Choosing the Right Bedding for your Chickens

I know this illustration could be a bit larger, but it does offer an array of bedding options to consider for your flock. So put on your reading glasses, because research is always our best tool in chicken keeping.


Illustration by  AccidentalFarm and Nifty-Chicken
Source: Backyard chickens

Author: amy elizabeth

Writer, Author, Artist, Chicken Keeping Resource Blogger

7 thoughts on “Choosing the Right Bedding for your Chickens”

  1. That’s great! You know in the winter we really don’t have to worry about them as much as summer. Silkies get exceptionally hot in summer. Where I live it gets past 105 in summer months. I even had to bring the flock indoors for a month when temps got up to 110. This year I’ll be installing a misting system for them for summer. I worry more in heat than in cool. My girls already are getting a nice winter coat. Have you been taming your birds? If you tame them young they will be exceptionally friendly when older. I have a special girl that will actually sleep on my stomach. She’s so spoiled. I’ll bring her into the house and she will pearch on the couch arm. Its so adorable! I just know you will get many years of joy from your silkies! The breed is so loving and calm. And so easy to tame. When my special girl was a baby she was so scared of people now she’s a lap kitten. She’s my “special” chicken because she was hatched with a cross beak. But she’s doing so well and she’s such a sweet heart. Keep in touch and let me know how your sweeties are doing! God bless your friend lynnette

    1. Sounds like here, where do you live? Just a heads up on the mist system, I had one and my birds hated it. What they love when temps are 110+ is water to play in. I dig shallow hole about 4ft by 3ft and keep a hose on a slow stream in it all day. They dig around in it and at the same time stay cool. Sometimes I put a half a watermelon out for them too, then I know they are getting enough fluid as well. Keeping birds alive in super hot weather is something I take a lot of pride in… goal is always 100% survival!

      1. That’s a great tip Thank you. I live in a area called bakersfield california in the san joaquin valley. Its about a hour and a half from los Angeles. The area I live in is actually called rosedale. Its a bit on the out skirts of bakersfield. It gets very very hot here. Where do you live. ? As for what media I use in my birds brooder its pine shavings. Its known to be pretty safe. Ceder is poison to birds and sand can impact the crops so I stick with pine. I have some news! The Canadian lab I’m using for DNA sexing of my silkies has recieved my samples! It took a week and half to get there but they finally recieved them! Once I get the results back (any day now) my new girls will be shipped out to me! Im so excited! I purchased the birds and had the breeder dna sex test all of them. The ones that turn out female I’m having shipped to me. The males I’ll get a refund on and the breeder can keep them. I wish I could show you a picture of the babes! They are really cute. From the photos she sent I suspect at least two of the four to be male. I do see one that’s absolutely female but I’m praying for more. Ideally id like at least three to be female. If I get only one I’m going to have to dna more of her stock. I wouldn’t ship only one bird. Keep your fingers crossed for me and say a little prayer that I get my girls! They are buff and silver partridges. Two buff and two silver. They are just turning about 8 weeks old. I’m such a excited expected mother! My babes all grew up so its going to be fun having babes again! Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted!

      2. We sure have the same climate!! So you understand HOT! Not many folks have to deal with heat like we do that’s for sure!! Its nothing to be 110 and up in the summer months!!! My breeder sent me a pic of Three out of the four birds I’m testing. If expirence serves id say two of the three are male .I Havent seen the fourth. Just praying she is a SHE! One of the three I’m quite certain is female but I won’t ship her alone I need at least another female. I’m hoping I don’t have to test more stock. I’ve paid for three birds outright but I don’t want males. I’ll have to see how this goes. I’ just called the lab and requested that they also send me the results as actual owner of the birds. The lab said I might know by the end of the day today. If not monday…goodness I’m so worried I’ll have to test more stock. send prayers for me!!! These silkies have a long trip ahead. Please also pray for their trip. They are coming from Illinois. Its a Three hour flight. But truck time from shelbyville to Chicago will be the longest part. I can’t wait to share pictures with you. I just pray they make it alright! How are your babies doing? Are they looking any more female? If you have doubt you can use the lab I use and for only ten dollars do 1 to9 birds!! Its really inexpensive. Its the waiting that drives me crazy! At least I’ll know without a shadow of doubt that there female. They also give a certificate. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out!! I have had a tradgedy in my current flock last month. I lost all my silkies but one to a very bad virus that was resistant to antibotics. I tried everything from tylan 50 injectable to baytril injectable to tylamox…I tube fed but eventually lost them one by one…all but one…my special girl. .so I’m starting over now. I’m hoping I can get my girls home soon. My poor milly is so lonely. Ive had so much heartbreak its time to have something good happen. I never identified the exact virus but I know it was respitory. So that’s my story and this is why I’m looking for females to start building my flock again. Send good thoughts my way and please write back soon. Your friend lynnette 🙂

  2. This is great chart, Amy…I use pine shaving and I sprinkle DE in it occasionally.
    One problem I am having with my Mama hen and tiny chicks is that she starts scratching like crazy and kicks the shavings all into piles…She scratches it into the water, so I had to figure out a better watering system, and almost at times buries the little chicks in the piles. Those tiny things are tough, though, and they emerge from the pile of shavings and run over to heed her call to peck with her.

    1. Same problem here with the drinker… I JUST switched to a hanging one and put a step to it for the chicks. I’m going to try the nipples soon, I know that would be a great solution… but I worry they will clog and go unnoticed. I’ll experiment, I found an inexpensive 2 gal bucket with 2 or 4 nipples on Amazon. Always looking for a better way! 🙂 lol

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