Bedding for nest boxes is fundamentally important. Not just for your chickens but for you as the keeper. That’s why it is so important that you use the right one.
From providing a soft, comfortable and enticing surface for your hens to lay their eggs, all the way through to keeping eggs dry, clean and protected from breakage.
Interestingly, there are a range of different materials that can be used. But that does not mean that there is not a better option for all involved.
So, we’ve done the research for you to find not only the most reputable brands and products, but for the most well received too.
Below you’ll find some of the best selling bedding, within the chicken keeping category.
The Best Bedding For Chicken Nesting Boxes
Nest Box Bedding Details
- EGGS STAY CLEAN AND DRY: Thin wood shavings draw moisture to the pad's paper backing, ensuring a clean, dry surface for fresh chicken eggs
- NESTING BOX-COMPATIBLE: Soft yet sturdy nesting box pads encourage chickens to lay eggs in a single place; pads fit inside Petmate Chicken Coop nesting boxes and most standard nesting boxes
- FLEXIBLE NESTING MATERIAL: Wood shavings on the surface of these chicken nesting pads can be easily modified by hens while still holding shape
- LESS BREAKAGE: Cushioned surface ensures comfortable chicken nesting and protects eggs from breakage
- 100% COMPOSTABLE: Made from 100% biodegradable materials, Petmate Nesting Pads may be safely composted after use for sustainable farming or gardening
- [USA Made Chicken Coop Bedding]: The Rural365 Nesting Box Liner Chicken Nest Box Liner 12 Pack is made in USA and designed to provide bedding to your hens; Give your chicken’s eggs a clean and warm environment with these chicken box liners
- [Aspen Bedding Pads]: Chicken nest liners constructed of lightweight, natural aspen wood shavings; Nest box liner chicken nest liner absorbs moisture, separating droppings from eggs; Aspen is a clean alternative to pine or straw
- [Cushion for Your Eggs]: No need to risk eggs rolling away or cracking when cushioned with chicken coop accessories chicken bedding; Chicken supplies for your nesting box retains its shape to create a secure nest for your hens
- [Fits Your Coop]: Chicken nesting box bedding measures 13 by 13 inches (33x33cm); Chicken coop supplies chicken nest liner can easily fit into larger sized chicken laying boxes; Nest box liner includes paper backing for easy cleanup
- [Easy to Use]: Chicken roost chicken nest box liner package contains 12 sheets of aspen chicken nest material squares; Simply set chicken nest liners squares into nesting box; To best keep its shape, do not remove paper backing from aspen
- 🐔 Developed for Use in Nest Boxes to Provide Comfort for Laying Hens and Padding for Freshly Laid Eggs
- 🐔 Helps Reduce Egg Breakage While Keeping Eggs Clean - Draws Moisture Down from Hens and Freshly Laid Eggs
- 🐔 Makes Gathering Eggs Easier Than Most Other Nesting Substrate
- 🐔 Also Used for Chick Brooder Homes to Provide Chicks with Stable Footing
- 🐔 Made In USA from Great Lakes Aspen Excelsior Fibers - 6 Pack
What Material Do You Put In Chicken Nesting Boxes?
There are generally considered to be six different types of material that are suitable to line chicken nest boxes. This includes: wood shavings, straw, hay, grass clippings, shredded newspaper and shredded leaves.
That being said all is not equal here and some bedding is absolutely more preferable than others.
Then there are even nuances in between some of the same category.
For instance, wooden shavings can be processed from different woods. Aspen, Pine and cedar are perhaps the most common.
Aspen is considered preferable as it is soft, contains no essential oils (which can cause irritation) and is not generally very dusty.
It also is known to dry quickly, offers a lot of padding, and smells naturally fresh.
Straw and hay, despite being more economical, requires a lot more work and regular changing. There is even anecdotal evidence from keepers that it may be a source of or a home for mites.
Grass clippings, leaves and shredded newspaper are the least preferable. They do not absorb moisture very well and become damp quick too.
For newspaper, you also have the risk of the ink running and your hens absorbing it through their skin. Not good.
How Often Do You Clean Chicken Nesting Boxes?
It is generally advised that you inspect and tidy your chickens nest boxes each day. Removing feathers and cleaning away any poop is a part of this process.
If the bedding has been soiled, then you will need to change and replace it.
However, as long as your chickens are not sleeping in their nest boxes, for which they shouldn’t, this should not be the case.
So, tidying should be relatively quick and straight forward. Bedding should also last you.
But its important to keep an eye on your birds.
If you see evidence of, or notice chickens sleeping on the nest boxes, its important that you remove them over to the roost come dusk.
This is important for several reasons, including protecting the eggs and keeping your nest box bedding fresh and helping it last longer.
From there, assuming it has not been soiled, it comes advised to refresh the nesting box bedding once per month.
Some keepers also like to add dried herbs to the nesting boxes to freshen them up and to reduce parasites.
Do Chickens Need Bedding In Nesting Boxes?
Yes, chickens need bedding in nesting boxes. Bedding provides comfort, reduces egg breakage, and helps keep eggs clean.
Your choice of chicken nest bedding can make all the difference when it comes to successful egg laying and collection.
It can also save you a lot of time in unnecessary cleaning. Besides, we want the best for our birds.
So, take a look at those best-selling options favored by keepers above. They made the list for a reason!
Looking for other products for keeping chickens? My following guides could be of help:
- Best Chicken Feeder To Prevent Rats
- Best Chicken Run Flooring
- Best Heated Waterer For Chickens
- Best Calcium Supplement For Chickens
- Best Layer Feed For Chickens
- Best Nest Boxes For Chickens
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.