Best Coop Bedding? (No Poop Boards in Coop)


In the Brooder
Jul 1, 2020
We are just finishing up a new coop and I'm trying to figure out what would be the best coop bedding. We don't have poop boards under the roosts, but the side of the coop comes off so that you can just sweep everything out. This is not a walk in coop per say, though there is a door where I could walk in if needed (it would be a tight squeeze though).

I'm using tree mulch + some straw in our run, but I'm not sure if that would work in a coop? Looking for something that is relatively easy to maintain and that will keep the odors down (both for the hens sake and the neighbors).

Options I have been considering:
  • Straw
  • Tree Mulch
  • Pine Shavings
Plus Sweet PDZ with whatever bedding is used.

I have a small flock but I will say that my hens do some ginormous poops lol.


Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
I currently use pine pellets. I've used shavings in the past and the pellets keep the coop dryer and last a lot longer. I may switch it up but so far I like the pellets. I may add sand in the future. Always looking for new ideas.


Aug 1, 2020
I use a dust extracted mix of straw and pine shavings I get from the feed store. It is packaged horse bedding. Great for the deep litter method. And i add DE to it to keep down mites


Feb 14, 2016
I also have a small flock and no poop boards.
I use pine shavings. I stay away from straw just because the straw is hollow and a great place for small insects to hide: lice, mites, etc.
I've used pine shavings for 7 years now and I have no complaints. Its great for composting also!


7 Years
Jun 16, 2013
northwest Arkansas
Seriously consider adding a poop board. Shavings are nice in winter to add warmth. If you have time to scoop poop daily sand can be sifted easily to remove the poop easily. I have a coop with sand and it is easy to clean. My other 2 coops have pine shavings, grass clippings and leaves for deep litter but they both have poop boards. All are scooped daily so it stays clean because the birds free range all day. In the winter it prevents ammonia build-up because the majority of poop is removed daily. Don’t use straw.

Folly's place

9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
I use pine shavings, and add more over time. it all gets shoveled out about three times each year, no daily poop board cleaning here!
Most people find hay or straw, by itself, much less pleasant to deal with. Coming from horse and cattle stalls, shavings are so much better!
See what's available where you shop, and prices. I tried the pellets and didn't like them. Can't breathe with peat bedding, and don't rake leaves, so no dried leaves to use.


11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
no daily poop board cleaning here!
I agree 100%. I don't dust my house daily, I'm certainly not scooping poop in my coop 365 days per year no matter the weather. "Just 10 minutes a day" is still 10 minutes I'd have to stand there in the pouring rain, the below-freezing cold, or the blistering heat doing something that could be avoided completely with a different system of management. :)

I like shavings -- with more added every couple weeks until either they get inconveniently deep or the poop-to-shaving ratio gets too high by visual inspection. I tried straw, but it didn't do as good a job at keeping odor under control. I mix the shavings with a bit of pine straw* to create a mix that is almost impervious to packing and matting.

*For people not in the southeastern US, pine straw is the fallen needles from the Longleaf and Loblolly pines, which are 8-12" long and commonly used for mulch. I have them free for the raking.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
I'm certainly not scooping poop in my coop 365 days per year no matter the weather. "Just 10 minutes a day" is still 10 minutes I'd have to stand there in the pouring rain, the below-freezing cold, or the blistering heat
Why you need a walk in coop ;)
I don't think I'd even have chickens without one.

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