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What is the best bedding for nesting boxes?

What do you use for chicken nesting box bedding? 

I think the most common materials for bedding is pine wood shavings. And I can see why. it has a nice smell, is absorbent and is a fluffy material that doesn't pack down.

But to me, buying bedding material seems like a waste. An unnecessary cost and resource use for backyard chickens.

In order to take a more sustainable and self sufficient approach, I try to minimise external inputs by using the resources I already have available. This could be re-using materials or using plants from my backyard.

One of my favourite materials to use as bedding is lavender bush clippings. It smells nice, it's springy and stays clean. And my chickens don't seem to notice the difference to pine shavings.

What do you use for bedding in your nesting boxes?

Leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts. 


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  • Erik van Lennep says:

    Nice one! I’m thinking it probably also helps repel parasites (like mites).
    When I kept chickens in Spain I used lavender, rosemary and other abundant wild herbs for the nest boxes.

  • Was wondering if I could use rosemary for mine as I have access to a very over grown bush that’s in need of a trim.

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