Chicken brooders require the best bedding to ensure that your chicks get the best start in life. To keep chicks healthy, you need a good heat source and a regular supply of feed and water in brooders. But choosing the best bedding for chicken brooders is equally as important.
Chicks need appropriate bedding in their brooder for several reasons. High-quality bedding material prevents chicks from slipping and promotes healthy leg development. Also, absorbent bedding helps absorb chicks’ poop and prevent the spread of deadly bacteria. Bedding in brooders also neutralizes pungent odors.
Putting down a two to three-inch layer of bedding in a brooder is relatively simple. But choosing the right type of brooder bedding is challenging. Some of the best kinds of bedding for chicks’ brooders are pine shavings or hemp bedding. While there are DIY options such as newspaper or sand, they’re not always available or recommended.
Quick Look at Chick Brooder Bedding
The Best Bedding for Chicken Brooders
In this review, we’ve examined the top seven bedding packs for chicken brooders. Our unbiased review looks at the advantages and disadvantages of each bedding product. Making an informed decision about bedding for brooders will help give your chicks the best start in life.
Let’s look at each product in detail to see which is the best choice for your brooder.
1. Rural365 Hemp Bedding for Chicken Brooders
Hemp bedding is an excellent choice for chicken brooders. Hemp is a soft, absorbent material that provides the perfect environment for your chicks to walk around. This hemp bedding by Rural365 absorbs up to four times its weight. Also, hemp is an excellent insulator, so it will keep your chicks warm in the brooder.
One of the advantages of this bedding is that it’s also useful for nesting chickens. The bedding is sourced from Eco-friendly materials and lasts longer than standard pine chips. No chemicals, dyes, or additives to worry about. And, the material is virtually free from dust.
- Eco-friendly, all-natural bedding material
- Absorbs more than wood shavings
- No additives
- Bedding can be challenging to clean out
2. RentACoop Bedding for Chicken Brooders
The high-quality bedding for chicks in brooders is made from Eco-friendly hemp. This product produces minimal dust and provides bedding for up to 50 sq. ft. The super absorbent bedding material prevents disease spread and also absorbs twice the amount of moisture than wood bedding.
One reason why hemp bedding is popular for brooders is that it lasts longer than pine shavings. What’s more, you can also compost the bedding when disposing of it. There are no pesticides in the bedding, so you don’t have to worry about your chicks roaming around on it.
- One bag can last up to six months in a medium-sized chicken coop
- Excellent composting material
- Highly absorbent bedding that kills odors
- No pesticides used
- Absorbs twice as much as pine shavings
- More expensive than other hemp bedding material
3. Living World Pine Shavings
Living World is a well-known manufacturer of pet bedding, and this product is made from natural 100% aspen pine shavings. The packing may seem too small for some poultry owners, but this would last a couple of months if you had a pair of rabbits or guinea pigs. Simply scaling up your requirements may be necessary once you understand the coverage required. This is an all-purpose pet bedding solution with fantastic absorption properties that keeps the sleeping areas fresh and clean smelling for longer..
This bedding is slightly pine scented due to the natural material. The pine shavings are kiln-dried to remove the dust, debris and aromatic oils that can affect the health of your birds. This bedding material inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus and bacteria to create a healthier sleeping environment. These shavings are very soft and fluffy which makes them a perfect option for nesting and burrowing.
The reduced levels of dust and debris are evident when pouring this bedding material from the bag. It’s easy to notice the low dust released in the air and this will be better for the respiratory systems of your birds. Good absorption is extremely important for general health, frequent bedding changes are still required, but this bedding will stay cleaner for longer periods. If you have a larger sleeping area in your coop, you will need extra bags on hand and somewhere to store them.
- The 100% natural pine material is ideal for small animals and poultry.
- This bedding feels soft and comfortable, and it stays fresh for longer.
- Less dust is released with this bedding which improves respiratory health.
- The natural pine shavings suppress harmful microorganisms.
- This is an affordable poultry bedding material.
- This material is light, and it can be thrown around quickly during scratching.
4. Manna Pro Pure Pellets Poultry Bedding with Sweet PDZ
This premium bedding material is in pellet form to reduce dust to an absolute minimum. Manna Pro uses a unique Sweet PDZ formula to mask all unpleasant odors. The bedding is made from biodegradable materials and is suitable for composting after cleaning out the brooder.
The bedding for chicken brooders is one of the best for getting rid of odors. The company claim that there are no hazardous or toxic materials used in production. However, the packaging has a warning of cancer and reproductive harm.
- One of the best bedding materials to neutralize odors in brooders
- Pellet bedding to increase absorption
- Very expensive
- Bedding comes with a cancer warning
5. Manna Pro Fresh Pine Flakes Poultry Bedding
Pine shavings make up this bedding material for poultry chicks in a brooder. The pine flake bedding is virtually dust-free thanks to the unique drying process the manufacturers use. These soft, highly-absorbent pine shavings help reduce the spread of various diseases while cutting down odor naturally.
