Ahhh - Sand vs. Deep Litter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by erindubb, May 14, 2010.

  1. erindubb

    erindubb Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    I am having a chicken forum overload. I have been reading for months. I think my head might explode. I thought I learned enough to get started so yesterday the kids and I went and got four baby chicks. They are currently nice and toasty in my garage cardboard box brooder. I am NOT handy so I am buying the coop from someone who makes them for her chickens. I found her on craigslist. I wish I could upload a pic - but it keeps telling me error. Anyway, I am going to enlist the help of handy friends to help build a run later on in the summer, but right now I am trying to decide between sand and deep litter. AHHHHHH. It is making me totally crazy. After all this reading - I still can't figure out which one is better. I don't want flys or fleas. And as far as I can tell each floor option gets one of these. [​IMG] I like the thought of not cleaning it out but once a year - Hummmm. Also, I live in the suburbs, so keeping a coop with no smell would be great for me and the neighbors. [​IMG] I need advice. Please. Thanks, Erin

  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    How about splitting the difference? Sand in your run, shavings in your coop (with a poop board or tray under the roost to collect the night time droppings)?

    It's good to think ahead, but you've got to be flexible, too. As you go about tending for your chickens. you'll develop your own preferences and make adjustments in your setup.
    I'm getting ready to build my third tractor already, after only a year of chicken keeping!

    You don't have to get it "right" the first time. Try things, and see what you like.

    P.S. Welcome to BYC, and to the wonderful world of chickens.
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Sand in your run, shavings in your coop

    The best of both worlds!​
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You don't actually have to decide now, you know, nor "once and for all". Pick something. Try it. See how ya like it. If you don't like it so much, try something different. REally [​IMG] You will figure out what works best for YOU, which may well be different than what works for some other person anyhow [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun, RELAX <g>,


  5. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    I would say sand in the run this works great for keeping things dry and clean the sand dries the poop so its easy to just rake up and put it in a bucket and use for the garden. also I use straw in the coop and in the winter when it is really cold I just add more straw as needed. I don't mine the clean up in the summer its a 10 min job tops to clean the coop and rake the pen its easy and done quickly. try something and if it does not work for you change it. the only problem with the deep litter method is the clean up takes a very long time I know this spring it took my son and I a few hours to clean the coop and get it all ready for spring and if you live in a hot area in summer its best to have something that is easy to clean because it will smell thats why we went with sand in the run wish I would have done that last summer super easy to clean. good luck with what ever you decided to do and [​IMG]
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I agree with the others. There are so many differences in our circumstances no one answer is right for everyone. A lot of different things actually work.

    I think the key to no smell is to keep it dry, whether in the coop or in the run. A droppings board in the coop really helps too.

    If you already have the chicks, you are quickly running out of time. I suggest you not wait very long, especially for the coop. It is amazing how fast they grow.

    Will this help in posting pictures?

    How to post pictures/avatar
  7. St-Hubert

    St-Hubert Chicken Convert

    Apr 6, 2010
    Anniston, AL
    We went a little different route. We have sand in the run....it is easy to rake the dried poop up....and kitty litter (non-clumping) in the coop proper. The kitty litter is also pretty easy to clean. The smell in both areas is minor if it exists at all. It's generally worse in the mornings because of the poop boards. I'm still trying to figure out a good way to keep those clean. Right now, I put a layer of the kitty litter on them each day. Helps with the cleaning.

  8. city kid farm

    city kid farm Chirping

    Apr 17, 2010
    Hi! We had all the same questions and issues as you, but it sounds like you are a bit more informed than us when you started. We just got the chickens into a (purchased) coop and built a run.

    We use shavings in the coop and sand in the run. So far so good. We covered the floor and shelves in the coop with linoleum so we can just sweep out the shavings for composting with little effort.

    We had planned to try deep litter or sand in the coop and then once we got the coop realized that neither were really going to work for us. We're still experimenting.

    You can see picks on our blog at www.citykidfarm.com.

    Good luck!
  9. chickee

    chickee Songster

    [​IMG] erindubb! I just changed over to sand after reading on BYC that so many people like it. For years I have used shavings in my chicken house and hated having to try and find a way to dispose of it! [​IMG] So I bought the clean playbox bags of sand and spread it on the floor of the coops and use a dust pan to scoop it up into a wire mesh strainer and shake the now clean sand right back onto the floor as I go! [​IMG] It is so quick and easy and I put the droppings I've strained from the sand into a bucket and spread it around the garden for fertilizer. I'm even going to start using it in my brooder box for my next batch of chicks [​IMG] I love this site [​IMG] I've learned so much! [​IMG]

  10. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Here's what I do: instead of a poop board, I use a plastic boot tray. In the morning, I pull it out and take it over to the composter to dump out the contents. Most of it rolls right off the plastic. I hose off what's left, then stand the tray up to dry before replacing it in the coop when I settle the chickens in for the night.

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