While some folks are still using wood chips and various other products for their chicken coops, nesting boxes and brooder, we have discovered that the best bedding for chickens is hemp! Whether you raise exotic birds like Sumatras to see them strut their stuff, love their nutritious eggs, or just keep them as adorable pets, chickens are one of life’s simple pleasures.
The advantages of using hemp chicken bedding for your feathered friends are unbeatable, as we’ll learn in this guide.
But first, let’s learn some basics about hemp.
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis plant and is among the fastest-growing plants with loads of uses and benefits. Hemp is an insect repellant and doesn’t require the use of pesticides when planted.
Hemp is widely used in the textile, comfortable bedding for pets, beauty and insulation industries due to its versatility.
If you are trying to decide on the best bedding for your chickens, then let us suggest hemp as an excellent choice!
Old Dominion's hemp animal bedding is made from the hurd, or the inner stalks, of the hemp plant. The stem is pulped down to form straw, which is good at the absorption of animal waste, controls bad smells, and is especially soft, giving your chickens maximum comfort.
Besides bedding, you can also use hemp as an excellent alternative for the nesting box floor as you want to make sure the eggs have a soft landing spot.
Whether you utilize the deep litter method or have backyard chicken coops, hemp can come in handy for all chicken owners.
Here are some of the reasons why Old Dominion Hemp recommends using hemp bedding for chicks.
Most of us have experienced the choking ammonia smells of most chicken coops and houses. Chicken keepers don’t have to deal with the foul ammonia smell if they use hemp coop bedding.
Hemp floor covering has odor control properties that can maintain a fresh smell in your chicken brooders and the rest of the areas. Unlike the short-lived pine scent, hemp maintains a neutral odor which keeps ammonia odors and flies at bay much longer.
If you care about your environment, you will go for the hemp floor covering for your chicken house. Industrial hemp easily composts, incorporating the chicken droppings and pellets. The product can be used as manure for your kitchen garden, making it a win-win solution for farm owners.
With hemp chick bedding, you can rest assured of a dust-free home for your chicken. Dust is the leading cause of respiratory systems related illnesses in birds. Dust also creates a thriving ground for mites that can be a nuisance to your birds.
The respiratory systems of chickens are quite delicate, and you need to find a balance between their comfort, health, and what works for you. Of course, the perfect solution is a comfortable floor covering of hemp.
Forget about cedar shavings, pine shavings, aspen, and other wood shavings. Hemp is the real deal if you’re looking to create a safe haven for your chickens with minimal dust.
Hemp chicken bedding is highly absorbent, which prevents the usual muddy mess in your backyard chicken coop.
Any other alternative choice of chicken bedding material such as aspen, cider shavings, pine shavings, and other types of wood shavings become damp very fast. Consequently, this creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mites, and other disease-causing organisms. You can rest easy with hemp and forget about diseases such as Bumblefoot in your flock.
Compared with wood shavings/chips, pine shavings, aspen, and straw, hemp takes the trophy of being the most economical. The frequency of changing the coop bedding with fresh bedding and time between cleanings is also lower. Consequently, you spend less buying bales of hemp.
Besides, the floor cover keeps your birds healthier by keeping your hens warm as hemp has a great thermal rating. Hemp bedding for horses and chickens also prevents dampness and respiratory illnesses. We all know that happy birds will reciprocate by laying more eggs.
The additional warmth provided by hemp also helps you save on the additional cost of energy bills.
Some folks use sand as bedding in chicks houses as an alternative to other bedding types such as hemp, pine shavings, cedar shavings, and other wood shavings.
While the debate is neverending, for us the cons outweigh the pros. Coarse grain sand can be a great choice for backyard chicken houses as it helps keep the nails and beaks trimmed. Sand also allows the drainage of chicken poop which helps maintain a fly-free coop. Sand is also very affordable compared to common bedding types obviously saving on the cost of bedding materials.
On the flipside, sand becomes hot in hot months and freezes in winter months which can make your hens sick. Just like guinea pigs and rodent pets, chickens require optimum temperatures to survive.
The lack of proper insulation in sand bedding can also easily make your chickens sick as some strains of bacteria can thrive in extreme temperatures.
At Old Dominion Hemp, we stock quality hemp bales.
Here is what to expect when installing our chicken coop bedding bales.
For chicken coops, we recommend our 33 pound bag for bedding systems and our 6.6 pound bag for individual nesting boxes.
Each bale opens to 11 cubic feet of coverage per bale of hemp hurd.
Our clients use a wide variety of applications for utilizing our bedding. Provided below are a couple of these techniques, based on an 8×8 coop size. Variations in usage will exist due to the habits of your chickens and your cleaning regime.
DEEP BEDDING SYSTEM
RUNNING BEDDING SYSTEM
FOR NESTING BOXES