

Brain cramp! ouch!
Lazy_Ladies
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 27, 2008
4:59 PM

Post #5932840

Thanks gals! That's what I was thinking. Now, forgive me DH isn't here to correct me, but whats the difference between hay and straw and is STRAW bad for chickens?

luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 27, 2008
5:14 PM

Post #5932871

My hubby said Straw is wheat. I wouldnt think it would be bad for chickens. On a side note straw hay is very very good for tomato planting.

Most times mold on hay/straw is because when it was bailed it was wet. From what I know around here what they do is cut it then let it lay for a few days to dry out then they bail it up. While it is laying on the ground cut, the farmers pray for no rain or morning dew.
grownut
Clarkson, KY

December 27, 2008
7:33 PM

Post #5933262

Hay is edible grasses, stem, seed and all. Straw is what's left after the seed has been cut off the top -typical of wheat or other post harvest grain. Since the grain is left to dry while the hay is cut green, straw ends up much stiffer and is almost useless nutritionally...
Lazy_Ladies
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 27, 2008
9:37 PM

Post #5933696

Thank you! That helps immensely!
grownut
Clarkson, KY

December 27, 2008
10:06 PM

Post #5933778

(I asked the very same question about 3 years ago, equally puzzled;-)
Lazy_Ladies
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 27, 2008
10:08 PM

Post #5933784

Glad I'm not the only one to not know then! :-D
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 27, 2008
10:10 PM

Post #5933793

Oh no, I just learned it this year when I was trying to decide weather to use hay or wood shavings. We all had to learn at some point, and I bet many will find out right here! hehehe
Harmonyplace

(Zone 7b)

December 27, 2008
10:39 PM

Post #5933900

My son works on a hay farm and they call it all hay only by different names Alfalfa,Burmuda,Timothy and they have orchard grass it is all edible. The orchard grass is what i call straw very tuff and thick. The others are gathered seed heads and all i don't really know which but some of these is better for horses.
It also is in different price ranges i buy Burmuda hay and use that it's $8 Bale.
If anyone wants to know the nutrition i can ask my son.
DustyDS
Sugar Valley, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 27, 2008
11:39 PM

Post #5934063

Alfalfa Hay, then Timothy then Bermuda is best in that order for horses depending on what other supplements you feed.. Straw is the bottom stalks left after the wheat is harvested...Then they go back and mow off those about 12 inch tall stalks and bale it...It is of no nutritional value whatsoever...It was/is used in cattle and horse barns etc to help collect the manure... It makes a great compost...Our chickens free ranged and used the cow and horse barns to get what they wanted and lay their eggs...Shavings are modern day mans invention to cleanliness and ease of cleaning...Not that many of us, in my day, had access to a sawmill to get shavings or sawdust...GrandFather used straw on the floor and in the nest boxes, however he did clip it in half for the boxes so it was easier for the hens to move they way they wanted it...
I agree..it is all in how you raise your chicks as to what they prefer...
Straw here is $2.50 a bale and Hay is $3.75 a square bale...


Harmonyplace

(Zone 7b)

December 27, 2008
11:55 PM

Post #5934131

Thank You General and no pun intended but now that the dust has settled over here i hope to see more of you♥
DustyDS
Sugar Valley, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 28, 2008
12:36 AM

Post #5934290

Thank you Harmony... Now that the dust has settled over here after my latest household move, also no pun intended... I hope to be able to spend more time here as well...It was a very fast move, due to the weather and availability of my son and friends to come from MI to move me...Little was packed, so it was a throw together job, and I am still hunting down missing items...You would think with all of my years in the military I would have it down pat by now... LOL But I didnt have a hubby and all his workshop and 5 dogs to worry about either... LOL
Harmonyplace

(Zone 7b)

December 28, 2008
12:40 AM

Post #5934303

Nice to hear from you and hope you find everything i've moved a few time's and each time something just disappeared.
Never could figure that out i lost a quilt and a bread pan never to this day know where they went.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:01 PM

Post #5939313

Hi All,
Well don't ask how I became a subscriber, that was thanks to a very dear friend. Over the weekend I put a bag of shavings in both parts of the chicken coup and the chickens love it. They been staying in there longer than being out in the fence area. We will be buiying straw and more shavings to help them out. DH also wants to buy a reflector to give them some extra needed light. Just not too much.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:06 PM

Post #5939335

Welcome back!!! Its great to see you!
How is the weather there now??? I know you had a stretch of really bad stuff and no power for 9 days or more! I sure hope all is well!!!
I have never used wood shavings but I bet they have fun in them.
jeanmarie ♥
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:23 PM

Post #5939402

Hi JeanMarie,
Right now it's not too bad out. We are suppose to get up into the 40 degrees mark. We have snow coming in tonight. At least it's snow and not ice. Believe it or not, some people are still without power here in NH. It's sad. As for the chickens, they love the shavings.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:27 PM

Post #5939414

That is a shame. I know that ice storm was huge!
Maybe I will try the shavings at some point. I need to clean out their coop at some point.
It really needs it. :/
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:33 PM

Post #5939446

Good luck, if it's as cold there as it is here, it will be frozen. I put the shavings on top of the crap. Once it gets warm enough out and it all softens, then we will use it as composte. If they leave crap inside of the nesting boxes, I just pick it up and remove it. DH is wanting to make them a new pen this coming new year. He wants it closer to the house but out of sight.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:35 PM

Post #5939456

Well, I can understand the reasons for having it closer.
Hauling everything through snow and ice must get old. And preditors may be less tempted.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:40 PM

Post #5939485

That's one thing I never had to worry about, preditors. DH put a really tight fencing around for their outdoor adventures. Nothing can get in. Plus we put a wooden then metal roof over the fence in area to keep snow and all out. It stays pretty dry.
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2008
3:45 PM

Post #5939507

Oh Rhodiegirl I would love to see pics of that.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:47 PM

Post #5939515

Ok,
here's a picture of what their fenced in area looks like.

Thumbnail by rhodiegirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2008
3:50 PM

Post #5939532

You said that right, I dont even think a fly could get into that. Great job!!!!!
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
3:59 PM

Post #5939566

He got the fencing from work. It was extra that they were going to throw out. The metal is really heavy material. It took three of us just to hold it up for my hubby to nail it into place.
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2008
4:06 PM

Post #5939596

I can get chain link seconds for dirt cheap, my FIL works for acme fence(use to be acme dont know the new name now). I might just see what I can get this spring.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
4:11 PM

Post #5939623

ACME! Funny, like in whileecoyoty and roadrunner? JK
hey luvs, no breakfast for the kids. DH is getting something at the store when he gets the mail (sure hope there are eggs) hehehe
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2008
4:18 PM

Post #5939670

HA HA HA yea same place, JK...Yea for hubby going to PO and picking up breakfast. Grandson got cold cereal, that is what he wanted. I had made homemade cinnamon rolls last night and it was a no go for this morning.

I use large pine shavings and straw hay. I paid 6 50 a bale. I plan on this spring to get them giant rolls of hay for the pens. Just depends on the cost, last winter they went for 90 bucks delivered and that was Bermuda hay . I have not even priced them this year.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
4:31 PM

Post #5939728

Ok Luvs, you need to send me your recipe for cinnamon rolls. My guys would love that. Guys meaning hubby and our neighbor.

I know that shavings and straw isn't cheap. It is somewhat cheap around here though.
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2008
4:37 PM

Post #5939745

1 cup plus 1 tsp water
4 tbls veggy oil
1 egg (beaten)
3 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast

I put this in order listed in the bread maker and set to dough setting, then roll out and spread a mixture of melted butter cinnamon and brown sugar on the surface then roll up and let double in size. Cut and Bake until done.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2008
4:43 PM

Post #5939769

So maybe if I blend it all together the roll it out and put all the stuff on it then put it into a bread pan and let it rise, it should come out the same way, right?
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2008
4:44 PM

Post #5939776

you would have to knead it. In the bread maker I think it went thru 2 kneads and 2 rises.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 30, 2008
1:21 PM

Post #5943034

Here's a better picture of what my chicken coup looks like (except without the metal roof.)

Thumbnail by rhodiegirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 30, 2008
8:51 PM

Post #5944533

Nice Rhodie! It is big.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 30, 2008
9:00 PM

Post #5944565

Yeah. I managed to get one good egg from them today then they went and messed the other one up. Dang birds. I didn't name them because I wouldn't be able to tell them apart.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 30, 2008
9:52 PM

Post #5944733

I have 5 pullets that look almost the same. I only can tell one from the group. hehehe!
Your weather probably has your girls in a tither! Cant imagine they are laying much. ;)
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 30, 2008
10:17 PM

Post #5944799

Well they will be in even more of a tither after tomorrow since both you and I have snow coming. They are saying 4 to 6 inches of snow. Then a bunch of wind to follow. Time to batten down the hatches again. I just put our neighbor's cat into our portable garage so that she will stay somewhat warm and dry. I had to thrown one of her blankets out because it smelled too much like cat.
cndydavis
Brookville, PA
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
12:48 AM

Post #5945410

nice coop..would like to take pics of mine, but how do i post them on here? do they have to be saved to a certain site? so far 7 of my 16 have started laying..we have snow coming too so ill bet they slow down..oh well at least the babies have started..
stay warm everyone!!
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
2:27 AM

Post #5945898

cndy, If they are saved on your computer (documents or pics) you can use the browse button on the reply portion down below. Then find photo and post. I sure hope that made sense.

