One of the biggest roosters in the room is figuring out how often to change your coop bedding. Whether you’re a new chicken owner or a veteran, everyone shovels bedding out of their ladies’ homes at some point or another. Yet nobody ever talks about it. This irony is stinkier than the coops of uninformed owners and more confusing than the veterans who aren’t really sure.
Relaxing on chicken bedding habits not only creates putrid coop smells but also exposes your feathered friends to mold and bacteria. Also, you can give your chickens respiratory system problems later on when you leave dusty bedding in their home. We want to help keep your ladies comfortable and disease-free for these reasons and give you our advice on how often to change your chicken bedding.
When Should I Clean Out My Chicken’s Coop?
Your coop changing timeline depends on various factors, such as your bedding type, number of chickens, and litter method (we’ll get to this below). These are all different across every coop, which means when you change your feathered friends’ home is unique.
We recommend changing your chicken’s coop bedding every 2-3 weeks and nesting box as needed for all feathered friends. However, keep in mind that chicken blogs and friends will give their personal favorite changing times. These may not be right for your coop situation in the end, so you should evaluate your coop and nesting boxes.
Money-Saving Chicken Litter Methods
Now that you understand how often you should change your chicken bedding in general, we want to share some trade secrets (shhhhh) to help you save time and money. We believe changing your bedding materials shouldn’t have to be expensive and shouldn’t go to waste, harming the environment in the process.
The Deep Litter Method is the Holy Grail of eco-friendly litter methods that will turn nasty chicken bedding into compost. Plus, it’s better than your chicken’s poop becoming the sticky slab of a landfill glacier.
The Innovative Deep Litter Method
You start this super cool chicken bedding method by adding 4-6 inches of bedding in your ladies’ coop. Most blogs will say to use pine shavings since they don’t break down quickly. These wood shavings not only keep them comfortable but also prevent any poop from hitting the coop floor, keeping you from changing bedding for a long time. However, we want to caution you that wood beddings can be harmful to your chickens and to use an alternative like hemp bedding.
As the process continues, you will keep adding other shavings in the coop to add more cushion and absorbancy on top. Chickens love scratching and pecking their new bedding as they live their plush lives, which aerates their compost rug. The Deep Litter will turn into a nitrogen-rich compost after receiving oxygen and moisture content for six months, ready for your vegetable garden or compost pile.
The Old Way to Change Chicken Bedding
If you’ve owned feathered friends for a long time, you’ll be painfully reminded of this money-wasting method for changing bedding. You’ll go into your coop and snow shovel all the bad bedding out in exchange for fresh bedding every 2-3 weeks. Rather than the clever Deep Litter Method where you prepare and then rest for 6 months, the old way has zero preparation and more work in the long haul.
You will only have a few inches of bedding with the Normal Litter Method, which means you’ll need to change it more often. In addition, a full-coop cleaning will be necessary since you do not have a thick bedding layer to protect the floor. The Deep Litter Method, however, does not have this problem since the 4-6 inches of bedding stops poop from hitting the ground. You can avoid deep cleaning the coop and relax since mold and bacteria will not develop.
Don’t Just Change Your Bedding: Pick It!
How often to change your chicken bedding is an age-old question for chicken owners (older than the theropod dinosaurs that chickens came from). You can follow our general 2-3 coop policy or try out the deep litter method despite the community’s ambiguity. Then, you can save time and money on chicken coop bedding and cleaning out their home.
While litter methods are important to changing bedding less, we believe the type of bedding you choose is just important. You need absorbent bedding that will properly soak up chicken messes and keep them safe from odors and diseases. If you have questions about finding a better bedding solution that can complement your deep or normal litter methods, give us a call at (866)-322-5898.