Hay Or Straw Can Benefit Chickens In 4 Ways
Monday, July 11th, 2016
Providing hay or straw to chickens is not a very common practice, but some would be surprised to know it could be good for them. Feeding them hay or straw is a cost effective way to supply food and entertainment. Using a bale in your chicken run also has surprising benefits. The following will further explain four benefits of utilizing hay or straw bales for chickens.
Hay bales can provide treats and entertainment
By placing a bale in a chicken run, you allow your birds to entertain themselves by searching for a variety of treats. Seeds, insects and green leaves will keep chickens occupied and pecking away at bales for hours. To prevent them from eating too much, keep the strings on the hay or straw bale.
Chickens can walk better on ground that is covered in straw
In the spring, chicken runs often become muddy and wet. Straw will insulate the soil and allow it to remain frozen. Having straw in the run will decrease the amount of mud and the chickens will be better able to walk on the straw covered ground.
Alfalfa hay provides a better alternative
Some chickens don’t really enjoy pecking away at hay or straw. Alfalfa is an alternative they may just enjoy. This type of hay is filled with dry green leaves that they love to eat off the bale. Chickens that typically enjoy straw or hay will probably lose interest in it every once in awhile. However, alfalfa usually attracts these birds all of the time.
If you choose to purchase alfalfa for your chickens, understand that it should not be left out in the rain. It needs to be kept high off the ground when the ground is wet. Simply hang the alfalfa above ground and there should not be a problem.
You can mix up your chickens’ diet with straw, alfalfa or hay
The best benefit of supplying your chickens with straw, alfalfa or hay is that you won’t need to depend solely on feed. Though chicken feed is an important part of their diet, it is a good idea to mix it up every now and then.
Whatever you feed your chickens, it is important that they always have fresh water. A chicken without water can die in a single day. During the winter, you should have an electric heating stand or you will need to bring out fresh water multiple times a day.
If you would like to learn more about hay and feed for your livestock, contact SB Hay & Feed in Amarillo, Texas. Call us today at (800) 652-3036 or Contact Us by email for more information. We aim to help farmers with abundant hay serve other farmers in need across the United States. You can also see the hay we have available to buy or sell your own!