Switchgrass as poultry bedding

The University of Delaware and Maryland and Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI)  is currently working to evaluate processed Switchgrass (Panicum vergatum) as a potential bedding material. Pictured here is a 4 year old switch grass planting in Chestertown, Md., which is predicted to yield 5 to 8 tons per acre.

Four-year old switchgrass field

Switchgrass is harvested in mid winter to early spring and requires no nutrient or watering requirements. The grass is then baled in square or round bales and can be field stored for processing in the spring. Pen studies suggest that switchgrass should be processed to less than 1 inch length for poultry bedding.

Switchgrass bedding in a poultry house in Greenwood, Del.

Here is a picture of young chicks on switch grass bedding  in a brood chamber in a Greenwood Del. farm.  The Project would like to thank the DDA, DPI, Ernest Seed Company and Amick Farms for their collaboration on this evaluation. Pictures courtesy of Jennifer Timmons.

2 thoughts on “Switchgrass as poultry bedding

  1. Hello my name is Carol Peak, and I am a Broiler Service Supervisor for poultry farms located in South Alabama. Would you please guide me with information pertaining the use of Switchgrass as poultry bedding? I will appreciate it.
    Thank You
    Carol Peak

    • Carol,
      We are in process of learning how to use this grass. There appears to be some real cost benefits and one major suggestion is cut bedding to 1 inch lenghts