Is hay a good bedding for chicken?

Hay or grass clippings are NOT an ideal chicken coop bedding. The main reason is that they are high in nitrogen, so they can’t provide a good carbon/nitrogen mix in the coop that fosters beneficial bacteria and composting.

What is the best bedding for chickens?

By far the most commonly used litter is wood shavings, sold in feed stores, or scrounged from woodworkers. Wood shavings have a pleasant smell, are amazingly absorbent, and don’t pack down. Sawdust also works well but is dusty. Chickens stir it up and dust settles on anything in the coop.

Is hay or straw better for chicken bedding?

Bottom line, straw is a far better choice for coop bedding than hay for us both because of its price and far lower moisture content. So that’s why we buy both straw and hay. Hay for the horses to eat and straw for the chicken coop and nesting boxes.

Can chickens live on hay?

One treat your chickens will enjoy is a humble and inexpensive bale of straw or hay. Put a bale in the chicken run and get ready for hen enthusiasm as they gleefully tear it apart. Each bale holds thousands of tiny tasty tidbits hidden amid grass stems.

Can chickens sleep on hay?

Hay must not be used for bedding because it soon gets damp, and that can cause fungal spores to grow that can cause aspergillosis.

Can you use old hay for chicken bedding?

NEVER use hay as coop bedding. Hay is livestock feed, straw is livestock bedding. Hay is too “green” and tends to harbor mold and bacteria which is extremely detrimental to poultry health.

What do you put in a chicken run floor?

Ground cover within the coop can be anything from wood chips, straw and grass to bare ground. Organic materials tend to break down quickly and plain sand is a popular choice for its durability. Whatever you choose, make sure the chickens may easily scratch and dig.

What is the best material to put in a chicken nesting box?

Organic beddings, such as straw, hemp, or aspen nesting pads, are the best material for your chicken coop nesting boxes. Sand is also acceptable, but less desirable to hens. Plastic, rubber, or artificial grass nesting pads are poor options.

What do you put in the bottom of a chicken run?

The bottom line is organic matter, leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, kitchen scraps — all go in the run.

Can you use hay for bedding?

Straw—Not Hay—for Outdoor Cat Shelters

They look similar, but while straw makes excellent bedding for outdoor cat shelters, hay becomes a soggy mess. Hay is typically used to feed animals, like horses. It soaks up moisture, making it cold and uncomfortable for cats—and has the potential to get moldy.

Can I use hay instead of straw in my garden?

Nowadays people use the terms hay and straw interchangeably, and in most cases, it makes no difference whatsoever. For example, we say we were on a hayride at a get-together even though the wagons are filled with straw rather than hay.

What is difference between straw and hay?

Straw is a stalk, usually a waste product of wheat, that’s used as bedding for barnyard animals. Hay—typically alfalfa or a grass—is used as animal feed.

Do chickens like hay bales?

Alfalfa is your friend.

Mini alfalfa hay bales and loose alfalfa hay (made for rabbits and other small pets) are available too, if you want to throw a few handfuls inside a small run. Your chickens will be busy pecking at the alfalfa all winter long, while also getting an excellent fill of protein and fiber.

Can chickens eat hay pellets?

You will see some chickens eating it, and others won’t sometimes; pellets could be too dry for them. But if you notice that your chickens like it, they can definitely eat it. And for the chickens the don’t like it try sucking the pellets in water to see if they change their mind.

Is grass hay good for chickens?

Chickens with a balanced diet and access to pellets or grains are unlikely to eat too much grass. Chickens can eat too much grass especially if it is long, tough and fibrous. It is not long grass that is bad for chickens but the tough hay type grasses with thick stems.

Can chickens get mites from hay?

On a day to day basis the chickens contact with straw which has a lower density of Itch Mites than hay doesn’t cause them any noticeable problems. When a hen is sitting on a clutch the ambient humidity rises as does the temperature. This creates an ideal environment for the mite to reproduce.

How do you keep a chicken run from smelling?

  1. Water and moisture are not your friend.
  2. Install a box fan to keep air circulating.
  3. Use fresh herbs and rose petals if you have them, in the nesting boxes and in the sleeping areas.
  4. Every few days or once a week, clean out any bedding that is soiled or damp.

How do you deal with a muddy chicken Run?

  1. Wood Chip, bark or pine pellets or shavings.
  2. Gravel.
  3. Ground cover like sprouted wheat.
  4. Hay, leaves, grass clippings or straw.
  5. Rubber shredding.
  6. Moving the run around.
  7. Raising the run up on pallets or a floor.
  8. Cover with paving slabs or solid surface.

Is sand OK for chicken Run?

The use of sand in the chicken yard or run is ideal in especially wet climates since water drains through the sand instead of creating mud puddles filled with decomposing straw or wood shavings. If possible, roof or cover the chicken run to keep the sand dry and provide the flock an outdoor oasis in inclement weather.

What kind of hay is used for nesting boxes?

Oat straw provides a soft, comfortable base for your nest box that won’t attract your other chickens to jump in and try to eat it. Less foot traffic in the nest box by curious non-layers means fewer broken eggs and less feces to clean up.

