Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

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Robbie
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Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by Robbie » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:33 am

I purchased a bag of horse bedding pellets to try for my chickens. (Pet Comfort brand, from BC, about 9 bucks for 40 lbs). They are compressed pine, not the woodstove pellets, specifically for bedding. I pick out manure each day.
I did not moisten the pellets prior to use ( like I need even more humidity!). I guess there just isn't enough moisture in a chicken manure to expand the pellet. It was very difficult to separate out the poop from the pellets, and the pellets did not stick to the poop. The pellets did not work on the poop board.
I would probably try it for horses and pellets might work in a deep litter program where the litter is stirred but not removed. They might even work well for ducks, where they splash water, worth a try there but they really didn't seem to expand very quickly. There was zero dust which was nice.
So far the McFeeter's quick pick is the bedding I like. I've finally been able to track down flax, I will probably use a combination of the McFeeter's and flax. The McFeeter's is definitely better at sticking to the manure, but the flax is less dusty. The McFeeter's quick pick was better than just regular shavings, less dusty and better at drying things out.
Still waiting to see if I can get a bag of the healthi straw.
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by Dominion Link » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:14 am

The horse pellets are really best used in moderation for horses- simply to absorb urine and be easily forked out. I used the flax hulls for a litter of puppies and was VERY pleased with the performance, but they are a bit slippery to walk on. I use low dust wood shavings for the birds- same as what we usually use for the horses. Occasionally I use cedar shavings that I self bag, from a small lumber mill near me.
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WLLady
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by WLLady » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:25 am

I always rehydrate wood pellets even for the horses...unless i use them as a base on dirt and then they are overlaid with shavings....
um...i thought pellets were supposed to be hydrated...
my animals think theyre food pellets if they arent.
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by Dominion Link » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:29 am

Most folks I know that use the pellets for horses have a solid base in the stalls (usually rubber mats on top of concrete) and then use a shallow layer of pellets simply to absorb urine.
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Robbie
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by Robbie » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:47 am

The chickens did not eat the pellets, they sampled a few and realized they weren't food.
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WLLady
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by WLLady » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:26 pm

When i used them i put them down on dirt floor to absorb ground moisture to make solid footing under the shavings...lol. guess everyone does everything a bit differently. I lost 2 young cockerels to gorging on the pellets and no longer use them in the horse stalls because my free range birds are one short of a six pack apparently...silly birds.
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Robbie
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by Robbie » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:10 pm

WLLady wrote:When i used them i put them down on dirt floor to absorb ground moisture to make solid footing under the shavings...lol. guess everyone does everything a bit differently. I lost 2 young cockerels to gorging on the pellets and no longer use them in the horse stalls because my free range birds are one short of a six pack apparently...silly birds.
Were these Labrador cockerels? ;-)
Weird about those cockerels, must have been no hens around to tell them they weren't digestible! Sorry you lost the cockerels though- did they choke on the pellets?
Another good reason not to use these pellets!
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WLLady
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by WLLady » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:47 pm

filled their crops up and of course the crops expanded when they drank, it was nasty...both were dead when i found them, impacted crops, and the shavings were completely swelled and blocking the back of their mouths as well. blech. death by horse bedding. Sigh. ameraucanas actually-probably related to labs somewhere.... funny, that's one thing my lab has never eaten.....hm......that and raw mushrooms....go figure. i didn't think he liked raw lettuce until saturday evening when he did eat some (by mistake i am sure from the look on his face) that launched itself off the table during dinner....

you know, come to think of it, none of the girls were even remotely interested in the pellets....but those girls are the ones i lose in the water trough trying to swim occasionally.....okay, maybe 2 short of a 6 pack.

good to know that the bird droppings aren't wet enough to expand them though! i would have thought it would be....
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Robbie
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by Robbie » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:11 pm

OOOhhh WLLady......... that sounds like a Hitchcock ending for your roosters, I'm sorry, that's sad and actually it's quite a horrid ending :-( but then again maybe you do want to propagate only the smart ones.
Last edited by Robbie on Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tried wood pellets for bedding- bad idea.

Post by ross » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:35 pm

Being a mfg product (pellets)not a by product do they suggest it's been designed for chickens or any other animal on the bag ? I've always used shavings and or straw when needed or dirt . Luck
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