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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of 2 different bedding types, sand and wood shavings, on the behavior of broiler chickens. In experiment 1, 6 pens were divided down the center and bedded half with sand and half with wood shavings. Male broilers (10/pen) were observed by scan sampling at 5- or 12-min intervals throughout the 6-wk growth period during the morning (between 0800 to 0900 h), afternoon (1200 to 1500 h), and night (2300 to 0600 h). There was a significant behavior x substrate x week interaction during the day (P < 0.0001) and at night (P < 0.0002). Drinking, dustbathing, preening, and sitting increased in frequency on the sand side but decreased on the wood shavings side during the day, as did resting at night. In general, broilers performed a greater proportion of their total behavioral time budget on the sand (P < 0.0001) as they aged. Broilers used the divider between the 2 bedding types to perch; perching behavior peaked during wk 4. In experiment 2, male broilers were housed in 8 pens (50 birds/pen) bedded only in sand or wood shavings. Bedding type had no effect on behavioral time budgets (P = 0.8946), although there were age-related changes in behavior on both bedding types. These results indicate that when given a choice, broilers increasingly performed many of their behaviors on sand, but if only one bedding type was provided they performed those behaviors with similar frequency on sand or wood shavings.