Best Bedding for Chicken Brooders

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

ImageProductRatingBest FeatureSizePrice
Rural365 Hemp Bedding for Chicken Brooders 4.9Eco-friendly, lasts longer than wood shavings33 lb / 15 kg
Bedding for Brooder
RentACoop Bedding for Chicken Brooders 4.7Highly absorbent, chemical-free 31 lb / 14 kg
Bedding for Brooder
Small Pet Select Pine Shavings Chicken Bedding5.0Low-cost, dust-free 25 lb / 11 kg
Bedding for Brooder
Manna Pro Pure Pellets Poultry Bedding with Sweet PDZ 4.0Pellet bedding to reduce dust 20 lb / 9 kg
Bedding for Brooder
Manna Pro Fresh Flakes Poultry Bedding Eco-friendly and ultra-absorbent 12 lb / 5.5 kg
Bedding for Brooder

The Best Bedding for Chicken Brooders

In this review, we’ve examined the top five 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.

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly, all-natural bedding material
  • Cost-effective
  • Absorbs more than wood shavings
  • No additives

Cons:

  • Bedding can be challenging to clean out
Chick Bedding

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  •  More expensive than other hemp bedding material
Chick Bedding

3. Small Pet Select Pine Shavings Chicken Bedding

Pine shavings are the most popular type of bedding for brooders. This large pack of shavings is very cost-effective due to the large bag and low cost. The pine shavings in this bedding have been triple screened to make it virtually dust-free. The all-natural bedding absorbs up to 2.5x its weight.

There are no additives, dyes, or irritants in the bedding material. There is little odor from brooders thanks to the natural pine shavings that provide a fresh scent. One reason to choose Small Pet Select is that it’s a popular brand for bedding and feed supplies.

Pros:

  • Low-cost bedding
  • 99% dust-free
  • Expands more than 2.5 times
  • From sustainably sourced pine trees

Cons:

  • Not as absorbent as hemp
  • Few online reviews to make a recommendation
Chick Bedding

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.

Pros:

  • One of the best bedding materials to neutralize odors in brooders
  • Pellet bedding to increase absorption

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Bedding comes with a cancer warning
Chick Bedding

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.

Pros:

  • All-natural produce from sustainable forests
  • Screened multiple times to remove dust
  • Protects against mold spores, E-coli, and Salmonella

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Not as absorbent as hemp
Chick Bedding

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? Here are a few things to think about:

  • 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.