Bedding for Chickens: The Definitive Guide

Bedding for chickens is an integral part of caring for your flock. Chickens live in cages, which means that they need to be kept clean and dry at all times. If their bedding isn’t changed often enough, the chickens can get sick or even die from exposure to fecal matter. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what type of bedding is best for your chickens and how you should change it out regularly!

There are many different types of bedding that you can use. You can choose to spend more money or less depending on what you have in your house. If your chickens are free-range, you might not need as much bedding.

Bedding for chickens is essential to their health and happiness. You can choose the right type of bedding for your chicken and change it out regularly so that they have a clean place to sleep.


Top Choices for Chicken Coop Bedding

Some people describe the idea of settling down as ‘nested.’ Chickens are the masters at setting a cozy place in which roost and laying eggs is possible. Planning chickens involves figuring out which type of shelter to use.

You can use different beds for different purposes, like comfort or controlling smells. Still, they also have to absorb things to get too wet or dirty with poop and stuff. There must also be places where chickens lay their eggs. A dirty and dry chicken coop provides good opportunities for bad bacteria and parasites to grow, so keep it clean. With proper placement, you can easily collect chicken eggs.

Best Place for Chickens To Sleep

The hens like to roost in an upright position. They need strong branches with soft bark, which can be pretty useful. A person might sleep in the air but be very lonely or sleepy without it. The transition from henhouse to chicken coop is not very different because the chickens usually don’t roost often. The little ones sleep in nests that are cozy for them. You should never let a child go and get dirty eggs.

Best Bedding for Chickens

It’s the most nutritious bed for a chicken. The plants you find in your yard or house can be used as bedding. You might not need to buy any bedding at all, especially if you have your backyard protected by a fence of some sort.

Hay and Straw Beddings

Hay is cheaper than straw and also absorbs water. There are different hay varieties, so you can choose the type that suits your chickens best. Oat hay will stay longer and absorb moisture, while the straw c0.0an be too long for small chickens. If you want to use straw bedding instead, make sure it has some sort of soiled fabric on the bed.

Mold spores may grow on chickens that are susceptible to infections. Straw can contain high amounts of ammonia. Chicken waste smells terrible, so it would be good if the coop was well-ventilated. Doing this is also a great way to promote chick molting.

Cedar Shavings

The people who sell cedar shavings to use for bedding for chickens sell them in bags. It is good because it smells good, and bugs don’t like it, but some people do not because they get irritated by the smell.

When we get close to the hen house, it smells. This is because of all the chickens that are in there. You should only use this for hens that have good ventilation. We discussed lowering the walls and putting down some screens so people can’t see in. Still, ventilation is more important than anything else.


Mulch is made of tiny pieces of wood chips and bark. You can find this product at the Tractor Supply or Feed store. It is mainly used as a tool to reduce how much water your plants need to drink, and it’s also great for chickens who might want to lay their eggs on something soft.

Chickens help break up your bedding and the leftover meat from your garden by scratching their bodies. This produces heat that can keep chickens warm when they feel cold outside. The mulch can also make fertilizer for plants in the garden, and weeds do not grow there.

Pine Shavings

It is possible to use most of any section of trees to make an ideal homestead. You could make coops from wood shavings using netting to feed the birds. This is similar to cedar shavings. The scent is pleasant, reducing the odor of smoke. Pine shavings can easily be bought at your local store or made at home with the help of an old wooden jack. The only step is to glide the Jack lightly across your spruce wood. You can do it longer and shorter than you want, too! Another method is power planning: The shaving blows from an airtight tube when shaving; it depends on what you want for your house and how much money you have.


Cats and chickens can be used in the same way. Sand is also suitable for poultry. The sand will keep the wet poop from getting wet and dry up the solids. Soft sand makes a perfect bed for baby chicks. You can use a tub with sand – it lasts up to 6 months! Sand is also helpful as a bed for your chicken coop because it keeps it secure and allows the chicken coop floor to withstand weight as rocks do. Mud and sand can be used as dust baths for chickens (sand on top of mud).

Going Deep

To clean a chicken coop, you can use a deep cleaning method. You will need sheets and time to do this. Start with the sheets on the bottom of your bed. Then add more sheets on top of them, only an inch or so each month, depending on your bed size and how many chickens you have in it.

Spread food-friendly diatomaceous material over each layer of sheets too. Every now and then, turn over the pieces of sheeting to make sure they are clean from dirt and manure from chickens’ feet. If you find flies or excess manure in the soil, add more sheeting and turn them in every week or two weeks until they are clear again.

Recycled Paper (Old newspaper)

This is a different option from the bedding for your chicken. You can use papers that you have lying around. Shred and put it in their coop. It absorbs the dryness very quickly, and it’s not toxic, so everyone will not get sick from this system. The price is pretty low at this time, too. There are only negatives to this system when you build nesting boxes because eggs can get dirty with slime, which helps keep them in place; it could even happen inside their butts. It’s not dangerous but seems unhygienic.

Save Money: Use a Dropping Board

If you are a frugal person, it’s best to have a drop box under your roosting area. This will prevent chicken waste from getting onto the bedding in the winter. It will stay clean and dry during that time. The boards make it easier to transfer compost back and forth without touching anything with your hands. Boards can also be used for the deep litter method to reduce the cost of bedding by making a single way work better than before.


Do not use stones in your chicken coop. I’m sure you have thought that when chickens walk on stones, they might feel uncomfortable because it makes a loud noise. You don’t need to sharpen them, and it isn’t safe for your chickens to walk on rocks if the rocks are sharp. Soft river stones or gravel would be better than rocks. It is very cheap and gives you another option for bedding in the coop, which keeps the coop cleaner and reduces costs in other areas of running a chicken farm.

