Accessible – Straw is easy to find in most areas. No need to worry, this is actually pretty easy to figure out. Straw is a common chicken bedding option. Avoid hay or straw sprayed with chemicals labeled as persistent herbicides in the pyridine family. So you’ll need to be sure to sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the bedding. Normally using straw is also the most economic choice for bedding that we have found around here so that’s what we use. Conventional farmers use herbicides to reduce weed growth in their fields. Also, be sure to give your girls a dusting box as well. Hay and straw are often both used as weed control mulch in the garden but the results you get can be quite different. Pine Shavings. I would only consider using straw if I had a plentiful / cheap supply of it. For more scent or to keep it fresh mix in some mint, lavender or rosemary. Some prefer hay or straw and change it frequently. . 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. The hay cycle begins with feeding the goats. Whichever you select, remember to keep it dry and ensure that the chickens aren't suffering from any respiratory issues. Straw mulch vs. hay mulch: In the battle to control weeds, add fertility, and improve the water retention of your soil, is one really better than the other? Straw can be found by searching classifieds or asking local farmers if they can spare enough to sell to a chicken fancier. However, be advised that mites like to hide in this stuff. My nest boxes have straw in them which they love to make into a bed, and the poop deck has sawdust under the perches. Straw can be used as a bedding material although it compacts easily and isn’t very absorbent so needs changing regularly. We prefer to use straw (vs hay) as bedding material for all of our animals. This hay vs straw thing is something that will come up pretty early in your journey with animals. It is usually less expensive than purchasing hay, and you can use it for bedding for multiple animals. I raise goats, chickens and turkeys. Because of this, it is very important to ask what has been sprayed on the hay or straw and how long ago the crop was treated. Chopped straw … Fun – Chickens love to scratch and play in straw. It is best to use straw in nest boxes and not for bedding. Never use hay I was told as it contains mould spores, not good for their chest or yours. 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. A popular and prudent choice for litter is pine shavings, found at many feed-supply stores, big … yes! 2. Straw and Hay. Straw is the more common choice, but hay can be used if needed. Cons: Both hay and straw are versatile, natural, and essential additions to most homesteads. 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