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Analysis of the several types of rooster coop bedding and which is finest for nesting primarily based on value, sturdiness, consolation, and security for egg-laying hens.
Protecting egg-laying chickens is a sizzling way of life pattern. Whereas the cultural phenomenon was already in course of, rising meals inflation and sparse grocery store cabinets are fueling an excellent sooner resurgence!
Whereas this is a beautiful pattern, the training curve is pretty steep, as I spotted after I began out with my first three hens a decade in the past!
Why Coop Bedding is Essential
One of many first choices to make is what kind of nesting materials to make use of for the coop.
Bedding is essential to offer the hens with a clear, comfy and secure place to put their eggs every day.
It additionally offers them a supply of heat and insulation on chilly winter nights.
I’ve used many sorts of supplies for bedding over time, and I positively have my opinions about it!
You possibly can both use the fabric to line nesting containers individually or lay it throughout the ground of the raised bedding space of the coop.
Listed here are the assorted sorts of bedding I might advocate contemplating and which is my favourite primarily based on value, sturdiness, consolation, and security in your ladies.
Nesting pads (reminiscent of these) are a preferred selection for beginner hen keepers. They’re sturdy, washable, and pretty cheap.
Nevertheless, they’re made with artificial supplies, and so will not be a sensible choice for that cause alone, for my part.
The hens don’t like them a lot both from what I’ve noticed in my very own little flock of birds. They appear to search out them uncomfortable particularly in the summertime when the substitute supplies entice an excessive amount of warmth.
Ranking: 1 out of 5
I might counsel skipping the sort of bedding except you merely don’t have any different choice.
One other fashionable selection for rooster nesting materials is wooden shavings. At first, they appear to be a logical selection as a result of this is a superb materials to line a field crammed with rising chicks.
A big bag of compacted wooden shavings is cheap and lasts for a very long time. Nevertheless, I’ve discovered that after the hens are sufficiently old to put eggs, they don’t appear to love them a lot.
My guess is that the sturdy pine odor is off-putting within the small, confined coop house.
If the egg-laying portion of your coop is rooster wire, like mine is, the chips are likely to fall by way of the holes too. You possibly can resolve this downside by shopping for the wooden shavings pressed into laying mats, however this makes them way more costly.
Ranking: 2 out of 5
Whereas I all the time have a bag of pine shavings in my storage because it is excellent to make use of as brown materials for a compost pile, I don’t use them within the rooster coop.
Hay is one other fashionable option to line the egg-laying portion of your coop.
Notice that hay is to not be confused with straw. They might appear related, however they’re truly fairly completely different. (1)
Straw is finest prevented for rooster litter in addition to bedding materials. It may encourage respiratory issues in chickens. (2)
Chickens appear to get pleasure from hay for nesting and you will get it very cheaply (lower than $10 for a big block at my native feed retailer).
Hay is not my best choice as a result of it is messy and dusty to retailer within the storage. You probably have a barn, then it would make extra sense to maintain it readily available.
Ranking: three out of 5
Whereas chickens get pleasure from nesting in hay and it is reasonably priced and secure to make use of as bedding, in my expertise, the alternatives beneath are even higher.
Coconut Fiber (Coco Coir)
One kind of rooster nesting materials that is not steadily thought of is pure coconut fiber.
My chickens like it!
The one disadvantage is that it isn’t washable and the chickens are likely to tear it up pretty rapidly as they snuggle into it to put their eggs.
So, you must purchase it typically and it isn’t that low-cost. With my small flock of birds, I can undergo a 10-pack of coconut fiber mats in a couple of month.
You can too discover it in rolls for a bit much less cash, however you have to to chop it to measurement to suit inside your nesting containers.
Ranking: four out of 5
Coco coir mats are fantastic for rooster bedding, and the chickens get pleasure from laying on them. Nevertheless, they aren’t low-cost, and they have to be changed typically.
Spanish moss is BY FAR my favourite materials to make use of for rooster coop bedding.
It is free, pure, sturdy, and secure for the hens to put on. It is additionally their favourite bedding to snuggle into.
In my space of the nation, Spanish moss is actually in all places hanging off of bushes. Merely collect some in an area park and put it in your storage in an open bin to make use of as wanted.
We now have a whole lot of bushes in our neighborhood, so it is plentiful and in all places to assemble year-round as wanted.
Some individuals say that Spanish moss accommodates bugs, however I’ve not discovered this to be the case. Even when it did, the chickens would fortunately eat them, so I don’t see this as a priority.
I’ve used Spanish moss for a very long time and by no means had points in any respect with it.
Ranking: 5 out of 5
When you reside in part of the world the place moss hangs off the bushes and might be simply gathered, attempt it as rooster coop bedding. I hope your hens like it as a lot as mine do!