I've been using shredded paper for the chickens nesting box, it's freely available (with all the darn junk mail) and people pop it around when they come. It composts well (especially when covered with chicken poo) and works well when covered with anti-mite type powers. I've just been given a rather big bag of dried hemp 'chippings' so decided to switch over to using it. So do the chickens like hemp bedding?
The quick answers is that the chickens seem to love the stuff. I've not had a single broken egg and they have dug some nice nests in the stuff. Also cleaning out is easy as the hemp clusters around the chicken poo – this results in easy lumps that can be removed without mess and put straight into the compost bin. The nearest product I can find that I can purchase is used for horse bedding (http://www.hemcore.co.uk/bedding.php) – doesn't look exactly the same but I will give that a go as well. It's also a lot cheaper than sawdust and with the built in citronella it should keep the flies away in the summer.