Question Self sufficient chicken bedding

AndrewVIC

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Hi, I live in suburban Melbourne and have been trying to find a simple option for self sufficient bedding for the chicken house. Can't grow straw or hemp. No machinery for wood shavings. Shredded office paper is possible, but I'd prefer something I can grow. What leaves can become good bedding? Are some plants better than others? I'm thinking things like New Zealand flax or Yucca leaves shredded up but don't know what to use.
 

spector

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If you use any plant material, you will want to make sure it isn't toxic, either through contact or ingestion. Also, make sure it isn't in long enough fibers to wrap around a toe or foot and cut off circulation. There is nothing wrong with just dirt in a chicken house, if you keep it raked and clean. Lawn clippings would be okay, if layered thinly (can get super hot if put in too deeply). If you compost, the clippings with chicken manure will kick off any compost piles you have, but I would wait a year to use it.
 

AndrewVIC

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Thanks for the tip on lawn clippings. Lucky my space isn't too big and I can dry some out on the roof of the shed. This might be enough to get a regular sustainable supply. The mower has already done the shredding and I can dry it in a frame between some flyscreen. I think I'll try this first as I won't have to buy a garden shredder.
 

ClissAT

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I get free shavings from my local Men's shed. They separate the wood that has been glued from the raw timber so I can be sure to only get non-glued shavings.
I have been known to go along the sides of my rural dirt road after rain (so the grass is clean and free of dust) with the wool shears and cut dry grass to make nest bedding.
The chooks love to weave it as they sit waiting for their egg to be ready to lay.
But I also often used clippings from my ride-on which I winnowed into rows and turned each day with the mower to dry them out.
Then bagged for future use.
 

spector

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If you live in a suburban area, you can probably convince a neighbor or two to give you their clippings, if you run short.
 

AndrewVIC

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I still like the idea of Yucca leaves. The tree doesn't take up much ground space or water. It gets more branches when it has good water. Chook poo compost will go back to feeding the Yucca. It might be something to experiment with once they are settled.
 

AndrewVIC

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The other location I might try and dry some clippings would be under the clear ceiling part of the chicken coop. If I hang some netting up there I can throw the clippings into it and the sun will dry them out.
 
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