1. bluehenlover

    bluehenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a dirt floor in my coop. I also have a "doggy door" that stays open, as the outdoor run is chain link with a top. (very secure) My problem? The coop is a mess! I bed it with shavings, and they get tromped into the mud. (yuck!) I think my roof is leaking- its getting pretty wet in there. Im going to get the hotshot after my husband to get my coop roof sealed up, and an actual door on my "chicken door" My question- can I bed my coop with sand to keep it a little cleaner? Will it harm my birds? I could use a fine toothed manure fork to clean out droppings. What do you think?
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    They will tend to dig PITS in the sand. Chicken droppings will turn sand to concrete if you don't stay on top of the cleaning. Pelleted stall bedding is another option for you.

    A layer of fine gravel will not compact the same way sand can. It allows for great drainage also.
     
  3. bluehenlover

    bluehenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats a good idea. My coop is a sloppy mess- in dire need of a makeover. I will price the fine gravel. Im looking for something thats comfortable for the birds and will keep the coop cleaner. I have considered the pellet bedding- I bet it would keep everything drier, too. I put three large bags of shavings in a 11x8 coop- and in a period of 4 days it was gone-.
     
  4. gmc

    gmc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same issue with an outside run. I have a 10x20 that just got muddy to the point of no return. I tried several things and the mud just worked its way back through. Finally I made up my mind to put enough straw down to cover the mud, do whatever it took to build it up high enough, it took two bales to provide what appeared to be about 4 inches deep. Its been there about a month now and seems to be working great. I don't have muddy chickens now.

    Buying litter was breaking me up. My coop has plywood floors and I have discovered that a thin layer of straw over the roost areas can be removed prolonging the life of the litter. Wayyyyy, cheaper to deal with, but a little more work. If you're like me, you have more time than money.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  5. bluehenlover

    bluehenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats a good idea, too. I had used leftover hay from my horses, but it was real fine stemmed and didnt last very long. Straw works better?
     
  6. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]I would say straw is better than hay because hay can develop a mold/fungus that is hazordous to your chickens' respiratory systems. One of the Universities is using sand successfully and many of the commercial chicken places in that state have switched to sand claiming it harbors no bacteria. The gravel sounds like a great idea for drainage purposes until you can get your roof leak repaired. Also, food grade DE sprinkled around helps dry out dampness really well. I use food grade DE and Premium pine shavings. I am currently experimenting with the deep litter method as explained in detail in the FAQs section of this site. So far so good.
     
  7. gmc

    gmc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, wouldn't recomend using hay at all. The staw tends to hang around. It may be a issue cleaning out later on but I'm willing to take a chance. Once a chicken has mud on their feathers its a bad thing.....especially in cold weather and my roosters don't have any mercy on the hens. It working for me. And besides, straw is cheaper than hay, right?
     
  8. bluehenlover

    bluehenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Im starting to lean to the sand- It seems like it would be easy to clean with a manure fork. (fine tines) I will have to read up on the deep litter method. It sounds interesting.
     
  9. bluehenlover

    bluehenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Most definately! I go through a round bale of Bermuda every two weeks for my horses. (35.00 a bale) I usually line my nest boxes with the hay that is on the ground- it sounds like that may not be good for my hens respiratory. MUST FIND STRAW.
     
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I have a dirt floor coop! [​IMG] LOVE IT - but you can't really scoop chicken poop the same as any other poop - it falls through.......

    I use pine shavings and the deep litter method. I have not had a problem with moisture. My chicken door to the run is closed every night and opened in the morning, there is a BIG step up - the door way isn't level with the ground - keeps the shavings inside the coop!

    If your door is the same level as the ground that might cause problems, make it a step up to get into the coop and a step down into the coop on the other side......

    Edit to add, my step up from inside or outside to go through the door is the height of a cinderblock, more or less - the step comes up to the chickens chest pretty much - they all handle it fine, unless the step out too short or close and the step knocks their butt...... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008

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