New'bee...with bedding questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Makchicken, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Makchicken

    Makchicken New Egg

    Feb 11, 2016
    Hello All,

    I'm looking to get a coop this spring. Been a beekeeper for 3 years but have never raised chickens. In trying to educate myself I'm now on information overload. I recently read somewhere that mulch can be used to line the coop as a cheap and effective alternative to shavings and/or sand. Thoughts? Also, what are your thoughts regarding the use of shredded paper to line the nesting boxes? It's often used as bedding for rabbits and rodents so I'm wondering why not for nesting eggs? Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015
    When it comes to bedding I think it has to do with personal preference and what would work best for the individual's set-up. What's available is also a factor. I believe shredded paper for nesting material would be fine; avoid inked papers as the ink would rub off and onto birds and eggs. I have tried many different materials for nesting. I prefer straw. With straw the nest holds its shape which is crucial when using broody hens to hatch eggs. I get a better hatch rate using straw. Keeping chickens is easier than beekeeping; at least I think so. Good research is great, but keep in mind that not everything you read is correct or necessary. Ask questions when in doubt.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! I use hay in the nest boxes because I already have it for the horses, and baled shavings in the coop and run as deep bedding. It's more a matter of what you have available; many people use grass clippings, leaves, or whatever as bedding. Wood chips (what I think of as mulch) won't be as absorbent or diggable as shavings. Straw gets harder to handle and moldy. Sand is daily scooping, way to labor intensive! Mary
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - glad that you have joined us. I think its fair to say that there as many bedding preferences as there are members (not really, but you get the idea). I use dried leaves and grass clippings in the coop - no cost and when i change it I have great fertiliser. Spending money makes me break out in a sweat, so when theres a free option - I'm on it! [​IMG]

    I'm sure there will be some articles on bedding in the learning centre and for sure lots of threads on the topic - maybe try searching and see what others do?

    All the best
  5. Kmhv04

    Kmhv04 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 15, 2015
    British Columbia, Canada

    I had the exact same question. We were told by the breeder to use both wood shavings and straw (shavings down first, then straw....ended up being a big mixed up mess as the birds dug). I am finding it horribly difficult to clean the coop. With straw alone, it will form more of a matt and can easily be removed using a pitch fork. With shavings alone I'd assume a shovel would work well. With both, its a nightmare. Neither shovel nor pitchfork methods work! Currently I use a shovel, but the bedding just falls off the shovel....terribly irritating and ineffective!

    I think I will search around, but I too am wondering what will work best for us. As for now I'm just cleaning what I can and topping off with clean straw. I can't wait until I've gotten rid of the mixed up mess!

    Good luck with your searches! :)
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m certainly with the group that we all use different things as bedding and think CT had one of the best lines. I also like free and readily available.

    Our coops are different, our management methods are different. It’s not surprising that we like different things. Some coops are elevated, some on the ground. Even those may be on dirt or something else. Some coops stay very dry, some don’t. Some people clean bedding out of their coops on a real regular basis, like weekly. I may clean mine out once every three to four years. Different people have different tolerances for what they call “clean”. Some people use droppings boards, some don’t.

    Poop management is pretty important. If you get it wrong you can wind up with a stink and it can lead to diseases. But there are so many different ways to manage it that it’s really hard to come up with specific suggestions for any one person. We are all so unique.

    Same with the nests. People use straw, hay, shavings, shredded paper (Yes, avoid newsprint. That will stain everything. Good point), Spanish moss, rags, carpet, and I’m sure many things that I’m not thinking of as nesting material. We also use all kinds of different types of nests. Some material or nest types may be better for some of us than others. But there is nothing that is required for all of us.
  7. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015
  8. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015

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