Bedding? Do my hens need it?

By SrBoyle · Nov 4, 2013 · ·
  1. SrBoyle
    I live in icy cold Vernal Utah. I recently read a post on adding straw or wood shavings to a coop for bedding. All of my hens roost at night. Do my hens still need bedding? If they do, would the large amounts of leaves from my yard do any good at all as bedding if I put them in the coop?

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  1. Weasleymum
    "Bedding" is mis-named when it comes to chickens. It's really 'litter', like in a horse's stall or a cat's box. It isn't for them to sleep in or on, but to absorb their waste. Basically, any animal that drops its waste continually needs something to soak it up. Without some kind of carbon-based bedding (anything natural that seems dry and dusty is probably carbonous: wood shavings, straw, leaves, etc.), their poop makes an enormous mess, smells awful, and is very unsanitary. With a nice, thick layer of bedding, the chickens' droppings fall on it and get absorbed/ mixed in, making it much cleaner and less smelly. (Some people use sand, which is more like cat litter: the droppings don't really mix in, but it's easier to rake them out and dispose of them elsewhere.) Litter + chicken droppings = a great manure/ compost for the garden; every time you clean out the coop you can dump that stuff into the compost heap or onto an unused garden bed. Save $$$ on fertilizer!

    I use leaves in my chicken's run, but not in their coop. Leaves are great fun to scratch in, but aren't terribly absorbent, so I wouldn't want them under the roost. I use pine shavings inside.

    As earlybird mentioned, you'll get much better responses by posting in the forum!
  2. earlybird10842
    Sr. Boyle, I woulds defiantly use bedding. Wood shavings would be my recommendation. Also, you may want to start a thread on the forum about this, threads are easier to find and use than articles, in my opinion. You can start a thread by going to the menu (the brown tabs up top) going to the forum tab, and there will be a drop down menu showing each section of the forum. You should go down the spot where it says "raising backyard chickens", let your mouse hover over it until a list of sub-sections appears (I know, rather confusing until you get used to it). Then go down to where it says "Coop and run--design, construction, and mantenence" Click on that. there will be a list of current threads. click on the big blue button on top that says "start a new thread." type in your request, post it, and you can check to see if you got answears by going to your profile after a while, and there will be a list of threads and articles you made, and the number of unread replies.
    Welcome to BYC!! Private Message me if you have any more questions! (you can Private Message by clicking on my profile pic, and that will take you to my profile. there will be a list of options below my profile pic, and I think private message would be the second or third one down)
  3. chickenboy190
    Bedding would be a good idea and Welcome! To BYC!

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