Top 7 Best Chicken Bedding for Coop & Nesting Boxes

In this article, you will read all about the best chicken bedding. It includes benefits, how to use, and also a list of top beddings for coop, barn, and kennel run available.

Chicken bedding is the most important thing for poultry coops and nesting boxes. They provide comfort to your flocks.

After reading this guide, you also understand which type of beddings you should use in your coop. 

What is Chicken Bedding?

Chicken bedding is the bedding used on the floor of coop and nesting boxes. It helps the chickens to roost and live comfortably.

Also, hens lay their eggs safely. Eggs do not break because of the bedding inside chicken nesting boxes. 

The chicken bedding is known in different names like coop bedding, nesting box bedding, bedding for deep litter systems, etc.

Where is Chicken Bedding Used?

Beddings for a chicken coop are used in various stages of a chicken’s life. From the early days of baby chicks until the whole life. But the process and the places for chicken bedding are different.

For example, after buying chicks, we need to give brooding to them. In that situation, we need bedding for the brooder. 

When pullets and hens lay eggs, they need comfy bedding inside their nesting coop. And also, to avoid the floors from getting wet, 10-12 inches of bedding are given.

Let’s understand it more clearly.

Bedding Inside Brooder House

Baby chicks are very sensitive to all environmental facts. In the initial stage of life, they need special care, like brooding and electrolytes.

But bedding is most important inside the brooder because it avoids contact with their body from the floor. 

If the bedding for chicks is not given, the brooder floor becomes wet because chicks spill water around the waterer (chicken drinkers). There may be a chance of chicks becoming wet, and they may infect with various viral and bacterial infections.

Also, baby chick’s bedding inside the brooder house provides a warm temperature to them, helping them live comfortably. This helps in better growth and development of chicks.

On the first day of a chick’s arrival, giving clean newspaper or paper is one of the best beddings for chicks. You can also use natural paper beddings, wood shavings, hay for chicks beddings.

Always remember to change chicks bedding inside the brooder daily till 6-12 days of age. After that, you must flip the litter upside down daily using a trowel. It keeps the chicken bedding dry and clean.

Coop Bedding for Adult Chickens

Adult chickens make more mess with dropping into the coop. For keeping the poultry house and flocks clean, you must need the best chicken coop bedding.

These chicken beddings help regulate clean air inside the coop, keep the flocks beautiful, and save birds from cold in winters. This also keeps the chicken’s body temperature warm and saves them from other health problems.

The most common types of chicken beddings used in poultry houses are – 

  1. Natural paper bedding.
  2. Hemp beddings.
  3. Pine shavings for bedding.
  4. Paddy and wheat straw bedding.
  5. Rice hulls or husk for bedding.
  6. Sand bedding.
  7. Shredded Leaves.
Also Read:  Chicken Scratch Feed and Grains: Benefits, Homemade Ingredients

We will discuss all the above beddings and their pros and cons below.

Most industrial chicken farms and small-scale backyard farmers use the deep litter method (build-up method) using any of the above beddings. 

In this method, the coop bedding is flipped every 24 hr. It helps in avoiding dampness and coccidia inside the coop.

Also, in a deep litter system, the waste is removed by the growth of good microbes, which make their homes in the litter. The litter is replaced with fresh beddings every 2-3 weeks.

In Chicken Nesting Boxes

Chicken bedding is required inside chicken nesting boxes if you have good egg-laying chicken breeds.

If you do not provide good chicken bedding inside the nesting boxes, the egg may break. Also, providing good bedding help hens to go broody.

Overall, good coop beddings provide a relaxing egg-laying experience to the hen. It also helps the hen for a comfortable egg-laying, hatching, and brooding.

Top 7 Best Chicken Bedding for Coop & Nesting Boxes

Let’s understand which chicken bedding is best for your coop and nesting boxes-

1. Natural Paper Bedding for Baby Chicks

Paper chicken bedding is great for small baby chicks. Natural paper beddings are soft, which helps chicks to live comfortably.

You can use paper beddings inside the brooder house for newly-arrived chicks. It would help if you change paper beddings because they get dirty and wet quickly, but it is best for chicks bedding.

My chicks love to run on paper bedding. I provide this type of bedding for the first 2-3 days.

Recommended Paper Beddings for Chicken Coop

Carefresh Small Pet Bedding: It is another paper fiber bedding which you can use for your chicks. You can use it for your brooding house and also inside nesting box. It is also a good a absorbent so you will not see any foul smell from the litter. Here is our guide on best odor eliminator for chicken coop.

carefresh 99% Dust Free White Natural Paper Small Pet Bedding with Odor Control, 50 L
  • Small Pet Bedding: Our clean, white natural paper fiber...
  • Pillowy Soft: Comfyfluff natural paper bedding made...
  • Exceptional Odor Control: Ideal for use as hamster...
  • Ultra-Absorbent: 2X more absorbent than shavings, our...
  • 99 percent Dust-Free: Free of harmful chemicals and...

