Bedding - Pro’s & Cons


Rein Quest

Apr 29, 2018
Central Wisconsin
I’m not sure this is the correct place but maybe it falls into maintenance?

So I’m not looking for the “best bedding” but I was struggling with a search for pros and cons for different bedding materials. I’m mostly curious because I’d like to use anything non-toxic that becomes seasonally available. For instance the corn stalks from the garden.

Quick note before I begin I heard there was something you can treat bedding with to lesson mite infestation chances. I don’t recall the name well enough to spell, D____ Earth. Where do you find this?

So moving on these are materials I know of. Please add any missing or comments of pro/con that you know.

-Pine chips
-Corn chaff (dried chopped stalks)
_*Home for mites
_*Possible crop issues
-Grass clippings
_*Posted by others but my chickens eat them
-Shreaded Paper
_*more of a food
_*Home for mites
_*Possible crop issues

This is what it looks like on amazon, but i have seen it in a can also.
I have no experience with this but I have heard of putting lime dust underneath the bedding to kill any bugs. The biggest con is that it can be bad for your chicken so you have to bury it under bedding
DE is not going to stop your money and leave that stuff at the store.

Depending on type of mite, they can live in the coop structure itself and only feed off birds at night or they can live on the birds themselves. Mites usually come into a flock from wild birds....or birds bought from flocks that already have them.
Bringing straw or hay in that has been stored in a barn that may also house wild birds might bring mites in with it.

What bedding you use depends on how you plan to manage the manure.
It can also be different in coop and run.
Can depend on your coop size/materials/configuration.
Can also depend on your climate.
Is this for coop, run or both? The big omissions I see as far as your list are wood chips and dried leaves, which are the main components of my litter (specifically chips in coop, chips and leaves in run).

Without knowing your climate plus if this is coop/covered run/uncovered run, etc it's hard to say what's "best." For me good drainage is important, and using free and untreated materials (since it's all sourced from my yard) as well.
Right I forgot to say I’m about mid Wisconsin for climate questions.

I’m thinking about bedding for both because I’ve come to notice that my run will need something. More so with the amount of rain we’ve been getting.

The coop and run are covered and the new coop will be the same. I’m copying the deep liter idea I seen from Carolina coops on YouTube. For the coop itself.

Do you have the leaves mulched? I wonder if the can be dried and baled. Not sure if you’ve seen the mini balers?

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