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#75039 - 05/30/08 05:36 AM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Hey guys. This is a great thread. I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

Fresh, uncomposted shavings and poop work great as a mulch around trees, if one does not want to add them all to the compost pile for the garden. We are currently using all the fresh, dirty litter from our duck brooders in large, deep circles around our newly planted fruit trees, starting well away from the trunk ( it works for roses and all variety of shrubs, too ). It can decompose where it is, does not burn since it is atop thick grass that is is smothering, and the worms come up like mad to hasten the decomposition. We won't be eating fruit from these trees for a few years yet, so we are not worried about pathogens.

I agree with Uno - what ever works. We use shavings, straw, dry oak, maple and pine occasionally. Whatever is readily available and inexpensive or better yet, free. We do have a few peat bogs back in the woods that we've used to mulch blueberries with. Now I'm thinking I may harvest some and dry it for nest boxes. Great idea gertiebird.

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#75040 - 06/02/08 10:04 PM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
Jojuan Offline
Feather

Registered: 05/15/08
Posts: 20
Loc: Oregon
Gertiebird, how thick do you lay the peat moss down? How long does it last? Since you and I are in the same weather "zone" here in the rainy Willamette Valley, I'm thinking I'll try the peat moss, too, when I get the coop up. Thanks for the great tip!

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#75041 - 06/03/08 06:41 AM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
Dee Dee Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 174
Loc: Maryland
Gertiebird, the peatmoss sounds like a great idea, like Jojuan would like to know how thick you lay it down and how you manage it, i.e. do you add on like a deep litter system or completely change it out periodically? Have several bales that have been sitting and would like to try it out myself...

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#75042 - 06/03/08 10:50 AM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
P. Smith1340 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Oregon
I third that request, as peat moss would break down the fastest out of all the beddings listed here and provide nutrients for the garden very quickly! I mixed some in this year to provide drainage, never thought about putting some in the coop.

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#75043 - 06/03/08 11:48 AM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
My sister-in-law actually raked Sphagnum Moss from a nearby bog in summer, to bed her poultry house. It was clean and worked very well.

With Peat Moss, white chickens??? No harm, just dusty white. CJR

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#75044 - 06/10/08 04:38 PM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
Jojuan Offline
Feather

Registered: 05/15/08
Posts: 20
Loc: Oregon
Well, time to celebrate! I took the plunge - in more ways than one. Last Thursday, I finally purchased 8-day-old and 14-day-old chicks - my first! After 5 days, now, on paper towels, they started shredding and eating them. Knowing it couldn't be healthy, I replaced the PT with about an inch of dry peat moss.

Oh, then the antics began! Two immediately went into dusting frenzies that lasted well over 10 minutes. The rest just gawked or beaked through the curious fluff and scratched like their lives depended on it.

Also, over the weekend, I cut a thick branch to fit as a low perch. They went nuts over it! Even when I remove it for cleaning they refuse to get off...then when I'm returning it, a couple of the chicks hop on board even before I have it lowered in place.

The downside so far is that the "dusting" throws moss into the water, but that doesn't seem to stop them from drinking. Better, I think, than eating paper towel. All seem to be thriving and enjoying the heat from the 100-watt bulb.

If I learn anything more about using peat moss, I'll share my observations.

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#75045 - 06/12/08 06:41 PM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
P. Smith1340 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Oregon
Chicks dusting is definitely a fun activity to watch. My boyfriend (city boy that he is) called me to tell me they were having seizures the first time ours did that. LOL

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#75046 - 06/12/08 09:50 PM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
I can't see how anyone who is not very familiar with chickens would think that! :p :rolleyes:

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#75047 - 06/13/08 08:58 PM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
P. Smith1340 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Oregon
Yea I know me neither wink

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#75048 - 06/16/08 04:14 PM Re: Straw vs. Shavings: Why the switch?
Chris2001 Offline
Chick

Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Alabama
In the summer when I cut my grass I use it in the coop and in the winter I go out to my pine trees and rake up straw. It dont cost anything and my garden seem to like it when I clean the coop out once a month

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