Chickens are phenomenal creatures and although they aren’t your typical household pet, they can become great companions for several purposes. If you’ve been interested in owning your own chickens, it’s important to not only know how to house them comfortably. With the help of this guide, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best bedding for chickens to give your pets the best quality of life possible.
Bedding for Chickens Reviews
Standlee Hay Company Flock
As an all-natural bedding option for small pets, including chickens, the Standlee Hay Company Flock is ideal for chicken owners that want to experience the benefits of great organic features that help to make a more comfortable environment for their chickens.
First and foremost, the Standlee Hay Company Flock is quite a good choice simply because it’s comprised of organic ingredients instead of relying on toxic components that are dangerous for your pet’s health. A couple of other great highlights include:
- Absorption properties: It can be tough to work with chicken bedding that isn’t absorptive, especially if you’re the type of owner that likes to keep your coop clean. This variety of bedding not only absorbs moisture but also harmful compounds and odors.
- Environmentally safe: Another great feature of the Standlee Hay Company Flock is that it is entirely sustainable, meaning that you can easily compost the used bedding to spread nutrients throughout the environment.
- Consists of chopped straw, Alfalfa, and zeolite
- Ideal for use in a garden to revitalize soil
- Can be composted
- Great for use as poultry bedding
Some of the things you’ll love about the Standlee Hay Company Flock include:
- Encourages healthy pecking: Turning the bedding in your coop is important to make the most out of your bedding and the alfalfa in the mixture helps chickens to peck through their bedding to do the job for you.
- Reduces smell: There’s nothing more unappealing than the smell of urine and feces, especially in a chicken coop. The anti-odor ingredients in the bedding definitely help to minimize the likelihood of dealing with unpleasant smells.
There are a couple of disadvantages to using Standlee Hay Company Flock, including:
- Dusty: When you first open the bag, you’re going to notice there is a lot of dust that emerges from the bedding which can not only be dangerous for humans but also for chickens.
- Encourages eating: Although the alfalfa is great for helping chickens turn their bedding on their own, it also encourages them to eat the entirety of their bedding, so you have to replenish it more often than you’d want.
Treats for Chickens Organic Nesting Box Blend
Unlike other types of pet bedding that are applicable to many different types of pets, the Treats for Chickens Organic Nesting Box Blend is specially designed with chickens in mind, making it the ideal choice for you and your coop.
One thing that can surely be said about the Treats for Chickens Organic Nesting Box Blend is that it’s designed to make a healthier and more comfortable nesting environment. It has non-toxic ingredients that help to keep bugs and pests away and many other product highlights, such as:
- All-natural ingredients: If you’re looking for an organic nesting material, this is a great option to choose as it’s made of wormwood, spearmint, calendula, tansy, peppermint, catnip, lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus.
- Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial: To promote a healthier environment for your chickens, the organic ingredients help to keep harmful bacteria and diseases away from your coop.
- 10-14 Uses Per 5 Oz Bag.
- Keeping Your Flock'S Brooder, Coop And Nesting Boxes Clean And Comfortable Means Keeping Your Chickens Healthy, Productive And Happy. Our First-To-Market Nesting Box Blend Is A Non-Toxic, Humane And Environmentally-Friendly Way To Keep Your Chickens Calm And Free Of Mites, Lice, Pests And Contaminants
- Natural Ingredients Like Wormwood, Tansy, Catnip, Calendula And Spearmint Serve As A Pest-Repellant, Anti-Mite Preventative, Antiparasitic, Antimicrobial And Antiseptic (Phew!)
- Lavender, Chamomile, Eucalyptus And Peppermint Are Anti-Inflammatory, Soothing, Healing And Aromatic
- Nesting Box Blends Can Be Composted Along With Bedding, Coop And Run Manure Or Materials
A couple of the biggest advantages of the Treats for Chickens Organic Nesting Box Blend include:
- Saves time and effort: If you would normally cultivate your own herbs to add into your nesting box to help preserve the integrity of the eggs, you’ll love how this particular bedding already comes with the herbs that you need for anti-bacterial and anti-pest protection.
- Keeps nesting boxes and coops clean: You’ll appreciate the scent of the Treats for Chickens Organic Nesting Box Blend because it’s equally as calming as it is fresh. Even by just putting it into the nesting boxes, it will help to purify the air in the entire coop and help to relax your chickens.