Rhodie, that is real nice you take care of the neighbor's cat! Ya, the wind is already up and running. Knocked the roof in on a freinds barn. I am thankful he did not have animals inside. It has been crazy lately. I will indeed batten down the hatches and put paper weights on my chickens. hehehe Just kidding. I will tie them down. LOL
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
11:04 AM

Post #5946762

Don't speak too fast sewin, she still didn't stick around which got me pretty upset. There is no place where she can go to stay warm. So I had her in protection besides maybe somewhat warm. DH told me last night that he didn't see her. And this morning I didn't see her either. I'm about to give up because I tried my best to get her to come into the house. Now I won't even do that since I have Mitts. Roman is the type of cat who won't get along with any other cat. She fights them all. I've had to break up some cat fights because she wanted to get at them and those cats were my friends. They lived down the hill.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
1:15 PM

Post #5946930

A lot of out door cats are like that. They only get along with their own group. Some are just loners. Not much you can do with that! At least you try. They manage to find places to hide and keep warm. There is about 15 or more strays across the street from me that an older man feeds and trys to capture to have spayed or nuetered. He really tries to keep them from breeding but people keep dropping them off. There is a collapsed barn they get into. It is dangerous for people but the cats get into it. When it collapsed some died.
How about the wake up this morning??? 7 inches and 20 degrees. Wind chill -15. The wind is whipping. brrrr! All my snow had melted. I woke up hearing my plow guy! sheeesh.
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
1:41 PM

Post #5946988

Well we don't have to worry about Roman breeding because her original owners had her spayed. The guy just don't know how to be living in his own home anymore. Since he decided to cheat on his wife being our friend he's been living with his witch of a girlfriend. And he basically ignores us unless he needs something. It's the type of story that really gets to me because he lied to all of us and really didn't care. Well needless to say, what goes around comes back to haunt you. He sort of cheated his company by working at his girlfriends house so his company in turn laid him off. That company being HP. He made his wife leave so that he could go and be with his witch of a girlfriend. What's really bugging me along with DH and our other neighbor is that he lives with his girlfriend all the time. She works from home because that's what HP has decided for their employees in NH. Then he has to spend every waking hour on the weekends with her in Nashua instead of coming up here. It's like his friends that he has known for 13 + years don't mean anything anymore to him. His wife will be spending tonight with all of us. She will be sleeping in our neighbor's house so she doesn't have to travel to go home which is the next town over.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
1:53 PM

Post #5947018

WOW, what a tangled web he wove. Do they work from home because of the weather or because it saves on keeping the office open? Wierd.
So the cat is basically abandoned by that guy. :(
rhodiegirl
Deering, NH
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
2:13 PM

Post #5947097

Since thier office in NH closed down and moved to Ma. they work from home 3 days out of the week and go into the office 2 days. That's the way HP decided to do it for their employees. So what he did was have his computer on at his house, set his laptop up to be online there and then have his laptop set up down in Nashua to work down there. Meanwhile the telephone company is getting paid by HP to provide internet service for him to work from home.

Yes, the cat is his and he doesn't care. Heck he gave his dog to his girlfriend even though his dog was in his wife's name. He figured that since his girlfriend had to put her dog down, she deserved another dog. And his wife didn't deserve anything. Yet his wife put up with him for over 13 years. She spoiled him rotten. He got whatever he wanted. Then when she got her own apartment she said that she wasn't helping him pay the bills anymore. She had her own to take care of now. Now if he will ever learn, he has to stop acting like money grows on trees and stop spending foolishly. That will be a hard lesson for him. Meanwhile the house is going downhill. No one lives in it. He only comes up if he really has to, otherwise you won't see him. And to top it all off, when he comes up, he makes sure the guys are gone to work first. DH and our neighbor have known this guy for well over 13 years. And this is the treatment he gives them. My friendlyness towards him has gone. I don't like the way he treats the guys and they both know my feelings. He could die tomorrow and I wouldn't care. That's how much he has hurt us. Especially me because he made me feel really bad.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2008
2:33 PM

Post #5947161

He is obviously not thinking of anyone but himself.
Too bad he dosnt just sell the house. Especailly if no one lives there.
Ya know?

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