Silkie chickens often become very loved and cosseted members of the family. Silkie chicken owners want to do the very best for their feathery friends. This includes providing them with the correct housing. One headache all chicken owners must face is choosing the correct bedding. Silkie chicken owners must also answer this question and choose the best bedding for their birds.
Sand, shavings, hemp, sunflower husks, and recycled paper are good bedding choices for silkie chickens. People prefer certain bedding options based on availability, the weight of the bedding, and their local climate conditions. When using deep litter bedding, it is best to use lighter materials.
Selecting one bedding material as the best for your silkie chickens is a difficult task. Each silkie owner has different circumstances and requirements and lives in locations where all the bedding options may not be available.
Choosing The Best Bedding For Silkie Chickens
Selecting the best bedding for your silkie chickens is an individual choice. There are several good bedding options, but the final choice may come down to practical considerations such as availability and price.
Another factor influencing your choice of chicken coop bedding will be your strength and the time you can spare to clean out your chicken coop.
Some bedding options are heavy and would be challenging for an older or less physically fit person to manage. If you have limited time for chicken farming, you may need to use a deep litter system which only works well with certain types of bedding.
These are great bedding options to keep your silkie chickens healthy and comfortable.
- Wood shavings
- Sunflower Husks
- Recycled paper
What Factors Make Bedding Good For Silkie Chickens?
There are some essential elements to think about when choosing bedding material for your silkie chickens.
- The bedding should not be dusty. Dusty environments predispose chickens to respiratory infections, and chicks are especially vulnerable.
- Absorbency is critical. The bedding should absorb moisture but should also dry quickly through evaporation. Wet bedding creates an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria and fungi.
- The bedding should be non-toxic for the silkie chickens.
- The bedding should be readily available, and the price should be within your budget. It is unhelpful to be waiting for bedding supplies or compromising on cleanliness because you struggle to afford them.
- You should be able to easily move and manage the bedding.
- The bedding should be appropriate for the litter system you choose for your silkie’s chicken coop.
Is Sand A Good Bedding For Silkie Chickens?
Many silkie chicken keepers swear by sand as a bedding choice. The type of sand is important and makes a critical difference in its effectiveness and safety in the coop.
Avoid using fine-grained sand in a coop. It creates dust which can cause respiratory illness, pneumonia, and death. It is unhealthy for chickens and the person cleaning out the chicken coop.
Coarse-grained sand, such as river sand, is an excellent choice of bedding for silkie chickens. It does not create the dust seen with finer grains.
This kind of sand absorbs moisture well but also dries rapidly through evaporation. This makes it good bedding for keeping silkie chickens warm and dry.
The right sand may not be readily available in your area, which could be why it is not viable for use in your chicken coop.
Sand is very heavy to move around and unsuitable for older people or people with compromised physical strength.
It is unsuitable for a deep litter system and must be cleaned regularly.
Most silkie chicken keepers use sand clean and replace the sand every one to two weeks. Sand is, therefore, labor-intensive bedding.
Are Wood Shavings Good For Silkie Chickens?
Wood shavings can be very dusty if the pieces are small and the shavings are fine. Therefore, it’s best to avoid using them in your silkie coop.
Large flake wood shavings are suitable for use as bedding for your silkies. Pine and cedar shavings are controversial, with some saying they are toxic to chickens. It would be best to avoid these shavings if possible.
Wood shavings from fruit and nut trees are ideal for bedding for your silkie chickens. They may be a little harder to find, but some people make bedding appropriate for chickens and small cage animals.
Some people shred herbs and add these to their silkie chicken shavings. The herbs help reduce bacteria and fungi and may also repel external parasites such as fleas and mites. Good herbs include lavender, rosemary, and lemongrass.
Wood shavings are moderately absorbent but are slower to dry than sand. They are, however, excellent for a deep litter bedding system.
Is Hemp Good Bedding For Silkie Chickens?
Hemp is made from cannabis stalks and turned into a thick, soft straw.
It has low dust and decreases the ammonia from chicken waste.
Ammonia build-up is a common source of respiratory problems and compromises the silkie’s immune system.
It absorbs moisture and dries pretty quickly. In addition, hemp has some natural pesticide qualities, helping to keep parasites at bay. It is also good bedding for a deep litter system.
The problem with hemp is that you must find a reliable supplier, which is more expensive than most other chicken bedding options.
Sunflower Husks – Good Bedding For Silkie Chickens
Sunflower husks can be sourced easily in some areas. They have almost no dust, and the silkie chickens enjoy scratching in them. In addition, residual oils from the sunflower seeds enhance the health of the silkie’s feet and feathers.
Sunflower husks are unattractive to mites and fleas because of the low dust. The oils also make it difficult for these parasites to survive in the bedding.
Sunflower husks are light and easy to use. They lack some absorbency but dry out quickly if they get wet.
Sunflower husks may be difficult and expensive to source in some regions.
Does Recycled Paper Make Good Bedding For Silkies?
Recycled paper is shredded paper works great for animal bedding and can work great for your silkie chickens.
It is highly absorbent but does not dry out quickly, so it needs to be changed frequently. Fortunately, recycled paper is light making your chicken chores easier.
There is little dust with recycled paper, and it provides excellent insulation for silkie chickens that need help keeping warm in cold winters.
A disadvantage of recycled paper is that it takes a long time to compost naturally. In addition, it requires more intensive management of the compost heap if you dispose of your chicken bedding in this manner.
Choosing the right bedding material for your chicken coop depends on several factors. The vital aspect is that the bedding should keep your chickens healthy, warm, and dry.
Each of the above materials has advantages and disadvantages.
Consider your coop environment, chicken health, and cost before deciding which material is best for your silkies.
You can also use multiple options in different areas of the pen or switch them up depending on the season and temperature. With some research and experimentation, you can provide a safe and comfortable environment for your silkies.
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