Straw is a common chicken bedding option. We prefer to use straw (vs hay) as bedding material for all of our animals. 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. 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. 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. 2. Also, be sure to give your girls a dusting box as well. Pine Shavings. . Well, in a word . Normally using straw is also the most economic choice for bedding that we have found around here so that’s what we use. 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. It is usually less expensive than purchasing hay, and you can use it for bedding for multiple animals. Avoid hay or straw sprayed with chemicals labeled as persistent herbicides in the pyridine family. This hay vs straw thing is something that will come up pretty early in your journey with animals. . Hay is a nutritious forage that is harvested for livestock to eat, whereas straw is the stalks of small grains and is used as bedding for your livestock. Hay and straw are often both used as weed control mulch in the garden but the results you get can be quite different. 1. However, be advised that mites like to hide in this stuff. Warm – Since straw is hollow, it acts as an insulator and can help keep chickens warm in cold climates. So you’ll need to be sure to sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the bedding. Never use hay I was told as it contains mould spores, not good for their chest or yours. Cons: 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? I raise goats, chickens and turkeys. The hay cycle begins with feeding the goats. Some prefer hay or straw and change it frequently. Both hay and straw are versatile, natural, and essential additions to most homesteads. Conventional farmers use herbicides to reduce weed growth in their fields. yes! And now you know the difference between straw vs hay! It is best to use straw in nest boxes and not for bedding. Straw can be used as a bedding material although it compacts easily and isn’t very absorbent so needs changing regularly. Straw and Hay. Accessible – Straw is easy to find in most areas. Fun – Chickens love to scratch and play in straw. Whichever you select, remember to keep it dry and ensure that the chickens aren't suffering from any respiratory issues. Straw and Hay. 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