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Coop Bedding???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by littlepeepers, May 25, 2010.

  1. littlepeepers

    littlepeepers In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2010
    What do you think is the best bedding. I am trying to decide before I move my chicks into their coop. I have a big bale of pine shavings that I would like to use. What do people think about those? I have heard of people using DE, what is that and what are the pros and cons of using it? Also, what do you use as bedding in the nesting boxes. Could I use pine shavings? Thanks so much!
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I use pine shavings in my brooder(s) and in all three of my coops. And in two sets of nesting boxes. (The third one is a rear access 'rollaway' style and uses artificial nest pads.)

    I'm considering changing to rice hulls. If that doesn't work out well, I'll switch back to pine shavings.
  3. kyoko900

    kyoko900 In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2010
    Maggie Valley NC
    I don't think you use DE (short for diatomaceous earth) as bedding. It's to treat birds,and plants for bugs. From what i've read. and it's a white dust, that is toxic if inhaled.

    We plan on using sand in our coup, along with hay. ^^
  4. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    Pine shavings are fine for bedding. They keep the poops from smelling too much between cleanings, & they help keep warmth in the winter. THey can get a little expensive if you have a lot of chickens or a big coop, however.

    DE is Diatomaceous Earth. It's made from crushed up tiny little microscopic sea creatures' shells, as far as I know. It can help if mixed with the litter to control fly & beetle & tick populations in the coop & mites & ticks & lice on the chickens. It breaks down the chitin in insects' body armor --I think-- & causes them to dehydrate. It's fine for chickens & humans to eat a bit of with food, IF it's FOOD GRADE. You can find Food Grade DE online. Do a keyword search. I think there are links on this site also.

    When dusting your chickens or coop with DE, please wear a dust mask, as it is a very fine powder which can irritate the lungs.

    Also, please be careful not to spill it on any ground you care about outside, because it will kill a lot of the beneficial bugs & microorganisms as well.

    I dust my chickens on our gravel driveway, just so most of the DE goes into 6 " of gravel & not on the roly-polys & ants.

    You can mix a inch of DE into the chickens' feed as well, if you use mash or crumbles at all. It can help kill or prevent internal parasites. I do mine once a week. I don't know what's best, bbut some other people here do, I think.

    Good luck [​IMG]
  5. littlepeepers

    littlepeepers In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2010
    I have two questions:
    1)Does anyone use DE before they put in pine shavings to keep the smell down. Do you need to use it or only use it if you have problems?
    2)How do you keep a smelly coop from getting smelly or fix a smelly coop?
  6. nvmycj

    nvmycj In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2010
    How do you keep the bedding from coming out the pop door and human door? Is there a 4-5 inch high door jam, keeping in the shavings?

  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Proper ventilation and cleaning go far in keeping smell down. Using dropping boards can go a long way to help with cleaning, as it keeps 99% of the droppings out of the bedding (that percentage drops in winter time, when the chickens spend a lot more time indoors).
    Many say DE will help keep things dry in the coop, and help w/smell as well. I've never dusted my hens with it. I just sprinkle it about in their bedding (mix in), a little in the bedding of their nest boxes, and about a cut in the dirt where they dust bathe. As a result, they pretty much dust themselves.

    nvmycj; yes. That's why many suggest placing the pop door at about the 6 inch level. I had to add a board door jam at my people door entrance to help with that as well...

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