Grass Clippings

The bedding is for chicken coops. It should be kept clean. You can use grass or hay that does not have any pesticides. The grass is good because it absorbs water very well and breaks easily with your feet if you step on it.


Hay is dry and stiff. It is like grass, but it is not green. Hay bales are for storing hay. Horses don’t eat hay; they eat grass instead. You use hay for bedding for chickens because it doesn’t get dirty as quickly as fresh-cut grass does. Hay is food safe, so the chickens will never get sick again even if they poop on it all of the time! And lastly, hay hides poop smells too!

Excelsior Fiberglass

Excelsior fibers make it easier to use animal bedding because you can buy pads. Use the sponges for fibers instead of loofah or sandpaper. All the water gets in, so no more dusty chicken bedding! The softness of this animal bedding makes it easy for chicken feet. This is a very luxurious type of animal bedding, and you can buy 10 packs for $36, or even more if possible.

Pine Needles

There are many things to do in the pine trees. They are suitable for chickens because they can nest on them without worrying about it. The pine needles smell good, and they drain quickly. This word is DRY, so fresh ones might not last as long as dry ones because you have to water them more often. But either way, ensure you get some nontoxic needles for safety.


Hemp is a plant used for clothes and rope. It can also be used as bedding for hens’ cages. It contains 100% organic plant fiber and helps maintain a fresher smell. Hemp bedding was once cheaper, but since online marketing promoted it, chicken keepers became expensive.


There are cheaper ways to feed chickens. Sawdust is a good option, but it can be dusty. The dust from sawdust is not a problem if the chickens stay in their cage all day and night. But the dust from sawdust will not circulate if the chicken poop falls on wet sawdust. You should check your chickens every once in a while to ensure that they have enough water and that they have food leftover from when they were alive.

Shredded Cardboard

It is the same as newspapers, except for the lack of stickiness and texture. The cardboard has a better permeability to water, so the layers are already covered. It will work longer. This is free because it’s organic. Just call a grocery store for a list of your nearest locations. You can put it into composting hole or fertilize your plants with it because it’s organic.

Shredded Dried Leaves

When the weather gets colder, leaves start to fall. You can use them as bedding for your chickens. You can cut off the leaves and put them in with the chicken. Leaves turn into fertilizer after they’ve rotted, so it’s easy to do this!

For the Coop

Pine or cedar shavings are the best material for a chicken coop. Pine lasts longer than other bedding materials when using pine shavings in your coop. You don’t need to buy expensive litter when you have pine or cedar shavings. This goes well with chicken wire for the coop.

Tell Me the Difference Between Animal Bedding?

Animal bedding is used for cages to absorb fluid. It also makes the chickens comfortable when they lay eggs. Hay and straw are common types of animal bedding, but more economical options are available today.

Do Chickens Need Bedding?

Chickens do not need bedding in most chicken farms. If they have the floor with wire, they will not need bedding. But if your chickens are still living in their coop and you have a solid floor, then you should get some kind of chicken bedding. There are many different types, from paper scraps to shaving sheets, for you to choose from based on your preferences.

Purpose of the Bed

It is essential to clean the chicken cages so they stay healthy. Cleaning the chicken cages will keep them from walking on poop and mold, leading to stomach problems. The owner of a chicken coop should be cautious about this and regularly clean and swaddle the bedding. This is not necessary for all chicken owners, but it does help with keeping chickens healthy.

How Often Should I Change My Chicken Bedding?

When you notice a terrible smell around the chicken cages, it is time to change the bedding. If chickens change their bedsheets, they are less likely to get sick. When needed, chicken bedding should be changed and disinfected with apple cider vinegar to reduce bacterial growth. It can make chickens sick if they are already sick.

Customize Your Coop’s Bedding Materials

The chicken waste that your birds provide is more important than anything else. The waste helps chickens have feet and legs. It also makes landing soft.

To learn more about chicken beddings, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bedding for Chickens

What To Use for Bedding for Laying Hens?

It is known that cutting grass and pine trees is necessary, but they should not use as much as when inside their coops.

Do Chicken Coops Need Bedding?

Most chickens do have a place to sleep. But not all coops have bedding. Coops without it usually have a lower nesting area, and the nests are easier for the chickens to get in and out of. You can feed them without bedding, too, because they’ll eat their grass every morning.

Do Chickens Prefer Straw or Shavings?

The most common type of shaving is cedar or pine, which is believed to be bad for chickens. I like shaving because it has an easy-to-clean smell. It’s also much quicker than cleaning straws.

What Is the Best Bedding for a Chicken Nest Box?

Use a straw to keep chickens warm and comfortable. Straw is a good way for a chicken to make a nest box. Wheat straw is the best, but barley and oatmeal also work well. Some birds use paper for their nests instead of straw.

Is Straw Safe for Chickens?

Straw is a good bedding material. If you have a chicken, they will enjoy it since it is easy to scratch and lick. You can buy this from the feed or farm supplies department.

Can I Use Cat Litter in My Chicken Coop?

Do not put cat poop in a chicken’s cage. Cat poop can make the chicken’s food taste bad, and it might cause the chicken pain. Cat poop can also produce a lot of dust, which is bad for the chicken’s breathing system.

Is Hay OK for Chicken Bedding?

Hay or grasses are not suitable to put chickens in. One reason is that they contain lots of nitrogen. A chicken coop needs a balanced mix of carbon and nitrogen, which helps with healthy bacteria and composting. Too much nitrogen can be found in poultry waste.