After cleaning out the brooder, the natural pine shavings can be disposed of in a compost bin.
- All-natural produce from sustainable forests
- Screened multiple times to remove dust
- Protects against mold spores, E-coli, and Salmonella
- Very expensive
- Not as absorbent as hemp
6. Kaytee Small Animal Pine Pet Bedding
Kaytee is a popular manufacturer of bedding materials for smaller animals and birds. This bedding product is a bag of aspen pine that is available in four different sizes. They are: 4 cubic feet, 8 cubic feet, 1200 cubic inches and 3200 cubic inches. The 8 cubic feet bag offers the best value for money, and this is a high-quality bedding solution. This bedding is soft and comfortable and yet it stays fresh for a long-time. A weekly clean and replacement is usually sufficient for most small to medium chicken owners.
The material used in this bedding is natural aspen pine shavings which have excellent absorption properties. Because this is a natural product there are no aromatic oils or inks used which could harm the respiratory health of small birds and animals. The pine shavings are dried and processed to eliminate up to 99.9% of dust and debris that are usually present in low-quality alternatives. The substrate is paper based which is around 20% more absorbent than other less expensive brands.
One of the best things about these bags of bedding is that they are shipped in a compressed package. There is virtually no air in the package which is great for storage because you can store more bedding in the same area. The bedding is entirely natural and biodegradable for your yard plants or easy recycling. This bedding is great value for money and the different bag sizes make it a good option for people with small coops.
- This natural pine bedding is resistant to harmful microorganisms.
- This bedding is 99.9% dust free to support respiratory health.
- The compressed packaging improves the value and it’s easier to store.
- This is a great option for baby chicks because the poop can be scooped right off the top.
This is a light bedding solution that can be kicked around easily.
7. Small Pet Select – Jumbo Aspen Bedding
The Small Pet Select – Jumbo Aspen Bedding comes in a 113L bag and it was designed to be the ideal solution for small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. But, this is a great option for poultry too, this bedding is made from natural pine that’s extremely absorbent. As a natural product, this bedding is free from toxic and scented chemicals that can harm the respiratory health of your chickens. This is important because chicks are especially vulnerable to fumes as they develop.
The aspen pine shavings are fully dried to reduce the levels of dust and debris that are typically found in low quality bedding alternatives. This material is more absorbent than fleece-based solutions which improves the health of your flock. Natural pine is resistant to microorganisms which is healthier, and this keeps the bedding smelling fresher for longer. As an Eco-friendly option this is easy to recycle, and it breaks down easily for composting purposes.
This aspen bedding is very soft and comfortable which makes it a great option for chicks. Birds will enjoy nesting on this surface and cleanup is simple when the poop just lies on the top. The natural odors and softness will promote the burrowing and nesting behaviors that you want to encourage in your birds. Less expensive reclaimed fiber products may contain detectable dioxin levels that are harmful to birds and small animals. This natural pine bedding may cost more, but it’s a healthier alternative that many people prefer for their flock.
- This is a 100% natural pine shaving bedding.
- This is an Eco-friendly product that’s easy to compost and recycle.
- It’s both dust and scent free to protect the respiratory health of your flock.
- The absorption capabilities are weaker than some alternatives.
- This is an expensive bedding option.
What to Consider When Buying Chicken Bedding
Chicks are most vulnerable in the first few weeks after hatching. So, buying the best type of bedding for the brooder is crucial.
What are the factors you need to consider when purchasing chicken bedding?
- Brooder size—It’s important to buy enough bedding material for the size of the brooder. Chicks need a layer of about one to two inches of bedding. You will need enough to clean out the brooder regularly and replace it with new bedding.
- Type of bedding—To ensure healthy chicks, choose a variety of bedding that’s soft, but made from all-natural materials. It’s also vital to make sure that there are no additives, chemicals, or toxic ingredients in the bedding. Also, ensure that bedding is dust-free.
- Eco-Friendly—The best type of bedding for chicken brooders should be biodegradable. Look for products that you can dispose of in the compost. This way, you can prevent landfill and get nutrient-rich compost for your yard.
How often do I need to change the bedding for baby chickens?
When caring for newly-hatched chicks, you’ll need to change bedding in the brooder every few days. As the chicks grow and poop more, you may have to change bedding daily. However, much depends on the number of baby chickens you have. Your nose is also a good way of knowing how often to change the bedding.
What bedding shouldn’t I use in my brooder?
The worst types of bedding in brooders are sand, aromatic wood chips, and newspaper. The reason for avoiding sand is that it’s difficult to source sand that won’t harm chicks. Unless you’re an experienced chicken owner, stick to Eco-friendly commercial products. Newspaper is not absorbent, and your chicks can end up getting wet or walking in their own poop. Types of cedar wood shavings can be harmful to chicks as they develop.