Best run and coop beding

Pampered chicken girl

🎶My angels and demons at war with myself🎶
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2022
So I have been using pine shavings for my coop and am relatively happy with them but am open to better suggestions. What I really want to know is what is the best bedding for the run right now I have 2 dust pits under the raised coops and dead sod in the runs its good and all but the dead sod is hard to clean and Flys are EVERYWHERE I also have a not major but annoying mite problem but don't use perthium or DE for my chickens. I live in FL
I have pine shavings over dirt. Periodically I have my hubby (and volunteers who gleefully gather it for their garden) shovel out the runs. I don't keep dead sod or any such thing. The pine shavings compost beautifully and hold down the smell, mix into my clay soil, to make wonderful garden soil.

You may need to change out your pine shavings more often?

Some like to use sand, but it's a lot like a very large cat litter box...a lot of raking...and in my clay soil, sand simply mixes with clay to make cement, and stagnates in my moist environment.

You could go pine pellet. Those breakdown to sawdust, and would make nice compost.

I think the dead sod is a bad idea. You need something that is going to easily mix with the amendment (either sand or shavings). The birds will happily turn the soil. You just scoop it out from time to time for the garden.

What we do.

I get coffee chaff from my local roaster. It’s a by-product of roasting the coffee beans. It’s light and fluffy and kind of acts like kitty litter for chicken poop. The chaff just kind of clumps around the poo and is east to scoop and clean out. I periodically scoop it out and put in my compost bin, then replace with new chaff. I do use nesting pads made of excelsior in the nesting boxes but the rest of the coop is coffee chaff. Works very well and it’s free!
The best bedding for your run is whatever dry organic material you can readily access and afford. If you can get something for free -- like raking up pine straw or fall leaves -- that's fabulous.

Coarse wood chips, the kind you get from a tree trimming service, are often considered the gold standard for the control of mud and odor, but not everyone can get them easily.

Other options include:

Pine shavings,
Pine straw,
Fall leaves,
Pine pellets sold for horse bedding,
Corn cob bedding,
Rice hulls,
Shredded paper,
Dried lawn clippings,
and other locally-available options.

Each of them have their pros and cons and work for some people and not for others. Go ahead and try whatever you can get readily and see if it works out. If it doesn't then you can try something else. :)

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