Animal Bedding

Kala

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Just wondering what everyone did for animal bedding? (Sorry if this is a repost, I did a search and didn't find what I was looking for. So if I missed something please feel free to re-direct me. :) )

We have both goats and chickens. We have been using straw but its obviously not absorbent enough, especially with the crazy rainy season we have had. I was thinking about putting a layer of wood shavings underneath first? And then the straw?

Even if you have things that haven't worked that would be a great asset to us so that we could all learn together!
 

Wannabefree

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I just use shavings and leaves :hu Chopped leaves will be next, but for now I am just using whole leaves. They aren't exactly absorbent, but thats where the shavings helps.
 

valmom

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Have any sawmills near you? You can frequently pick up a load of sawdust pretty cheap. Of course, there is little guarrantee what kind of wood is in it usually and things like Black Walnut is toxic to bed horses on. I don't know about chickens or goats.

For sheer convenience I like the Woody Pet type pelleted bedding- wet it a bit and it breaks down into really fine sawdust that I sift chicken poop out of with a kitty sifter (granted, I only have 6 hens right now!).
 

miss_thenorth

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WE get bulk shavings for all our animals, although I have been known to pick up a bale or two of straw every now and again. I don't like the shavings for the sheep, as it gets into their wool, but I would be more concerned about this if I were to do something with the wool. If we didn't get bulk shavings, I would use straw for everyone, just b/c it is so much cheaper per basle than the softwood shavings. As it is, we get a V bin full of shavings for $50 and it lasts us almost a whole year.
 

Shiloh Acres

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Pretty low-tech here. I put dried leaves in the chicken coop, which are pretty much broken down now and the floor is maybe 1/2 inch higher. I raised the floor anyway, since it COULD flood if we ever got lots and lots of rain. Eventually one day I may shovel some out for the garden but it would be a long while from now since I want it to stay raised.

The goats get dropped hay when it's too dirty and no one will eat it. After they sleep on it, I move it to the compost pile.

Goose coop floor is dirt, and I added sand to make it drier and fresher.

I use shavings for brooders, but I try not to have to brood babies. Chicken and rabbit nests get hay.
 

valmom

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Costs must depend on where you live- around here straw is astronomical! Bedding a foaling stall for a horse I found it cheaper to bed the entire double stall in hay than spring for the price they wanted for straw. (and bonus, the mare could eat anything she wanted any time she wanted :lol:)
 

Marianne

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If it'd quit raining there, you can also use dried grass clippings in the coop. I have used all kinds of stuff there depending on weather and cost - a light layer of straw, dried leaves or some sawdust from our shop. Once in a while I use shavings, but usually just when I have some left over from chicks. At least the hens aren't picky. Cheap is good, but free is better, so I go for free stuff first.
 

savingdogs

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It does not stop raining here and leaves are not ever dry. We use gravel whereever we can and work to rake it clean whenever we can so it stays gravel and not just poo on top of gravel. In the winter, we put out straw in the chicken pen and some things to perch on like pallets and a log, stuff like that, and try to make sure the water can drain at all times. Inside the coop itself we use the shavings (our pen is not covered) as I said. Our ducks had to have their own coop because they were too wet.

For the goats we spread their dropped hay all winter and then have a big project in the spring cleaning it up. But they walk on top of the hay until it dries out enough to clean it all up. I think we are going to need to refresh our gravel every fall. We also put shavings down before kidding time in just the stalls in the goat area. We also have huge flat boards in the goat area in the winter over the muckiest areas for them (and us) to walk on.

So I guess we use a combination of straw, gravel, shavings, wasted hay and wood things for them to stand on.

I would love to find a better way especially for mid-winter when I end up doing more "deep litter" method, but my bottom layer is too wet. Thank you for starting this thread, I hope someone has some better ideas for me.

Mud sucks, literally!
 

Wifezilla

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I'm using straw right now but next fall I will be using chopped dry leaves. Our weather is warm and dry enough that I can chop them up with a mulching leaf vac, let them dry and bag them.
 

rebecca100

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A friend of mine has a npip farm. He raises game birds. He has pea gravel like you would find in a playground really thick in the birds pens. The whole thing stays amazingly clean. I think he hoses it regularly. I usually use the poorer hay on the outside of round bales for bedding.
 
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