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding: It is soft and comfortable for little chicks. You can use it during the brooding process. In place of using a newspaper, you can use this natural paper bedding because it takes time to settle.

Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding, 56 L
  • The Ideal Paper Bedding For Small Animals - Perfect For...
  • Soft + Comfortable Pet Bedding - Very Comfortable But...
  • Each Bag Of Premium Bedding Expands 3X In Volume From...
  • 100% Safe and Natural Paper Bedding - Made In The USA...
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! For You And Your Pets

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Hemp Bedding for Chicken Coop

Industrial hemp bedding is one of the best bedding for a chicken coop. This soft bedding can absorb four times more than its weight.

It is more popular than pine shavings because of its good absorbing capacity. After absorbing droppings, hemp beddings release very little odor and also contain very less dust.

Hemp beddings easily trap ammonia and bad odor from litter. It is one of the best economical beddings for chicken farms. 

You can use this hemp bedding following the deep litter method. Turn over the hemp shavings every 1-2 days for better getting absorbent.

Also Read:  How to Clean a Chicken Coop and Run with Dirt?

Recommended Hemp Beddings for Chicken Coop

RentACoop Hemp Bedding: The best part of this branded hemp bedding for a chicken coop is that it is pesticide and insecticide-free. Also, it does not produce any bad smell and absorbs droppings and other moisture very fast.

RentACoop Hemp Bedding (300 L)
  • 🐴 One 300L bag weights approximately 33 pounds and...
  • 🐇 Absorbs an amazing amount moisture and smells...
  • 🐹 Residual product is an excellent compost and...
  • 🐓 Our hemp is grown without using any pesticides or...
  • 🐈 Beneficial for Rabbits, Cats, Hamsters, Chickens,...

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rural365 Chicken Hemp Bedding: It is another popular brand which is selling most chicken products. This hemp chicken bedding shaving has no chemicals and bleach. It absorbs better than pine shavings and also it is safe for chickens.

Rural365 Chicken Hemp Bedding - 33lb Industrial Hemp Bale for Small Animal Bedding and Backyard Chicken Coop Supplies
  • [Comfortable Hemp Bedding for Small Animals] Extend the...
  • [Incredible Absorbency] Trap ammonia and unwanted...
  • [Safe for your Pets] Less acidic and creates minimal...
  • [Make an Economical Choice] All natural hemp animal...
  • [Easy to Use] Spread your chicken bedding hemp...

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Pine Shavings for Chicken Bedding

One of the most popular chicken bedding used nowadays is pine shavings. It is normally pine wood shavings used inside most of the small animal coops.

If you want to keep the chicken coop clean and dry during the early stage of chicks, it is the best bedding. Pine shavings are natural and biodegradable.

The pine shavings do not break easily and dry fast. So, they are good for chicken coop bedding. Also, pine shavings are soft, so your boys and girls will live comfortably on them.

Most of the pine shavings are completely dust-free, which ensures their durability. This can be easily used in deep litter method.

Recommended Pine Shavings for Chicken Bedding

Manna Pro Fresh Flakes, Pine Shavings for Chicken Bedding: It is one of the best recommended pine shavings available that is completely natural. You can use this in the kennel run area and open coops with chicken wire.

Manna Pro Fresh Flakes | Chicken Coop Bedding | Pine Shavings for Chicken Bedding | 3.5 Cubic Feet
  • All-natural & compostable pine shavings for coop...
  • Low dust
  • Ultra-absorbent low moisture shavings
  • Heat dried to prevent mold spores

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Small Pet Select- Pine Shavings: This is natural sustainable pine shavings bedding for chickens. It is heat dried for avoiding pathogens and phenols. It is suitable for all types of poultry birds in the barn, coops, and run.

Small Pet Select- Pine Shavings Chicken Bedding, 141L, Brown (Chikpine-141l)
  • US sustainably sourced pine shavings chicken bedding
  • Triple Screened, 99% Dust Free
  • All Natural, Biodegradable/Compostable
  • Expands more then 2.5x

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Paddy and Wheat Straw Bedding

Staw beddings are another popular chicken bedding used by most chicken lovers. I also use wheat straw bedding for my backyard coop.

In few countries with a lack of pine shaving and wheat straw, people use rice straw for small chicken flocks. Rice straw is not good as compared to wheat straw.

