Aug 19, 2019
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Statesboro, GA, USA
So I started with Pine Shavings in the brooder for my 8 chicks, but I was having a huge issue with them tracking cecal poops everywhere, regardless of how many times I was cleaning the brooder. I finally had enough when I had to bathe one of my poor EEs covered in poop. :(

So now they have sand. They definitely love it, and it's a huge improvement from shavings, but now I'm having an issue with how dusty it is. :rolleyes: Crazy to not expect dust from sand, I know, but it's bad enough to mess with my sinuses and cover my furniture in a fine layer of sand. It's made me worry about what they're breathing. I'm guessing it's the wrong type (Earth sand) and I just need to find something a little less dirt-like. I know play sand is out of the question, and Earth sand was the only other option I could find bagged.

They're getting moved to the "Big Girl" coop this weekend. The run will be dirt, I've decided on a shavings/straw mix for the nesting boxes when the time comes, and sand for the inside. Please tell me all of your sand type/ source tricks! :D
 
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aart

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Earth sand
Never heard of that one! :lol:
Seriously the 'names' they have for sand are totally useless and often colloquial,
there are no standards.

Please tell me all of your sand type/ source tricks!
I found the only good place to use 'sand' is on the poop boards....
...and now only use a thin(1/8") layer of granulated Sweet PDZ(zeolite) for that anymore.
Sand can turn all poops, especially cecals, into 'concrete' on chicks feet

Not a sand fan.

I learned a lot about sand while making my own concrete mixes for sculpture years ago; I used different cements, different sands, different admixes.
All the colloquial and common names for sand(river, construction, play, blahblahblah) are worthless, there's no standards, you've got to look at it very closely to know what you're getting. Made a huge difference in my concrete mixes, so I had to study it, and also applies when using for chickens.

Eventually sand becomes saturated with pulverized poop, you can't sift it all out, and when damp it will stink. Then what do you do with it? I learned this from using it in a brooder, after a few rounds of chicks it reeked and I used it to fill holes in the lawn from an auto accident. It might work well in an arid climate or in a small coop.
 
Aug 19, 2019
148
292
126
Statesboro, GA, USA
I found the only good place to use 'sand' is on the poop boards....
...and now only use a thin(1/8") layer of granulated Sweet PDZ(zeolite) for that anymore.
Sand can turn all poops, especially cecals, into 'concrete' on chicks feet

Not a sand fan.

I learned a lot about sand while making my own concrete mixes for sculpture years ago; I used different cements, different sands, different admixes.
All the colloquial and common names for sand(river, construction, play, blahblahblah) are worthless, there's no standards, you've got to look at it very closely to know what you're getting. Made a huge difference in my concrete mixes, so I had to study it, and also applies when using for chickens.

Eventually sand becomes saturated with pulverized poop, you can't sift it all out, and when damp it will stink. Then what do you do with it? I learned this from using it in a brooder, after a few rounds of chicks it reeked and I used it to fill holes in the lawn from an auto accident. It might work well in an arid climate or in a small coop.

The coop isn't extremely large, and it'll be the only place we use sand. The run will be dirt, and the chickens will be able to free range while I'm home, which is most of the day. I don't imagine that they'll be in the coop much during the day, so I don't think we'll have many issues with concrete cecal, but I'll keep an eye on their feet!

We live in SE Georgia, so it's humid, but very hot! I plan on sifting daily, and changing on an as-needed basis. If I had more chickens, this probably wouldn't be feasible, but I feel it's manageable for the small amount I have.

What do you use in your coop?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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What do you use in your coop?
What kind of bedding you use may depend on how you manage the manure.
This is about cleaning, but covers my big picture

-I use poop boards under roosts with thin(<1/2") layer of sand/PDZ mix, sifted daily(takes 5-10mins) into bucket going to friends compost.

-Scrape big or wet poops off roost and ramps as needed.

-Pine shavings on coop floor, add some occasionally, totally changed out once or twice a year, old shavings added to run.

- My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.
Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.

-Nests are bedded with straw, add some occasionally, change out if needed(broken egg).

There is no odor, unless a fresh cecal has been dropped and when I open the bucket to add more poop.

That's how I keep it 'clean', have not found any reason to clean 'deeper' in 5 years.

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