Better for bedding... Sand vs. Pine shavings????

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by princetonpeeps, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. princetonpeeps

    princetonpeeps In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2012
    Princeton, MN

    We've been looking into the idea of switching our pine shavings up to sand in our coop. We're from central MN, and it gets pretty cold here during winter. The thought being that sand would eliminate some of the moisture in our coop, perhaps better than the shavings would during the winter months???

    Would love to hear some opinions on that. Thanks!

    -Josh and Danielle
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

    Apr 1, 2014
    Longville, La
    Check out the recent post "what is the best bedding for coop". On page 5 "Blooie" commented that sand will absorb moisture then freeze hard in cold climates. We are in the Deep South and sand would heat up really bad here. I love the shavings myself. I haven't had any personal experi nice with sand in the coop or run.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    People have pretty firm opinions on this topic here! I use shavings, etc, as deep bedding, and clean everything out two or three times a year. People happy with sand tend to have very few birds, and 'scoop the poop' daily, as though it's a kitty litter pan. That's not for me! Mary
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It won't really......what moisture it 'holds' (it can't actually absorb much moisture) will freeze rock solid.

    I use sand and PDZ on poop boards and sift out the poops every other day, they do freeze but rarely stick because of the sand mix and the vinyl lining the boards.
    Pine shavings on floor totally changed out 1-2 times a year, those really help absorb some moisture, usually in fall for fresh shavings at the start of winter.
    The shavings can offer some insulation on the floor, the chooks will nestle down in them to lounge on those frigid coop bound days.
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

    Feb 18, 2016
    I guess the first comment I'd have is you have moisture in your coop? Is that a question? I guess it is. You have moisture in your coop? First place to start would be to eliminate that and go forward from there.

    On the sand / litter question, I rationalize it this way. Sand is inert.....simply rock......albeit pretty fine rock, but rock. It's not going to absorb anything. Any droppings / manure that falls on it is simply going to smear. What filters through it (which it may do) is simply going to accumulate beneath it for awhile, but will eventually build up into one horrendous mess.

    Litter on the other hand, is organic. It will combine with the droppings to break things down. Think of built up litter as being a little bit like a diaper. It catches stuff. Or a disposable diaper. The amount it catches depends on if it is thick or not, but litter will work with the manure to start breaking things down. It will work with the moisture you have to break things down. When it gets thick, you treat it like a diaper and change it. Composted, broken down litter is some pretty good stuff. Nasty sand....not so much.
    1 person likes this.
  6. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Songster

    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    for my state (AZ).. sand is a bad idea

    even the water in the waterer can turn into warm water (in the shade 24/7)
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  7. Wendi1

    Wendi1 In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2015
    Sand is a drying agent, it can be used to dry flowers. In my very limited experience, sand has dried the poop in my run.

    We just had two 95+ degree days and the chicks were digging down and laying in the sand to keep cool. Years ago we were at the beach on an extremely hot day, our dog dug a hole in the sand to lay in.

    I don't use it in the coop itself, only the covered run.

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