- Naturally keeps mites away: If you’ve had a mite problem in the past, you’ll appreciate how you can keep those pests away without having to rely on toxic chemicals.
There are plenty of benefits to the Treats for Chickens Organic Nesting Box Blend. However, there are a few concerns as well, such as:
- Does not ease aggression: If you have aggressive chickens, the calming ingredients in the nesting material aren’t strong enough to ease tensions amongst the coop.
- Chickens may be indifferent: Adding this new material to nesting boxes will most likely not affect the chickens in a negative or positive way. If you’re looking for a material that will attract them more than other materials, this may not be the right product for you.
MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners
One addition to your nesting boxes that you should definitely consider is a nesting liner as it has everything you’d expect from nesting material but with a more compact design. The MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners are a simple alternative to working with traditional bagged nesting material.
The first thing you’ll notice with the MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners is that they are easy to use because they are designed with regular chicken owners in mind. A couple of other great highlights include:
- Aspen wood: Healthier for chickens than pine and cedar (as they may have toxic ingredients), the Aspen wood used in the MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners is healthier and more comfortable.
- Designed with kraft paper: To help cut back on cleaning time, each liner is designed with a piece of kraft paper on the bottom. When it’s time to replace the liners, you can easily pull the nesting material out by the base to help minimize mess.
- USA-grown Aspen: You’ll appreciate how the Aspen wood is entirely USA-grown and not imported.
- High quality USA grown aspen shavings- 12 pack! MADE IN USA!
- Aspen wood is much healthier for chickens than pine and cedar
- Each 13 x 13 square comes with kraft paper on the bottom to keep the shavings together
- Makes cleaning the coop a snap!
- 12 PACK! Best value for the dollar
There are plenty of great things about the MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners, such as:
- Easy to create nest bowls: Instead of tearing through an entire package of nesting material only to lay their eggs directly on the floor of the nesting box, with these liners, your chickens will have the perfect amount of material to create a safe nesting bowl.
- Customizable cleaning: When you need to clean your nesting boxes, the kraft paper liner helps to make the chore easier. You can either cut certain pieces of the liner off or you can replace the entire slab at once.
- Easy to size: Due to the fact that the Aspen wood is attached to the base of the liner, you can easily trim it to fit perfectly in your nesting boxes.
A couple of issues with the MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners include:
- Cannot be washed: Unless you want to be dealing with soggy paper that tears apart, you cannot wash these nesting liners in any way.
- Might be stiff: Depending on the type of nesting material your chickens are used to, they may find that the MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners are a little too stiff and scratchy for them.
Small Pet Select Paper Bedding
At times, opting for bedding that is suitable for all small pets rather than just one can be preferable for many owners, especially if you own chickens, hamsters and/or guinea pigs. With Small Pet Select Paper Bedding you will have some versatile bedding that is adaptable to plenty of situations.
Aside from the fact that the Small Pet Select Paper Bedding is suitable for various small pets and chickens, it also has plenty of other highlights such as:
- 100% non-toxic: If you’re trying to avoid bedding that has harmful carcinogens and byproducts, the Small Pet Select Paper Bedding is ideal as it’s entirely non-toxic and made in the USA.
- Absorbent: To help make cleaning easier, the material used in this bedding is designed to be very absorbent, which is essential for maintaining a comfortable and healthy environment for your chickens.
- Expandable bedding: Another interesting feature of the Small Pet Select Paper Bedding is that although it comes in a relatively small package, the bedding expands once it has been unboxed which gives you more product in less space.
- Ideal Bedding For Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
- 100% Safe - Made In The USA Without Any Harmful Chemicals Additives
- Soft + Comfortable for Your Bunnies and Guinea Pigs, But Still Super Absorbent
- Each Bag Expands 3X In Volume From It's Packaged Size
- Made From Pure Unbleached Never Been Printed Paper
The main benefit of the Small Pet Select Paper Bedding is that it absorbs moisture incredibly well, which is great for chicken owners who find they’re constantly cleaning waste out of their coops. There are plenty of other benefits as well, including:
- Stays slightly packed: If you prefer bedding that has some type of packing, this is ideal for you. Due to its thickness, it helps to eliminate most of the dust from the bedding and it also makes it easier to clean.
