Do they really need bedding?

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,176
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
I just mucked out my coop this weekend. I bought six huge bags of shavings to put back in, but the whole thing was a mess to clean out. The flooring is cement, they free range during the day (except to lay eggs) Is there a reason to have bedding in the summer?

I have the means to do it if they need it. It just seems so much easier to shovel out the poop than all the bedding with it..

Oh and they seem to scratch the shavings all outside just to annoy me. It seems like a lot of upkeep. I can not easily put something in front of the door to block shavings...

 

rooaroo

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 20, 2011
53
0
41
unless you are a deep method person than a thin layer would be good. You want something to absorb the wet. Maybe half the amount but there should be a little something down.
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,176
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
unless you are a deep method person than a thin layer would be good.  You want something to absorb the wet.  Maybe half the amount but there should be a little something down.
Why exactly though?

If I scoop out the poop every day, and hose down once a week to dry..

Straw did not work well at all, and shavings are so expensive! :p

Only reason I can think of is we have ducks, and they have a little straw bed to sleep in.
 

aggiemae

Songster
7 Years
Mar 18, 2012
1,408
135
216
Salem Oregon
If you don't use any bedding you chickens feet (and so your nesting boxes) will be covered with poop.

Shredded paper, leaf mulch and lawn clippings are free, you can offset some of the cost of pine shavings by using free bedding most of the year.

I do not used deep bedding. I do use recycled paper pellets called "Crown Animal Bedding". It comes in 40 pound bags, one of our local feed stores sells it for $9.00 a bag the other for $20.00 (seriously!) It's 100% recycled, low dust and very absorbent. We keep it about 2" deep. It's easy to pick the poop clumps out, especially since I make my kids do it. They do it twice a day with a kitty litter scooper and dump the whole mess right into the compost pile. I add more pellets it as needed. We don't have a walk-in coop so it's not an issue here but unfortunately the bedding pellets do tend to 'travel' so you might have to but a 2x4 in your doorway to keep them in the coop.
 
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aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,176
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
If you don't use any bedding you chickens feet (and so your nesting boxes) will be covered with poop.

Shredded paper, leaf mulch and lawn clippings are free, you can offset some of the cost of pine shavings by using free bedding most of the year. 

I do not used deep bedding. I do use recycled paper pellets called "Crown Animal Bedding". It comes in 40 pound bags, one of our local feed stores sells it for $9.00 a bag the other for $20.00 (seriously!)  It's 100% recycled, low dust and very absorbent. We keep it about 2" deep. It's easy to pick the poop clumps out, especially since  I make my kids do it. They do it twice a day with a kitty litter scooper and dump the whole mess right into the compost pile. I add more pellets it as needed. We don't have a walk-in coop so it's not an issue here but unfortunately the bedding pellets do tend to  'travel' so you might have to but a 2x4 in your doorway to keep them in the coop.
That makes sense with the feet thing! Good enough reason :) I will put some down. Never even considered that, and I have cochins too.. so poopy feet is bad.

I'll have to use the shavings first, since I already spent about $50 for the 6 bags. *sigh*
 

heidiinalaska

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 14, 2012
25
0
22
you may check and see if you have a local saw mill in your area. I can go get a black trash bag full of shavings for less than 1.50.
 

1muttsfan

Up Northerner
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,316
8,020
697
Upper Peninsula Michigan
Sawmills usually sell sawdust and not shavings from kiln dried wood. It is dusty with a high moisture content, and is not very good bedding. A thin layer of shavings will last for a long time in the summer, and provides comfort and keeps their feet cleaner.
 

aggiemae

Songster
7 Years
Mar 18, 2012
1,408
135
216
Salem Oregon
I had to do a lot of foot washing while the checks were in the small brooder. so 'poop foo't, or rather avoiding 'poop foot', was one of the determining factor in deciding coop size.
 
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xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
Yes, the thread is old, but instead of starting another, the topic is exactly spot on. My coop is not very big and has Linoleum flooring over wood. My roosts are on the back wall. Havent had my chickens but about 3 months now, and i use no bedding period. Perhaps im cheap, or perhaps it not needed? My hens are not quite old enough to lay(hope soon).With my fully automatic watering system in the coop, ive no room for deep liter method.. Its summertime and from the time my chicks get up, other than eating they stay outside in the 2 runs or under the coop on hot days..85% of the poop is right under the roosts and every day when i check on my feathered friends, i find very very lil moist poop.I take my little 10" wide sheet rock mud knife and scrape across the Linoleum weekly with dust pan and a bucket in hand. Takes all of about 10'15 mins. IF and when my hens start laying and i find that im getting poo on my eggs, i might do something different, but for now im happy, and my chicks are happy...Somewhere in my mind i hear people speak of "Deep Liter method" and how they throw feed on top of all the poo and degraded shavings/paper so they hens will actually dig through it but yet in another sentence they talk of poo on the chickens foot because of no bedding...Maybe its just me, but i really do have to scratch my head and say HMMMM...Whether you use a deep liter method, or change the bedding weekly, or use no bedding at all, at some point i promise you your chicken will step in poo. I guess the main thing is how much time your chickens spend actually in the coop, how many you have, and how big it is...
 

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