Author Topic: Chicken Bedding  (Read 2651 times)

Offline Odin's Son

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Chicken Bedding
« on: January 23, 2017, 04:14:59 PM »
My chickens keep kicking all of the bedding out of their coop.  So my questions are, 1) what do you use as bedding, 2) how do you keep it in the coop and 3) how is your coop situated:  ie  on ground level or in the air or inside an enclosure.

      Here is a little more info on my chickens.  I have 12 silver laced wyandottes.  They are fenced in to a fairly large enclosure with several roosting poles.   The hen house is elevated about 4 feet off the ground with 5 boxes inside it.  It has a solid back with hindged doors that i can reach through.  The front is privacy lattice with a 1 ft hole at the end where the ramp leads up to it.  I have been using straw as a bedding but as soon as i put it in,  they begin dragging and kicking it to the door and pushing it out.  I put a 3 inch lip at the door to help but that was useless.  I have been considering using wood chips like we use in the horse stalls.  Note: im using straw and not hay, several people have asked. 

Thanks for any input yall!!

Offline Odin's Son

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 03:13:18 PM »
Just checked on the bedding and it's all already on the ground.  I thought maybe it was the Arkansas heat making them throw it all out but we are in the middle of a cool spell right now. 

Offline bigbear

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 09:18:54 PM »
My coop is elevated and I have a messy scratcher too.  I ended up lining the opening for the ladder with a few sticks.  Wish I could it's 100% fixed, but at least it is much better.

I use hay, I wonder if using straw would help?

Offline Noah Darco

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 04:49:59 AM »
We use sawdust (collected on a tarp whenever we cut firewood with a chainsaw close to home) or wood shavings, although we have used straw or whatever else was handy in the past. Our coop has 2 doors, each with a vertical threshhold 3-6" high. The coop is elevated about 18" off the ground. One door has a long 2x6 ramp to the ground, and the other has no climbing aids, and is used mainly for extra light and ventilation on warmer days. Strangely, we lose very little litter material out the door. The majority of our flock are Icelandic, which tend to be small and literally flighty.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 07:20:41 AM »
Our coop is about 6 inches off the ground, and we also have messy chickens.  Our coop house is a small 4x8 shed with a nesting box built on the side.  We use the deep litter method http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/10/the-deep-litter-method-of-waste.html and it gets pretty high over time.  What we have done is brace a piece of plywood in front of the door, about 12" high and the length of that wall.  We use 2 wooden stakes (the kind you use for marking a fence line) that are screwed into the door posts using only one screw each.  The one screw allows us to swing them out of the way when we need to remove the board for cleaning.
I hope that made sense.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 07:33:47 AM »
I traditionally use wood shavings in nest boxes and the floor. I found straw harder to clean. That said I will use straw in .Uddy areas, or if I have a surplus of straw, or really bed in straw if the birds are in a commercial greenhouse I want them to create a good floor for me

Cedar

Offline helper106

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 12:28:17 PM »
Like Cedar, I have found straw much harder to work with for cleaning. When I used straw I found the chickens really spread it around as they "scratched" thru the straw. Last year I switched over to shavings and found them to work much better in my coop. I miss seeing the chickens tucked into nice straw piles when it is really cold, but the chickens don't seemed to have minded the change to shavings. I also find the bagged shavings much easier to store in the shed and not as attractant to mice.

Just my 2 cents...LOL

Offline Odin's Son

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2017, 01:05:44 PM »
Thanks yall!  I have added straw several more times to the same result.  (mostly because I still had to do something with the rest of the bale) I am going to try wood shavings next and see how that does.  The lip on the front of the coop is only about 2.5 inches tall so come spring, I may be redesigning the coop.  Only time will tell.

Offline Odin's Son

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 11:10:18 AM »
So after many different ideas and a lot of trial and error.  Adding about two hand fulls of wood-shavings to each bed solved the problem.  Now i just mix the straw and shavings and the chickens seem to love it!

Offline Stwood

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Re: Chicken Bedding
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 05:41:44 PM »
 8) Picky little buggers aren't they. Lol

Ours are in the end of the shed, walled off 8x8, raised floor. We use bagged wood chips. $5.00 a bag so that isn't bad on cost. We get 2-3 spreadings of it out of that bag.

Ours are just now starting to lay again. They've been molting for a couple months now.