If you are living near a village area, you can easily get it from near farms. You will get a very less price.

Wheat straw bedding is best for egg-laying chickens because they provide a soft and cozy egg-laying inside nesting boxes.

Also Read:  Top 7 Best Chicken Vitamin Supplements: Keep Flocks Healthy

Recommended Wheat Straw for Chicken Bedding

AA Plus Shop 100% Natural Wheat Straw: This natural wheat straw is best for egg-laying hen bedding inside the nesting box. Placing it inside the big coop is not suitable but if you have a portable chicken coop then you can use it.

AA Plus Shop 100% Natural Wheat Straw Grass, Animal Bedding and Farm Wheat Straw (4LB)
  • 100% All Natural Wheat Straw
  • Wheat Straw that has been plucked of the wheat seeds...
  • Product comes in slabs for easy placement and less mess...
  • Great for Event/House Decoration, Pets Beds and Animal...
  • What you will receive - 1 Slab of Wheat Straw weighing...

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Rice Hulls or Husk for Bedding

In most countries, rice hulls or husks are easy to get chicken bedding. I use this in my broiler farms for beddings using the deep litter method.

It is one of my best chicken beddings which I’ve been using for the last seven years. This is cheap and good to use.

Rice husk is good for both chicks and adult chicken bedding. Because I am using it inside a broiler farm, I usually replace them with new ones every 20-21 days. 

But for free-range chickens, it will go longer than that. It is also easily dry; you have to flip by digging it using a trowel every 1-2 days. 

If it is available at a very low price, you can use them in your coop. Below we have provided a link from Amazon to show how it looks. It is very costly in online portals. First, try to buy husk from your nearest rice mills or store.

Recommended Rice Hulls for Chicken Bedding

Nature’s Seed S-RICE-25-LB Rice Hulls: This rice hulls can be easily used in any type of chicken coop weather big or small. It is natural, safe product for chickens as well as other poultry birds. Also rice hulls and husks is a good absorbent to use inside chicken coop as a litter option.

Nature's Seed S-RICE-25-LB Rice Hulls
  • Rice hulls absorb liquid and can provide an anti-skid...
  • There are many other uses for rice hulls besides Their...
  • Prevent bridging of fluffy seeds in the drill
  • Made in United States

Last update on 2021-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Sand Bedding

Sand bedding is one of the best litter options for a chicken coop. It is natural and non-toxic to chickens, and sand has a very low amount of pathogens.

Chickens also love to dust baths on sand bedding. Sand is also easily available in most of the states.

Always use granules sand for chicken bedding. Very fine granules like sand from the sea are not recommended for bedding because they easily get wet, and it takes time to dry.

You can also use sand inside chicken nesting boxes. Your birds will love to lay eggs on them. It is an economical, low cost and eco-friendly material for chicken bedding.

Sandis best for both summer and winter chicken coop bedding. Sand becomes cooler in summer and warmer in winter. So your flocks live comfortably in all types of seasons.

7. Leaves for Bedding

Using leaves for chicken bedding is another good litter option that you can use inside the coop. But before using leaves, you must know their pros and cons and how to use them?

Always use dry leaves for chicken bedding because wet leaves are slippery, and they do not absorb liquid droppings.

We all know not getting dry leaves is a big deal because dry leaves fall once or twice a year. But it will help to save your hard-earned money for a few months.

You can use leaves bedding in a deep litter method, but you need lots of leaves compared to Pine shavings, rice husk, and straw bedding. 

I recommend you use shaded leaves for chicken bedding. To shred leaves put them all in a bag and jump or move on it. Then dump all shredded leaves inside your chicken coop.

There is a drawback of leaf beddings that if they are not turned, they get mold which may cause infection.

Can We Use Cedar Shavings for the Chicken Coop?

No cedar shavings are not recommended for chicken coop beddings. Dust present in cedar shavings is toxic to chickens.

They release placating acid, which causes various types of respiratory diseases in poultry birds. Most of the research says that it may cause asthma, cough, rhinitis, breathing problems, and may cause death.


We have explained a few popular types of chicken beddings. We have also discussed their pros and cons and which type of bedding you should not use inside your coop.

Now we all know how chicken bedding is an essential part of poultry management. We can conclude that paper bedding is best for baby chicks and pine shavings are best for coop bedding for adult chickens.

Wheat straw bedding is best for nesting boxes. Also, send is one of the cheapest and easy to get materials you can use for your small chicken coop.

I hope this informative article on chicken bedding helped you in your backyard farming. What type of bedding you use inside your chicken coop?

We will love to read your comments below.

Top 7 Best Chicken Bedding for Coop & Nesting Boxes
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