What kind of bedding is best for chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenalice, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. chickenalice

    chickenalice In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2010
    straw? wood shavings?
    i have 5 week old that i want to put in the coop next week

  2. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    Sand is good, I've been using what is free, dirt with added sweet pdz, which is like a drying agent to keep smell down.
  3. wormy270

    wormy270 In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2009
    I like wood pine shavings best. They just seem to not make as big a mess as straw and is easier clean to me. I also like the smell of the shavings. Outside in my run I use rock dust from the local quarry. Works great.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I like pine shavings,but the fluffy kind not the one that is like saw dust.Hate that dusty stuff even though it is cheaper.I tried sand,but there was a *funny* smell in the coop.Also tried swheat scoop and liked it,but worried they would eat it up.
  5. MaKettle

    MaKettle Songster

    [​IMG]I'm actually using equine bedding--like little pellets. Its very easy to turn over & I take a scoop & get the big pieces of poo out & throw them into my garden. Eventually, it all breaks down into a sawdust sort of deal which is super easy to sweep out...No smell AT ALL!!!

  6. spottedtail

    spottedtail Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    I like straw.
    Old straw bedding with poultry manure makes nice compost.
    It breaks down much faster than wood shavings.

  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Pine shavings. Not the saw-dusty kind. I use it in the coops and in the nest boxes - the Deep Litter Method. I do rake out big clumps weekly, and occasionally toss some food-grade Diatomateous Earth (DE) onto it. When I clean out the coops twice a year, I simply pull it out onto the ground, rake out the poo clumps, and let the chickens scratch through it again until it "becomes" more of the ground.

    Somebody suggested rice hulls, as it will compost much more quickly than wood shavings, but the folks at the feed store (who do carry both) told me it wasn't the least bit absorbent. Sure they'd sell me some, but they "bet" I'd be back to change to pine shavings. So I passed.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  8. showmesilkies

    showmesilkies Songster

    Dec 29, 2008
    Central Missouri
    My Coop
    I prefer to use pine shavings. My method is to dust the floor and nesting boxes with garden lime, then add at least 4" of pine shaving. In the nesting boxes I load them about half full of pine shavings and after then hens have got in and made their presence known I put cuttings from lemongrass, mint, lavender, sage, and basil in for them to weave. I'm not a fan of a straw because I think it stinks after a short time and it harbors germs. I also dust with DE to keep away creepy crawlies.
  9. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Songster

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    I love the idea of the aromatic herbs in the nest box! I think I'll do this as well when the girls finally decide it is time...I have lots of mint, sage and lemon balm.

  10. I find pine shavings to be the best. I sift it with a "mini manure fork" weekly to get the poops out and save some of the bedding. My girlfriend made the mistake of using cedar shavings to make her chicks smell better. Don't be fooled, they are toxic and three of her eight got very ill within a day and she lost one. I just happened to be chick sitting for her and noticed them becoming lethargic and quickly removed them all, scrubbed the tote out, and replaced the shavings with pine. The sickest one died in my hands, the others I was able to save.

    All of my interior wood surfaces I painted with exterior (low fume) paint also so I can remove all the shaving every once in a while and wash the coop out completely. Sealing the wood is ideal for less stink![​IMG]

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