|Probably should take the|
shavings out of the bag first!
- Pine shavings. One of the best.
- Straw. Works fine.
- Shredded newspaper. Tends to pack down with the manure, but it's great if it's free.
- Tree leaves. Leaves aren't that absorbent, but another free option.
Bedding to avoid:
- Hay. The chickens like to pick through it, but the hay hangs together when you clean the pen, making it more labor-intensive. It's best to only use hay if it's chopped.
- Cedar shavings. The cedar can be toxic to chickens and other small animals.
- Sawdust. If chickens breathe this it can cause all types of respiratory problems. Chickens can also eat it and plug up their crop.
The deep litter method:
With this method, you do not clean out the pen, but keep adding bedding until spring. If you smell ammonia it's probably from around the waterer. Just clean that part up.
As always, post further questions in the comment section.
--Dale, aka Turkeyman