Deep Litter - Pine Shavings or Sand?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Thundrr-Chicken, May 25, 2010.

  1. Thundrr-Chicken

    Thundrr-Chicken Songster

    Apr 20, 2010
    Dover, Ohio
    im currently having a coop built... i am going with the deep litter method.. meaning an 8 inch box perimeter around the base of the coop inside... i will be putting linoleum down on the floor and covering those 8 inch boards as well... my question is.. should i use pine shavings as a base or should i use sand as a base?

    pros and cons of either???

    thanks in advance
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I prefer shavings. Pros - They make the coop smell good, very absorbant, they are easy to remove when the time comes, make great compost when you're done with it, and it's readily available. Cons - Can be expensive if you have a big coop. I get mine free from a local lumber yard's mill. I have never used sand, but I would think it would be more of a job to clean(heavier). It really doesn't absorb moisture and your sources are a bit more limited, not sure about cost.
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I could be wrong about this, but I thought the whole point of the deep litter method was to have the bedding compost as it sits there. Sand won't compost, so I think you need to use shavings or hay or some other organic material if you're going the deep litter route.
  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Actually, what you do is scoop the dropping out of the sand using a kitty litter scoop or something similar. You don't have to remove and replace the sand, just add some more from time to time. Sand tends to coat the droppings and dry them out very quickly, too.

    I buy sand in 40 lb bags from Lowes. I've never done a cost comparison because I just hate the way shavings blow around, but a 40 lb. bag runs me about $2.
  5. julie1015

    julie1015 In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2010
    Northwest WA
    My coop has a dirt floor, covered with a few inches of sand and 4-6 inches of shavings. It seems to be working quite well. I haven't had to change the shavings yet (2 months), just add more occasionally. The chickens stir it up and it stays nice and dry in there. The poop dries up and it doesn't stink too bad. I think I'll only have to clean it out 2-3 times a year. I like the sand under the shavings because it seems drier with the dirt floor, but if you have linoleum, you probably won't need sand. My run is just sand, and works great. Sand is cheap.

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