Most people think changing or cleaning the chicken bedding is complex, and they have to do it often. Chickens definitely stink but not because the bedding is terrible. It can happen to a lack of fresh air and other messy things. They are very friendly backyard birds, and taking care of them requires only a little maintenance.
It would help if you changed the bedding regularly to keep the bird healthy and productive. Check the coop’s bedding once a week and then not delay to change it when needed.
It depends on the thickness of the bedding and environment before ensuring the answer on how often to change chicken bedding. Usually, four to seven inches of wood saving can last more than seven months in normal conditions. But if the environment is wet, it will last less than six months.
How Often to Change Chicken Bedding? Perfect Time
Changing the bedding at the wrong time can negatively affect the beds and chicks. Also, you have to change the bed in the right way. Fresh bedding can last 4 to 6 months. Yet, the duration also depends on the type of bedding, the number of chickens, environment, etc.; different kinds of bedding can use such as deep litter method, average litter or bedding, formulated bedding, wood shavings, straw, etc.
Changing the bedding is surprisingly easy. If you use the deep litter method, it will last at least six months. However, making the deep litter takes two months, so calculate the time after two months. Just add new shavings once every three weeks for composting the floor.
Change the bedding at the cool time of the day to reduce the stress from hemp. I prefer to change it in the morning when the bed is not eaten much with chicken poop. Also, change the bed as quickly as possible. If you have regular bedding, clean it thoroughly once a month. Shovel out the bedding once a week if the coop has enough space.
You can also use formulated bedding to change the bed weekly. I would suggest using the deep litter method because regular cleaning is easy.
If you are using a straw, change it every week or so. Use straw and hay together for better moisture content.
What is the Best Bedding for Chicken Coop
It is crucial to make the best chicken coop bedding for your chicken as it is not expensive, yet you should not waste anything. I often used fake diabetic or bigger piece chunks of wood shavings from the tractor supply company at a cheap rate. Wood shaving is best for bedding as it stays fluffy. You can pour them at the top of the old bedding. However, chickens always scratch it, so lots of shavings will waste.
Pine shaving is better than other wood shaving. It is soft and can easily compress down, so chickens can walk on it without doing much scratching. Pine shavings work like a dense mat to not fly everywhere.
Straw and hay, shredded leaves, recycled paper, hemp bedding, wood shavings, wood chips, unfinished compost, sawdust, etc., are the best bedding in winter. You can also use peat moss as it holds moisture and compresses well. However, it is more expensive than wood shavings.
How Much Bedding does a Chicken Coop Need?
You can use various bedding materials such as softwood shavings, sand, hardwood shavings, cedar shavings, sawdust, straw, wood byproducts, yard waste, etc. Whatever you use, make 3 inches layer of bedding in the bottom, so the coop gets enough insulation in different weather. Make the bedding size the same as the coop floor size. It is essential to prevent water spills on the floor. Use a natural cleaning agent for the bedding and nesting boxes.
Old bedding builds odor and increases disease in the flock, so the bedding material and size should be made appropriately. An absorbent bedding size should also be the same as the chicken coop floor. Use vinegar to clean the nesting box trays and keep the temperature stable.