Raising chickens is just like raising the little babies – they require extra attention, affection and care, indeed. When you see your baby chickens and the adult ones roaming here and there in the backyard, a strike of happiness comes out of the heart. My father was right; raising chickens is an interesting yet addictive hobby. My experience of raising chickens is not really vast, but within a short time span I have done a lot for my little babies. I loved the coop building part and yes, decorating it even was an interesting end. Similarly, setting up the food containers and building territories was even something I enjoyed a lot.
I don’t have a larger flock of hens and chicks but that does not mean my efforts towards the maintenance are low. Irrespective of the number of fellows you have, you cannot compromise on the chicken coop materials; similarly, the bedding options in the coop are something that cannot be even overlooked. A comfortable chicken coop consists of lots of bedding. You must be thinking why is that so? Have a look at major perks of beddings;
- It absorbs the urine
- It absorbs the other chicken droppings (waste)
- Acts as a nesting material – hens comfortably lay eggs there
Different and popular types of bedding:
All those who are into small farming or backyard chicken keeping, adore pine shavings, this makes it a popular type of chicken coop bedding. The most attractive feature of these pine shavings is that they have the ability to absorb the entire wetness and smell as well. This acts perfectly in litter management irrespective of the skin of the coop. Also, these pine shavings are quite lightweight and soft, and when the hens lay eggs on these, they remain prevented from being damaged. Also, these shavings are easy to remove and replace. As a whole these are ideal type of bedding options – they are one of the cheap chicken coop beddings and costs between $6 and $9. You can easily shop for them online; however, make sure you don’t get puzzled between the pine chips and shavings. Chips are not a very good option, so refrain from its purchase.
The only problem with this bedding is its dusty nature – it can cause issues to other flocks if you have any, but chickens remain safe.
Hay or straw:
The second choice of many homesteaders is hay or straw when it’s about choosing the chicken coop nest or floor bedding. Due to less in price and durability, many backyard raisers have bunches of straws in their garages. They act more or less like the pine shavings – they act as good absorbent of the chicken dropping and also prevent the bad odor from taking over the coop. However, you must not compromise on the quality of the straws or hay – many complain that the straws remain moist and that is why after a day or so the coop began to stink. Many even speak against the idea that nothing like this happens. So, potentially the major fault is seen with the quality of the straw. Make sure you inquire from the seller about the A and B categories. Since years people have been using these hays in the nests of the hens where they lay their eggs.
This is an amazing bedding alternative; truly, it is the most cost effective technique too. My father had a lot of newspapers and we thought of recycling them this way – by shredding the newspaper into smaller bits, they can be used as chicken coop flooring easily. Many different types of ideas must be prevailing in your mind at the moment, I am sure – all your doubts regarding this bedding type would clear by going through the research findings;
- Just like all other bedding options, newspapers have higher absorbing capacity.
- The newspaper ink is of no harm to the chickens or any other coop bird
- By adding some soiled bedding on the newspaper you can restrict from decomposing
However, many times it has been seen that the chickens are not much comfortable with the newspapers flooring – so, if that’s the case you try using sand on it too. If this technique does not work, then accept the fact that your fellows are quite arrogant.
Add a little DE
Many backyard chicken raisers add DE, also known as Diatomaceous to the chicken coops. Many haven’t heard about DE as yet – it is a white abrasive powder substance that is obtained from a distinctive type of ‘algae’. It acts as a wonderful odor controller and also helps prevent the coop and the birds from getting mites and lice. In order to keep your birds healthy, always use the food-grade DE.
Cedar shavings also act perfectly to fill the needs of the chicken bedding. They carry very pleasant aroma, but it is said that they can even affect the birds.
For chicken coop floor covering ideas, bamboo sticks can even be used. Due to massive production of these sticks in the market, you can obtain them on very feasible rates. They work as sheets on the floor and help in gathering the litter in a better way. Chickens even adore walking on such bamboo stick floorings.
The idea of proving the chicken coop with sand flooring is indeed amazing. Firstly, the sand being a natural component does not affect the health of the birds, and also contains all the great advantages that you have been looking for. However, the choice of the sand is something really important to consider here. If you have small farms you can use the litter contain sand as fertilizer there – many do so because it’s really effective.
The use of sawdust in the chicken brooder is also an amazing option. It has a very soft and natural smell that keeps the internal environment of the coop lively. Also, if you use them during the winters, the chicken coop would remain warmer. However, sawdust can create trouble if it gets really wet. It is then prone of bacteria too – so, in case it gets wet, you would have to change the flooring on alarming basis.