Thursday, July 23, 2015

6 Ways to dispose of coop bedding

This time of year we go through a lot of bedding in our coops!  Not only is our population at it's yearly peak but with summer rains we're often shoveling out clean coop litter simply because it's wet. We use wood shavings in some coops, but hay and straw in others. That can add up to a lot of stinky bedding to get rid of. So how do you get rid of all that litter? 

how to dispose of chicken coop bedding

Here are my top 6 ways to dispose of coop litter:

1) Compost it: It's full of both the browns and the greens you need to build a good compost, so into the compost bin it goes! With the right additions you'll have black gold in no time. Plus the chickens will start digging through for anything they missed and turn it for you.

what to do with chicken coop litter?

2) Garbage can: Be polite, bag it up so the retrieval guy doesn't get covered. For very small or city coops this litter disposal method might be the best option.

3) Sell it. Gardeners will pay for chicken fertilizer even though they have to compost it themselves. Believe it or not, lots of folks are doing it and boy was I surprised to find that out! 

4) Dump it: We have a dump pile about 100 yards back in the woods (on our property of course) When we clean the 12 X 20 coop it has to go there. There's just too much! Make sure there are no eggs or anything else to attract varmint. As the years pass I've noticed the pile does not get bigger though we continue to use it. Nature breaks it down for us. Now I'm reasonably sure chipmunks and such eat any seeds left behind. Which is why it's so far from the coops, to keep the critters way back there. 

get rid of chicken coop bedding

5) Burn it: Of course it has to be dry for this (and I stand downwind) This works best for rural homes using straw or hay litter. This is an excellent way to get rid of coop litter if you've had any problems with mites or lice of any sort. You wouldn't want to compost that stuff. Can also be done with wood shavings, it just takes a little bit more wood to get/keep the fire going. 

6) Use it straight in the garden. Admittedly you can only do this after your final harvest in Fall and up to about 3 months before your first planting in Spring.

Well, there you have it, my top 6 ways to get rid of all that chicken poop! What do you do with yours?


Want information on raising chickens sent right to your email weekly? Click right here to join my list and get new posts sent directly to you the day they're published. You'll also get the free download 25 Ways to save money raising chickens.


  1. Your chickens are cute! Great tips for disposal, mine free range and their coop is mobile so thankfully that's one less chore around our farm. So I guess disposal just works back into the land as the roam the farm. Rain is a huge help!

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

  2. If I had some, we would compost it for sure. I like your idea of making it available to other gardeners though. Maybe community gardens or school gardens would appreciate the donation! Thank you for sharing on The Maple Hill Hop!

  3. Thanks for adding this to From The is one of this week's featured posts! Hope to see you again this week!

  4. If we had chicken we would compost it. I know our neighbors with chickens do just that and it works well for them. Thanks for linking up to the Tuesday Garden Party.

  5. I have done all of these at some point.

    Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop. Hope to see you there this week.