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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.
Keeping egg-laying chickens is a sizzling life-style pattern. Whereas the cultural phenomenon was already in course of, rising meals inflation and sparse grocery store cabinets are fueling an excellent quicker resurgence!
Whereas it is a great 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 Necessary
One of many first selections to make is what sort of nesting materials to make use of for the coop.
Bedding is necessary 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 kinds of supplies for bedding over time, and I undoubtedly have my opinions about it!
You may both use the fabric to line nesting packing containers individually or lay it throughout the ground of the raised bedding space of the coop.
Listed below are the varied kinds of bedding I’d advocate contemplating and which is my favourite primarily based on value, sturdiness, consolation, and security on your ladies.
Nesting pads (such as these) are a preferred selection for amateur hen keepers. They’re sturdy, washable, and pretty cheap.
Nonetheless, they’re made with artificial supplies, and so are usually not a sensible choice for that purpose alone, in my view.
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 bogus supplies entice an excessive amount of warmth.
Ranking: 1 out of 5
I’d recommend skipping the sort of bedding until you merely don’t have any different possibility.
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 wonderful materials to line a field full of rising chicks.
A big bag of compacted wooden shavings is cheap and lasts for a very long time. Nonetheless, I’ve discovered that when the hens are sufficiently old to put eggs, they don’t appear to love them a lot.
My guess is that the robust 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 the holes too. You may remedy this drawback by shopping for the wood shavings pressed into laying mats, however this makes them far more costly.
Ranking: 2 out of 5
Whereas I all the time have a bag of pine shavings in my storage as it is extremely good to make use of as brown material 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.
Observe that hay is to not be confused with straw. They could appear related, however they’re really fairly completely different. (1)
Straw is finest averted for rooster litter in addition to bedding materials. It will probably encourage respiratory issues in chickens. (2)
Chickens appear to get pleasure from hay for nesting and you may get it very cheaply (lower than $10 for a big block at my native feed retailer).
Hay will not be my best choice as a result of it’s messy and dusty to retailer within the storage. When you’ve got a barn, then it would make extra sense to maintain it readily available.
Ranking: 3 out of 5
Whereas chickens get pleasure from nesting in hay and it’s inexpensive and secure to make use of as bedding, in my expertise, the alternatives under are even higher.
Coconut Fiber (Coco Coir)
One sort of rooster nesting materials that’s not incessantly thought of is pure coconut fiber.
My chickens like it!
The one downside is that it isn’t washable and the chickens are likely to tear it up pretty shortly as they snuggle into it to put their eggs.
So, it’s important to 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 may as well discover it in rolls for a bit much less cash, however you’ll need to chop it to dimension to suit inside your nesting packing containers.
Ranking: 4 out of 5
Coco coir mats are great for rooster bedding, and the chickens get pleasure from laying on them. Nonetheless, they aren’t low-cost, and so they must be changed typically.
Spanish moss is BY FAR my favourite materials to make use of for rooster coop bedding.
It’s free, pure, sturdy, and secure for the hens to put on. Additionally it is their favourite bedding to snuggle into.
In my space of the nation, Spanish moss is actually all over the place hanging off of timber. 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 lots of timber in our neighborhood, so it’s plentiful and all over the place to collect year-round as wanted.
Some folks say that Spanish moss comprises 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 anyway with it.
Ranking: 5 out of 5
In case you stay in part of the world the place moss hangs off the timber and may be simply gathered, strive it as rooster coop bedding. I hope your hens like it as a lot as mine do!