New to Chickens ~ what to use for bedding ~ suggestions?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by UrbanChick101, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. UrbanChick101

    UrbanChick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    Eastern Iowa
    Bedding? What is the best to use for bedding if you only want to clean your coop twice a year? And I have read alot about DE, on here, but, I don't know what that is. ~ Please help!
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Wood shavings! That's the best stuff for the deep litter method. If you do a search on "deep litter method" it will explain the process, and it's really easy.
  3. abooth

    abooth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi there. I use the deep litter method. That is what you need to do if you only want to clean 2x/year. Use pine shavings for bedding. When it gets very "poopy" sprinkle some DE (diatomaceous earth) on the bedding and mix it all together. I use a pitch fork. Then put a layer of fresh pine shavings on top. If you do it this way the litter on the bottom will start to compost inside the coop. It should not smell. And you can sweep out the wole thing twice a year. You will build up about 8 ot 10 inches of litter depending on how much bedding you add etc. When I was shopping for DE when I first started chicken keeeping no one knew what I was talking about. In the end I ordered a 50 lb bag online. The DE cost 25$ and shipping was 25$ too. But I have had chickens for a year and a half and have only used 1/4 of the bag. When you buy DE for this use you must buy the FOOD GRADE DE. There is another DE used for swimming pool filters but it is very harmful to animals.
  4. The Tinman

    The Tinman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2010
    Fairfield County CT
    Another thing you might want to do is put a board under the pirch(about 6 inches) to catch the poop. You clean this up everyday and put it in your compost pile. This will help you use less shavings and keep the smell down.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    You can use wood shavings; aspenis best, pine next. If you use cedar at all, use it VERY sparingly. You can also use rice hull bedding or sand. Me, I use it all (well, not cedar). I alternate what I get, and add on top, periodically stirring it up with a hoe. The only time I ever notice smells is when a broddy has just laid a big one. The deepest the litter is in any of mine is is about 5-6 inches, and that is in only one coop (I have eight). In most there is just a thin layer.
  6. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    I make layers of DE and PINE shavings.....
  7. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    I'd used pine shavings for a long time, but just a bit ago I tossed in a bale of straw.. SO fluffy and the poo just falls right through it. Will have to wait and see how it goes though. Last time with pine shavings I let it (6 bales by the end?) sit for a year before I cleaned it out.. ONE bale of straw ended up being the same height as all those bales of shavings..

    At any rate, I still stand behind the shavings, but am eager to test out this straw and see how it holds up.
  8. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    Sound like you got alot of good info. I use pallets under the roost. Pine shavings and some straw on the floor. The litter gets turned often and if it smells, I use stall dry.
  9. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    I find that the ONLY time the chicken coop smells (even after a year of stewing) is if the shavings get wet. So long as your coop is well secured against water infiltration you'll be fine, either way.

    Now.. Some say that straw allows pests a place to hide. Truth be told, I think they're right. I found a blasted mouse under the straw this evening when I went out.. Pine shavings are much more compacted and do not allow bugs and rodents such easy access.

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