Re: Hay vs. straw. What's better?
I use straw because it generates heat and insulates from the cold ground.
Hay is a little bit more iffy as if it should get wet it can spontaneously combust. I would not worry about this outside, but if you are storing some leftover in a shed, the shed can go up and take the kennels and house with it. I stay away from hay.
For cleanability, wood chips are a whole lot easier than cleaning up straw in the spring time. I do not know if they give as much warmth as straw.
I usually wait until after it gets cold -- into the teens to get the straw. I have never had a problem with sarcoptic mange or anything else mentioned above. I have also used wood chips with new born pups and never had a problem either.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC