Flooring/Bedding suggestions?

Dknichelson

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 17, 2014
88
4
69
What does everyone prefer to use as the flooring/bedding materials in their runs? We've been using hay, but I read that hay can harbor harmful bacteria and shouldn't be used in chicken coops. So, before I run out an buy something new, I wanted to get a general idea of what other people used.

Also, we're in Florida so we live in a very hot, humid, rainy environment. So, something that would work best here :)
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,672
19,827
867
St. Louis, MO
Sand may work for the run there.

It is extremely hot and humid here is summer, extremely cold and humid in winter.
In the coop, I use pine stall shavings. In the covered part of the run, I use straw. (not hay)
 

jenniemig

Songster
5 Years
Jan 28, 2014
675
73
138
Jacksonville, Florida
I am in Northeast Florida. I have nursery fabric over the ground then 6 inches of sand in the run (which has no roof) and in the coop. I did add a deep layer of pine shavings over the sand in the coop. The sand is from dredging so it is full of coquina and sea shells, just like the beach. So far it is working very well. It has been raining a lot since I put the chicks out. I have raked the run out a few times but mostly the rain has taken care of the poo. There is no smell and the chicks love dust bathing in the sand.
 

Dknichelson

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 17, 2014
88
4
69
Sand may work for the run there.

It is extremely hot and humid here is summer, extremely cold and humid in winter.
In the coop, I use pine stall shavings. In the covered part of the run, I use straw. (not hay)

I am in Northeast Florida. I have nursery fabric over the ground then 6 inches of sand in the run (which has no roof) and in the coop. I did add a deep layer of pine shavings over the sand in the coop. The sand is from dredging so it is full of coquina and sea shells, just like the beach. So far it is working very well. It has been raining a lot since I put the chicks out. I have raked the run out a few times but mostly the rain has taken care of the poo. There is no smell and the chicks love dust bathing in the sand.
I was leaning toward sand. Where is the best place to get sand for the run?

Jennimig, you said it has been raining and the sand has held up fine? That was my only concern with sand. that it would stay wet for too long.
 

jenniemig

Songster
5 Years
Jan 28, 2014
675
73
138
Jacksonville, Florida
I was leaning toward sand. Where is the best place to get sand for the run?

Jennimig, you said it has been raining and the sand has held up fine? That was my only concern with sand. that it would stay wet for too long.
I was able to get my sand for free, but I did call local mulch places and priced it. The coarse sand was about $35 a yard delivered. My 2 runs each have a 6" layer of sand and are each 12X12. I'm guessing that I used about 3 or 4 yards.

After it rains the top couple of inches of sand is dry within a few hours, it is completely dry within a day or two. We got about 4 inches of rain on Friday, then it rained off and on all weekend. I was expecting puddles when I checked this morning, but there are none, it all drained beautifully.
 

OwensChickens

Chirping
6 Years
May 31, 2013
116
1
73
We use straw and do a DLM, changing it out about twice a year. It has worked well for us. We are in a dry environment.
 

KayTee

Songster
7 Years
Sep 21, 2012
941
223
181
South West France
Inside the coop I started off with sand, which is ideal in a warm environment. With a cat litter scoop it is really easy to clean, and it stays really cool in the summer.

However, this winter I added a thick layer of wood shavings on top, as the sand was just too cold for my girls in the freezing conditions we get here. The wood shavings dry out the poop amazingly quickly, so even though it is harder to pick all the poop out (the cat litter scoop doesn't work with the wood shavings) it doesn't matter.

I suppose I am using a 'semi deep litter' method - picking out the biggest bits of poop, but leaving the little bits, which dry out and break down. There is absolutely no smell whatsoever, and we have already had a run of 10 days of 25°c - 30°c temperatures. I was going to scrape out the shavings this summer to go back to the sand layer underneath, but I don't think I'll bother. I'm even using the shavings in the nest boxes now, and the girls are quite happy with them.
 

Feedingfour

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 16, 2013
46
2
26
Pa
We have a chain link fence for our run, so I'm sort of concerned the sand would run out the sides... Did you dig down so many inches before adding the sand, or how exactly did you go about putting the nursery fabric and sand in your runs? I have a chicken run and two duck runs I'd like to do.
 
Top Bottom