44 lb (20kg) bale of Industrial Hemp (by Aubiose).
Industrial Hemp bedding is 100% natural, virtually dust free, super absorbent bedding material. Additionally, hemp bedding is ideal for setting up a chicken coop for the Deep Litter method.
A deep litter system with hemp bedding can reduce henhouse cleaning to once per year. This occurs by taking advantage of composting in place.
Setting up Deep Litter:
For initial set up of Deep Litter fill the roosting area with a layer about 4-6″ deep of industrial hemp (or the bedding of your choice). The following estimates work well for deciding how many 44 lbs bales of hemp to purchase when getting started:
- 1-12 chickens and a 20-24 sq ft henhouse – 1/2 bale of hemp (22 lbs)
- 13-24 chickens and a 20-40 sq ft henhouse – 2 bales of hemp (88 lbs)
Once per month, or as needed depending on moisture level, add in an additional 1″ of hemp bedding. Turn the pile with a small garden hand rake if the chickens scratching around in the henhouse is not moving the material around.
Managing Deep Litter:
Most importantly, resist the urge to remove chicken droppings from your Deep Litter system. The Deep Litter method requires that nitrogen and carbon to be in the right balance in order to compost. It may start off slow, but over time the bedding material will naturally compost in place, reducing in height and volume. Add in additional bedding material as needed. For up to 12 chickens 1 bale of industrial hemp will typically last a year. Additional bales may be needed for more chickens. The composting process typically takes about 12-18 months. The end result will be a rich organic composted material which can be removed and used in gardens, landscaping, or lawns!