Deep litter method vs. sand: Who's tired both?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SDR, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. SDR

    SDR Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2011
    New to chickens and have been doing a lot of searching and learning a lot in the process. However I'm kind of at a crossroads regarding what maintenance method in the coop will work best for me. It must come from my line of work but I'm meticulous about doing things right the first time. In other words I want to be sure the method I commit to, when the chicks move into the coop, is the one that will work for the long haul.

    Whether a person searches the deep litter method or using sand on the coop floor here on BYC, it's an understatement to say a lot has been written regarding each subject. I've read all the virtues of each method and become further conflicted the more I read [​IMG]. To help figure this out, thought it would be good to hear from those that have actually tried both methods and hear actual comparisons.

    So who's tired both? What did you like or dislike of each?

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  2. wannabchick

    wannabchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2010
    Northen Va
    Great question.. I too will be looking forward to hearing from others who have tried both methods.. for comparison

    thanks for asking this..
  3. cjdmashley

    cjdmashley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    i think it depends alot on your temps. We can't/don't use sand because it just gets too cold, so deep litter works best for our winters. Come summer we do a bit of both sand and litter ( they love the sand for sand baths) and switch things up sometimes just so they have someting different (helps with boredom too)

    Good luck!!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I just want to reemphasize cjdmashley's point. If you have very freezy winters, sand is just not a reasonable *option*.

    As far as what you should do if you live in a climate where either one is possible, I would suggest picking one, trying it, then if you don't like it try the other one and see if you like it better [​IMG] Seriously. Litter management is one of those things that is VERY individual to your coop/site/flock/soil/habits/tastes, so what works well for one person may work very poorly for another (or technically work ok but drive 'em up a *wall* [​IMG]). I am a big advocate of intelligent experimentation.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    I have sand in my chicken hoop house and deep litter in the main hen house. This Fall I'll probably just do deep litter for both.

    Much of my reasons have to do with my gardening needs, plus the fact that I can get straw crazy cheap. We have a large garden plot (65x150) that has low organic content, so the deep litter method provides me lots of good organic material (straw + manure).
  6. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    We have pine shavings and use the deep liter meathod.We live in Rock Hill,SC and our natural dirt is south carolina blackjack mud.Mix this with sand and it makes an offbrand of cement. [​IMG]
  7. SDR

    SDR Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2011
    Bringing this thread back to the top just one time before letting it slip forever into the archives, to hopefully catch some folks that have done both methods.
  8. AuntieE

    AuntieE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Philipsburg, PA
    Wish I had some info for you, but I'm wondering the same thing. The sand seems so much easier to keep clean, but we get super cold and snowy winters. Deep-litter seems effective, for my area- but I'm concerned there may be an odor- something my neighbors would not appreciate!
  9. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    I would go with deep litter method in the winter only, and spring summer and fall just have normal shavings.

    Mark [​IMG]
  10. san415

    san415 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    I put sand on the poo board, found that to be easy to use a cat litter scoop to clean. BUT... I found that when I wanted to remove all the sand and start with fresh, that the sand was hard to clean up. Hard to get it all up into a bucket and heavy to dump. Then next time I used plain clay cat litter, same issues. The next time I used pine shavings, They are what I still use. They are easy to scoop the poop out of, I find sometimes I use the cat litter scoops I have hanging up in the coop or one of the flat scraper things I get out of my husbands garage, or sometimes I use the fireplace shovel thing. But when I want to start over with fresh I just scoop it out onto the floor of the coop and then scoop all the litter out of the coop onto the ground Then I spread it around outside as mulch in the chicken yard.

    Man it is late march and its only 34 degrees out and I swear its snowing great big flakes!! I am so ready for spring! So sorry for the weather rant.[​IMG]

    I have never used sand on the floor of the coop, I just didnt think I wanted to be walking in it. I live on Lake Huron so I can get sand for free, but I would rather buy wood shavings. Also If I don't have time to really clean the coop I can just add fresh shavings on top of the some what dirty shavings. The shavings are just like mulch in the chicken yard, they just mix into and disintegrate into the dirt. And they are nicer to walk on in the run that sandy dirt.

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