I use Woody Pet for the horses and just of course put it in for the girls. You do have to wet it so it breaks up- the wood pellets in a chicken house just aren't useful. I dump a bag in a big wheelbarrow and dump water on it and stir. Let sit a day, stir again to get any pellets and damp spots mixed in again, let it sit to dry if it needs to (I only let it dry for the chickies- the horses get it damp) and spread in the henhouse.
I love it because I can "clean" my henhouse with a kitty litter scoop. Granted, I only have 7 hens right now and it isn't a huge deal.
I use it for everyone, too. And it will last for ever (at least w/ my 3). I dampened down 1/2 bag and it was plenty (when exploded) for my 4x8 coop. Like valmom, I use a kitty litter scoop (w/ a long handle--found it at PetStupid) to scoop poop every a.m. and I put it in a covered trash can for my gardener SIL. So the henhouse is always pristinely clean!
It comes by other names than Woody Pet -- my TSC usually carries "Equine Pine." But what you're looking for is "pelletted horse bedding," basically. It may seem expensive, but one bag goes a LONG way and b/c it's compacted, you get more for your money and it's easier to handle and store.
I use wood pellets.....Similar to the type used in pellet stoves, yet made to be used as equine bedding check out www.guardianhorsebedding.com although I don't use this particular brand I use one which is very similar purchased at my local feed store for $7.00 per 40lb bag. Initially I bought 3 40lb bags, dampened 2 of them so they would expand (making them more absorbent) and dumped them into the run (which by the way is covered)...now all I do is go out and scoop out the soiled bits (think kitty litter box on a much larger scale) and top off with more pellets to maintain a depth of about 3-4 inches. I don't dampen the pellets I use to top off with as they break down rather easlily. Initally I though my girls would get confused and try to eat the pellets but I've had no issues. When I went out today the girls were having themselves a nice group dust bath.
I have been using Equine Fresh pellets from TSC since the beginning of November. I did not wet them, but with the first cold snap, the condensation from the wood floor and from the chickens scratching, they all broke down on their own. The ones I scooped up under the roost with the poop yesterday were only partially broken down. I put 4-40lb bags and 2 bales of aspen chips in a 8 by 8 coop on Nov 2nd. So far even at the doorway it has remained dry and we have had nothing but rain and ice this year. I added some pellets and chips yesterday for the first time. I like the fine pieces they turn into, it doesn't seem to mat down like chips. Only 3 more months of winter until I can tell how they really work, but so far I like them.
Oh wow this thread is back to life. I have been using woody pet since I started this thread. For my little ones in the basement I wet it first and it lasts sooo long(and I dont go through with a kitty litter scoop or anything) and I only add a little water for the big kids, and there is barely any stink in there.