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Sand in coop in winter?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Can I keep sand on the floor of my coop in winter or will that be too cold on chicken tootsies? Wisconsin winters can get nasty cold - got plenty of roost space for all the girls, just concerned about the floor (there's concrete under the sand now.)  I really like the sand - easy to clean and no smell.

While I'm at it - what do you do to keep water from freezing?? I have electricity in the coop but no running water and currently use a 3 or 7 gallon plastic waterer.

Just trying to plan ahead while I'm waiting for the teasers to give up some eggs!pop

Sharing the homestead with my hubby, teenage daughter and son, a cat, 1 gecko, and a cockatiel. Our "girls" include SL Wyandottes, lorps, Amaraucanas, marans, Wellsummers, and RIRs. Never stop learning...

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Sharing the homestead with my hubby, teenage daughter and son, a cat, 1 gecko, and a cockatiel. Our "girls" include SL Wyandottes, lorps, Amaraucanas, marans, Wellsummers, and RIRs. Never stop learning...

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post #2 of 6

idunno   i dont see why not?

mom to: 1 husband 3 kids 3 dogs, 1 cat,  4 ducks, welsh, black swedish, buff orpington
9 hens and 1 crazy rooster!rir/plymouth rocks/leghorn/campine/wellsummer/and some other breeds.

6 more baby chicks added July 2012!!!

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mom to: 1 husband 3 kids 3 dogs, 1 cat,  4 ducks, welsh, black swedish, buff orpington
9 hens and 1 crazy rooster!rir/plymouth rocks/leghorn/campine/wellsummer/and some other breeds.

6 more baby chicks added July 2012!!!

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post #3 of 6

I have no experience with sand in the winter, but I also use sand in the coop and intend to go through my first winter with it --I have linoleum/wood/air on my floor.
I love the sand as well. I used a dehumidifier & heat lamp for a few days on all the sand to dry it out after I'd shovelled it in, fresh from the landscape supply company.
It stayed pretty dry until the chickens got soaked two days in a row. You'll have wet chickens in late fall, but not after, probably.
   
       Why not run a cord and use a heat lamp or dehumidifier on it before the freeze sets in,
and see how they do in dry sand? If they seem cold, you can always throw a bale of pine shavings on top of it later. It rakes out easily.
   
    I'll try to remember to update this thread with my progress in winter.


Oh and water. You can purchase a water dish heater, which goes under the waterer (plastic or galvanized), or you can buy a heated element in a water bottle. I have both. Haven't used them yet.

My local feed store sells them, and I think Tractor Supply does to. Shop the Coop online, (link here on BYC) sells solar water heaters and nest box heaters which may double as water heaters.
Good luck :-)


Edited by bantyshanty - 8/18/10 at 6:46pm

Ameraucanas, Cochins, d'Anvers, d'Uccles,  EEs, a Faverolle x,  a Marans,  Polish Crested, OEGBs, Seramas, Sebright,  Silkies,  Sizzles & a Sultan, a few mixes          dogs, rabbits, pigeons, &  a few acres of woods   
 

"I don't understand why when we destroy something created by man we call it vandalism,  but when we destroy something created by nature we call it progress"...

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Ameraucanas, Cochins, d'Anvers, d'Uccles,  EEs, a Faverolle x,  a Marans,  Polish Crested, OEGBs, Seramas, Sebright,  Silkies,  Sizzles & a Sultan, a few mixes          dogs, rabbits, pigeons, &  a few acres of woods   
 

"I don't understand why when we destroy something created by man we call it vandalism,  but when we destroy something created by nature we call it progress"...

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post #4 of 6

I have sand in my winter coop, but what we get here in Dallas doesn't pass for real winter. It isn't that the sand will be too cold for the chickens' feet that would be the problem, it's just that sand won't keep your coop as warm as the decomposing compost of the deep litter method.  Chickens are roosting during the night when it gets really cold, not standing around on the floor, anyway.

Try it, and as another commenter noted, you can add pine shavings down on top of the sand if you're not liking how the sand is working during the winter.

post #5 of 6

I stopped using my waterers from TSC a long time ago and replaced them with large electric water bowls for dogs, summer and winter.  You can buy them at Home Depot for about $15.  All I have to do is take out a bucket of water, dump the dog water bowl, and fill them with fresh water.  During the winter I plug them into thermocubes, a plug that comes on when the temperature gets close to freezing. 
I have sand in my run and wood shavings in my coops so I don't know how sand would work in a coop during winter. 

BTW, I doubt that this sale is still on, but here's some info about thermocubes:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=265614

Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
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Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
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post #6 of 6

I don't have sand in my coop, but I do have it in the covered run. It freezes pretty hard. But with 41 chickens inside, your results may vary.  I personally use deep litter as the chooks like to bury themselves down in it. I go with about 9 inches deep in the winter time. No smell, but lots of dust.

To keep the water from freezing, I use a heated dog water dish. For that many chickens, you could use a heated base to set your waterer on. Hopefully more cold-weather folks with larger flocks can chime in.

My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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