Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Chickens are wonderful companion animals.

They will eat just about anything

Keeping hens probably has you wondering

This article will teach you about the following topics:

  • To what extent can hay be fed to chickens without worrying about their health?
  • In what way do you give hay to chickens?
  • Do you need to provide hay for your hens?
  • Are hens harmed by exposure to straw?

Significant ground to cover

Okay, so let’s begin!

Is Hay Safe For Chickens?

Do Chickens Eat Hay

Chickens won’t get sick from eating hay.

Hay may serve as both bedding material and food for your chickens (more on this below).

Chickens can consume hay, although they typically refuse to do so and would rather eat something else.

Chickens can lose interest in hay after eating it for a long, even if they initially seemed to like it.

You should try giving your chicken something else to eat besides hay because it is not very nutritious.

On a cold, dry winter day, at least the chickens can scratch about in the hay for a little bit of fun.

Hay could be an interesting new experience for chickens, as there won’t be much for them to peck on in the garden.

Little grubs, seeds, and even bits of greenery lurk hidden among hay, making it an unpredictable and exciting purchase every time.

Those hidden treats will be delicious as well as exciting to find!

In any case, now that we know hay is safe for chickens to eat, let’s get back to the topic at hand.

If you intend to give it to them orally, let’s examine your options.

How Do You Feed Chickens Hay?

Do Chickens Eat Hay

Few chickens would choose to consume hay as their primary diet.

It’s not a particularly tasty or healthy snack option.

However, it might be a good and cheap feeding choice for your chickens in the dead of winter.

Keep in mind that hens won’t eat the hay itself, but rather the insects, seeds, and other treats they find in the bale if you decide to serve it to them.

You can’t be sure that the chickens will eat the hay you feed them, but alfalfa hay is likely to be eaten.

Even chickens that don’t often enjoy eating hay will gobble up a snack of alfalfa hay in no time.

Chickens can get all the protein they need from alfalfa, which is readily available at pet stores.

It’s important to remember that hay, especially alfalfa, is not a suitable replacement for a well-rounded diet.

Though it can be fed to chickens as a supplement or a treat, alfalfa isn’t a suitable substitute for complete chicken feed.

Should I Put Hay In My Chicken Coop?

The choice of bedding for your chicken coop is entirely up to you.

Hay, however, is intended for consumption and not sleep.

There are certain drawbacks to using hay in a chicken coop.

  1. Chicken feces is a pain to clean up since there is so much of it and it gets everywhere. If your chickens foul their own bedding, it will be difficult to maintain a clean coop. Manure removal will require bedding replacement.
  2. Hay is a popular bedding material for chickens, but it also serves as a perfect breeding ground for mildew and germs. The immune system of your pet bird can be seriously compromised.

On the other hand, if you keep the coop clean enough to prevent the spread of mildew and bacteria, hay could be a nice and inexpensive solution for you.

Is Straw Bad For Chickens?

Do Chickens Eat Hay-3

Commonly confused with one another, straw is produced specifically as a bedding material while hay is grown for human consumption.

Straw is an excellent dust-free and insulating bedding material for chickens.

Chickens also enjoy scratching in the straw.

Once you’ve cleaned everything out, it will break down rapidly in the garden.

Straw has some potential benefits as a mattress material, but it also has some downsides.

In particular, it does not release moisture well, like hay, and it does not stay clean.

You should carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of using straw before making a final decision.

Final Words 

Hay may be a tasty treat for chickens because it often contains treats like insects and little greens that the birds enjoy.

To replace chicken feed with it would be a mistake, however it can be used.

However, straw is commonly used as nesting material for chickens. Prior to making a final decision, it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of using straw.

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