- High-quality material: You’ll definitely notice that this particular bedding holds up quite well over time, depending on how active your chickens are. However, due to its absorbent properties, you’ll have to make sure you regularly maintain your coop.
Unfortunately, the Small Pet Select Paper Bedding falls slightly short when compared to other types of bedding that you can use for chickens. A couple of the major concerns you’ll experience include:
- No odor control: This is not the bedding to choose if you are looking for something that controls odors and, especially as coops have the tendency to be heavily scented, you’ll prefer odor control bedding.
- Too easy to use: Due to the fact that the Small Pet Select Paper Bedding is incredibly easy to use, you’re going to find that you’ll get through more of it than you’d assume. This can cause you to spend more money on bedding than you normally would with other brands.
Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding
As a pet bedding product that is well known for its odor-absorbing abilities, Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding is ideal for chicken owners who want to keep a cleaner coop and nesting area. You also have the option of choosing from a variety of different order sizes, depending on the amount of bedding you’ll need for your chickens.
There are plenty of interesting features you’ll notice when you start using Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding, including:
- 10-day odor control: Designed to eradicate unappealing smells from small pet cages and chicken coops alike, this blend of bedding is meant to offer up to 10 days of odor control. Depending on how active your chickens are and how often you change their bedding, you may never have to deal with the smell of waste ever again.
- Highly absorbent: With up to three times more absorption than traditional shavings, you’ll find that cleaning your coop will take far less time and be much easier as all of the waste will be absorbed into the material.
- 99% dust free: For chickens that are dealing with respiratory illnesses or if you simply want to have a healthier environment for your pets, this bedding is up to 99% dust free.
- carefresh complete comfort care provides all the features small pet parents care about
- SOFT - Made with comfyfluff
- FRESH - 10 day odor control
- DRY - 2X more absorbent than shavings
- CLEAN - Low dust and easy to clean
Apart from its great reputation amongst chicken and small pet owners, there are a few fantastic things you’ll experience when you start using Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding.
- Long-term smell absorption: Unlike most other types of shaved bedding materials, you can guarantee that this particular mixture will keep smells away from your coop for a minimum of six days, which is ideal for owners who change bedding every week.
- Compostable: Instead of having to worry about throwing away a ton of shavings when you’re doing a coop clean-out, you can easily put this recyclable bedding into a composting area.
A couple of issues you may experience with the Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding are:
- Easily compacts: Although compacting can be great for customizing the appearance of your coop, when feces and urine compacts into the bedding, it makes it easier for your chickens to get waste on the bottom of their feet.
- Blend of paper and wood: If you’re looking for incredibly soft bedding, this surely isn’t the right mixture for you as it combines both soft paper and gritty wood chips which might be uncomfortable for your chickens, depending on their preferences.
You now have a better idea of the top five bedding options for chickens, it’s important to know exactly what to look for when you start searching for the right choice for your coop. From the volume to the weight of the material and packaging, there are plenty of factors that you need to take into consideration.
Volume is applicable to chicken bedding and nesting material in two ways. First, how it expands once it’s put in the nesting box or coop and second, how much material you receive in a single purchase.
In most cases, your bedding will be compacted as small as possible to make it easier to handle and store which means you might not want to make an assumption about the amount of bedding you’re receiving based on the size of the package. Instead, you’re going to have to look at its contents and determine how often you change the bedding in your coop to figure out what the right size is.
The majority of chicken owners prefer to buy packages of 60L or more, as this gives you constant access to bedding materials in the event of accidents or emergencies. You won’t have to worry about randomly running out of bedding in the middle of a coop change and you’ll still be able to easily store it in small spaces.
When it comes to size, you need to think about where you intend to store your bedding material and how easy it will be for you to lift a bag of bedding based on your physical strength. Once you start to get a hang of changing the bedding in your coop, you’ll develop a routine regardless of whether you choose a small or large bag. However, it’s always better to find a company that compacts their bedding as much as possible so you have more manageable packages to work with.
The smaller the size, the easier it’s going to be to store in your home, but you should also remember that more compacted bedding will normally expand once it’s put in the coop.
