Cardboard coop bedding is an excellent alternative to using straw or sand in the coop. Additionally, it is biodegradable and can easily be added to the compost pile for future gardening needs.
Cardboard bedding is a completely natural option for your coop floor, and honestly, it’s even much cleaner and easier to tend to than the deep litter and sand methods.
Chickens cannot ingest the large pieces of cardboard. They will try to peck at it but lose interest after the first hour. Since the bedding is so light, many times the chickens will stir the bedding for you through out the day, which is a nice bonus.
However, my biggest love about this bedding is that my chickens love it! We saw quite the health improvement versus straw and other dusty beddings. Whenever we put down new straw or wood shavings, the chickens often have irritated sinuses. But not with cardboard bedding. There is no dust or pollen in the cardboard bedding, which is also a wonderful option for me since it allows me to put down bedding without wearing a mask and while also taking unnecessary allergy medicines.
Overall, it is the healthiest option for our chickens, and we will now be using it all year long rather than just the summer months. I wanted to share this option with you, as it is not widely spoken about. I certainly am so thrilled that someone introduced me to cardboard bedding — because I’ll never go back to the other!
Keep reading to learn more about how to use cardboard bedding in the chicken coop!
Raising Chickens on the Homestead
Chickens are the gateway livestock on any homestead! Learn more about how to care for backyard chickens!
- The Basics of Raising Chickens
- How to Hatch Chicks in an Incubator
- Chicken Breed Egg Colors
- 10 Ways to Help Your Chickens Beat the Heat
- How to Treat Common Chicken Illnesses
- How Do You Keep Chickens Warm?
- 6 Reasons Every Homestead Needs a Rooster
- Reasons to Raise Pastured Livestock
- Save Money Raising Chickens for Eggs
Amy Fewell is the Founder of Homesteaders of America, and is an author, photographer, blogger, wife, herbalist, and homesteading mama. Find her most recent books, The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion and The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook online, and visit her blog at The Fewell Homestead.
Where do you find cardboard coop bedding? 🙂
You can try calling your local recycling center or even a grocery store to find out where they send their empty boxes for processing.
Most cardboard surprisingly fits in a paper shredder. We get the boxes outside of our local wine and liquor store. It is plenty for our situation here. We also use shredded cardboard as a mulch throughout our garden.
My grocery store will gladly give you all you want if you go in the morning when they are stocking shelves before they bundle it.
I have 4Lb bags of shredded cardboard
I got a $100 16-page shredder at Costco and shred all my plain brown cardboard boxes, then store the shreds in feed bags. I don’t like glossy paper as I don’t trust it not to have plastics, and it looks bad when I spread the manure, so I soak corrugated cardboard with a glossy label in the shower, separate the layers, toss the gloss and dry then shred the other two layers. I sometimes shred, sometimes toss cereal etc. boxes depending on my mood and how glossy they look.
I just bedded a horse/llama stall with this bedding (the animals don’t live inside so I don’t go through much bedding) and still have tons left. I plan to try it for the chickens this winter when they’re inside, and hope it works as well for me as for you!
I love cardboard for the litter for all the reason you gave. I get all the huge pieces I can use from a local furniture store. They are happy to have it taken so they don’t have to deal with it. They pile it up behind their store before it’s hauled away and we just drive back and get all we want.
Does the cardboard keep them warm??