Benefits and pitfalls of using sawdust in your chicken coop. Sawdust has several benefits for chicken coops, it absorbs moisture, absorbs smells, dries feces quickly, and can easily be poop scooped saving you money on bedding costs. However, there is one down fall with using sawdust. If the sawdust is too fine it can cause dust in the air that can quickly cause respiratory infections in your chickens. There are a few ways you can avoid this. You can get wood shavings instead of sawdust or have the sawdust ground slightly larger or use sawdust pellets. Drawing from my own experience, I only use sawdust in very small coops where chickens do not have room to play and scratch around in it. Our chickens live in a 3 bedroom trailer house converted into a chicken coop, this is a very large area. In my experience, I used sawdust for bedding a few years back, the coop stayed dry, there was little if any odor, clean up was a breeze but within a few weeks my birds started coughing, wheezing, and spitting. As soon as I changed the bedding to pine bedding and treated the birds for the respiratory infection, my birds stopped getting sick. On the other hand, I have used it in small coops and had no problem with respiratory infections in the birds. In the summer I use wood pellets as they have less dust, keep the coop fresh smelling, reduce ammonia and nitrogen smells that can cause lung infections and bacterial infections. I remove the pellets after they break down to the point that my birds are kicking up dust when they scratch through them. I have talked to several people who have had no problems using sawdust for bedding in their coops. The following video is interesting to watch and shows a neat way to use sawdust in smaller coops.
Featured Video: Using Saw Dust For Chicken Coops and How to Get it Cheap
References: Using sawdust in your chicken coop and how to get it cheap. (July 15,2014). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad5lj--IZwQ