The vast majority of bedding materials are designed to be highly absorbent as this helps to get rid of waste and smells that would otherwise ruin the environment of your coop. With that being said, you have to make sure the type of bedding you’re buying comes in reliable packaging that will not only keep the bedding fresh but also prevent moisture from affecting the quality of the bedding.
Ideally, you’re going to want to either store your materials in an airtight container or purchase a bag of bedding that is completely resealable. The fresher the bedding materials are, the more comfortable they’ll be for your chickens and you won’t have to worry about mold, flaking or the production of dust after being exposed to moisture in the surrounding environment.
The weight of your bedding or nesting material will depend on the type of ingredients that are thrown into the mixture. For example, an entire bag of wood shavings is going to be substantially heavier than a bag of recycled printer paper. The most important thing to remember is that even if you have a very heavy bag of bedding, you can always use a scoop or bucket to make carrying everything much easier and to prevent you from straining your body.
Best Bedding for Chickens FAQs
How many times to change bedding for chickens?
The perfect way to know when it’s time to change the bedding in your coop is to do a weekly inspection. You’ll be able to see which materials are worn down the most, whether there are any materials that need to be replenished, or if your chickens are producing enough waste to warrant a complete cleanout.
Every seven days is a convenient timeframe to change bedding to keep your chickens healthy and to give them a comfortable living environment. However, if you have more than 13-14 chickens, you might have to consider changing your bedding more often.
How many nesting boxes per chicken?
Based on the five freedoms (rules to follow to ensure the proper welfare of your animals, including chickens), you will want to have one nesting space for every five birds. Otherwise, you’re going to be dealing with territorial issues.
If you have more than one space for every five birds, you will spend the majority of your time cleaning nesting boxes because the excessive number of boxes will make the chickens think they are new places to sleep.
How to make a budgie nest box out of cardboard?
Making a budgie nest box out of cardboard is easier than you think. All you need is a cardboard box (with a lid), decorations for the inside of the nest box and something to cut a hole.
By sealing the entirety of the cardboard box and cutting a circle on the side of the box where the budgie will enter and exit their home, you’ll have an effective budgie nest box. You’re also going to want to add wood shavings, straw and/or feathers to the inside of the box for a more comfortable habitat.
How to layer bedding for warmth?
Keeping your chickens warm in the winter is of the utmost importance, especially as they spend all of their time outdoors. Luckily, you can easily layer their bedding to help provide the ideal amount of insulation to keep them comfortable with the help of the “Deep Litter Method”.
A base layer of pine shavings will lay the ideal foundation for the next level of a softer bedding material such as hay or paper shavings. As your chickens begin to produce waste, stir the bedding with a rake and allow your other chickens to turn their bedding on their own.
You’ll want to make sure that you regularly top up the wood shavings which will help to create a warm composting layer that is filled with healthy microbes and will ward away pests.
How to make a wood nesting box for chickens?
When it comes to making a wooden nesting box for chickens, you will want to have access to a set of instructions and all of the right gear. Although you don’t need to be an expert woodworker to make a comfortable nesting place for your birds, it will take a little bit of patience and experience.
You will need to know how many nests you need and where you want to place them. You will also need to find the right bedding.
It’s important to remember that a nesting box doesn’t necessarily need to be square, but it does need to be large enough for a hen to feel secure and comfortable at the same time. You can easily repurpose things around your house, such as five-gallon buckets, milk crates or pet carriers.
As the final piece of advice, it’s time to consider what type of bedding is the best bedding for chickens in 2018. If you’re on the hunt for a nesting and bedding material that is easy for you to clean and comfortable for your chickens, you should consider the MagJo Pet Aspen Nesting Liners. Designed with a kraft paper lining, you’ll be able to cut each sheet to fit the perfect size of your coop and nesting boxes and will also spend less time cleaning your coop.
Another great advantage to these nesting liners is that your chickens will absolutely fall in love with them as they’re able to create their own nesting bowls without the need to add any other bedding materials. However, if you’re interested in bedding with a more appealing scent, you can add Treats for Chickens Organic Nesting Box Blend to the top of the liners for an even more pleasant environment.
Choosing the perfect bedding and nesting material is imperative for the physical and mental health of your chickens. To help limit aggression, territorial behavior and to promote egg production, your chickens will need a safe, secure and great-smelling environment to live in.