What do you put in the bottom of a nesting box?

The Bedding Lineup

  1. Straw and Hay. 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.
  2. Pine Shavings.
  3. Cedar Shavings.
  4. Sand.
  5. Grass Clippings.
  6. Shredded Leaves.
  7. Recycled Paper.

What is the best bedding for chickens in the winter?

Although straw is soft, it is not very absorbent, quickly becoming wet from the chicken’s waste. A wet bedding is hazardous to chickens because it harbors mold which can make the hens sick. A better chicken coop bedding for the winter months is an absorbent bedding such as pine pellets or hemp.

How tall should a chicken run be?

How Tall Should My Chicken Coop Be? At a minimum, your chicken coop should be three feet tall. The extra height in your chicken coop has several advantages. Higher ceilings allow for more ventilation which maintains a healthier environment.

How do you keep predators from digging under a chicken coop?

To deter digging predators, dig a 12″ trench all the way around the perimeter of the coop, burying the hardware cloth. Dirt floors should have hardware cloth buried at least 12″ beneath them. An alternative to a trench is to extend a 12″ hardware cloth apron out from the perimeter of the run.

What do chickens like in their run?

Bales of Hay or Straw

Putting a bale or pile of straw or hay in the chicken coop or run will keep your girls entertained for hours – they are not a fan of piles! Watch as they scratch and peck at the straw searching for insects, seeds and other hidden goodies until there is a pile no more.

Can you use hay instead of straw?

If you don’t have access to straw, you can substitute hay, but hay often brings problems with it in the form of weed seeds that can spell disaster for your new lawn. Treating the hay before you spread it will eliminate most of the weed seeds so they don’t end up sprouting in the middle of your new lawn.

What can I do with old hay bedding?

What to do with extra hay:

  1. Bedding & Nesting material for nesting boxes, coops, hutches, and run-ins.
  2. Filler for the pool the pigs built.
  3. Seeding.
  4. Mulch for yard, around trees, or in pumpkin patches.
  5. Entertainment – chickens and pigs LOVE to scratch, roll and play in fresh hay.

What is the difference between feeding hay and bedding hay?

It’s important to know the difference between ‘feeding hay’ and ‘bedding hay’ – they are both dried grass, but nutritionally, they are very different. ‘Feeding hay’ is fresher, greener, smells better, tastes better, and has more nutrients in it.

Can I use hay as mulch?

Hay will not give you a dry layer of cover that is pleasing to look at, but it is a great mulch for growing flowers and vegetables, and you’ll get a fantastic yield. To start a garden, with seeds or starters, first create a thick layer of hay, up to eight inches (20 cm.), right over your garden soil.

Do you mulch with hay or straw?

Mulching Your Garden

Hay and straw both make great mulch in the garden as long as they weren’t treated with persistent herbicides or contain noxious weed seeds. Using hay or straw as mulch in the garden has the following benefits: Reduces moisture loss and reduces watering. Keeps soil cooler in hot weather.

What are the uses of hay?

Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, either for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep, or for smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Which is better hay or straw?

Straw Versus Hay

Hay is harvested while it is still a live, healthy plant. Straw is the dead stalks of plants after the valuable parts of the plants have been harvested. Hay provides a good nutritional value for animals who are going to be eating it, while straw provides little nutrition.

What’s cheaper hay or straw?

Is straw or hay cheaper? Straw is way cheaper than hay. The average straw bale only costs under $3 while the hay bale starts at $7 and above.

Is hay different than grass?

1. Hay is a specific type of grass or a mixture of different cut grass clumped altogether compared to the basic grass plant, which is a more general term in itself. 2. Hay is basically an ideal plant as food for livestock but not all grasses can become food for these types of animals.

How often should you change chicken bedding?

We recommend changing your chicken’s coop bedding every 2-3 weeks and nesting box as needed for all feathered friends. However, keep in mind that chicken blogs and friends will give their personal favorite changing times.

Do chickens need hay in the winter?

Feeding Hay to Winter Chickens

Can chickens eat clover?

So in short, clover is a wonderful addition to your flocks’ diet. Don’t shy away from offering clover, preferably mixed with other weeds and grasses if you are cutting the clover and hand feeding. Your chickens will know how much they need for the nutrients and eat accordingly.

Is chopped alfalfa good for chickens?

Dehydrated, chopped alfalfa is an excellent source of supplemental protein for poultry. While it contains 17-20% protein, it should only be fed in small amounts occasionally. Alfalfa should not exceed 5% of a laying hen’s daily diet for reasons beyond the scope of this article.

Do chickens need grass or dirt?

Chickens love scratching up dirt, dust bathing in it, and gobbling up grass, weed seeds, and insects, worms, and other invertebrates they find while scratching. When confined to a small outdoor run even a few chickens will soon devour every bit of grass and convert it to bare dirt.

What kind of grass do chickens like?

Chickens aren’t ruminants and can’t digest cellulose, so it’s the soft, green, palatable grasses that count. Lush spring pasture is the best, of course, and that’s easy enough. The trick is providing green grass year-round, or close to it.