Granite Screenings vs Sand for the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HeatherPeters, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. HeatherPeters

    HeatherPeters New Egg

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    Hello. I am about to build my coop and run for my 5 week old girls to move into when they are about 8 weeks old. I have read all the wonderful posts about how great sand is in the run...cool in summer, easy to clean, dry, etc. I'm sold. Here is the thing...I work for a company that has granite quarries and I can get granite screenings for super cheap. It is generally the same size and consistency as sand. Does anyone who knows what they are doing, know if I could use granite screenings rather than construction sand? I can get both, but want o see if granite screenings would work since they are cheaper, and a nicer color. Any help would be appreciated!!!
    Heather - crazy chicken lady in training
     
  2. Doc Schoepp

    Doc Schoepp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think the screenings would be an acceptable substitute. Also, it could double over as a good source of grit as most commercial grits is simply crushed granite
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^^

    Welcome to BYC @HeatherPeters !
    Hopefully you have also read the cons to using sand:
    Very little to no decomposition of poops.
    Eventually it gets saturated with pulverized poop and stinks bad when wet.
    Heavy to deal with once this happens..and what do you do with it?!

    Unless you live in an very arid climate, I highly recommend deep litter in the run.
    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
     
  4. HeatherPeters

    HeatherPeters New Egg

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    I guess this is where I have some confusion. The deep litter method seems to make sense for the coop itself. My girls will have a coop, but also an attached 12 foot by 6foot enclosed run. They will not free range in the yard at all. It just won't work where I live, which is why we are doing the large run. Would the deep litter be effective and even feasible in a 12x6 foot run? This is where I was thinking of the sand/granite screenings for. And figured I would scoop and sift poop like I do cat litter in a litter box and dump it in the compost bin. So if someone can clarify if deep litter is for just the coop like I thoight(like the little House they will sleep and lay in) or for a larger run as well. Of do I do deep litter in he coop and sand in the run. I'm still confused. Thanks!

    QUOTE="aart, post: 18562419, member: 175197"]Ditto Dat^^^^

    Welcome to BYC @HeatherPeters !
    Hopefully you have also read the cons to using sand:
    Very little to no decomposition of poops.
    Eventually it gets saturated with pulverized poop and stinks bad when wet.
    Heavy to deal with once this happens..and what do you do with it?!

    Unless you live in an very arid climate, I highly recommend deep litter in the run.
    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992[/QUOTE]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What is your climate?
    Good to put your location in your profile.

    DL might make sense for your coop, especially if it is on the ground rather than a floor.
    How big is your coop?

    I like a dry coop(6x16) floor(shavings),
    that is turned out in to the DL once or twice a year.
    Sand/PDZ on poop boards, poops sifted every day or two and poops composted.
    DL out in the run(8x50), poops basically disappear, bugs live in DL fun for chooks to hunt.
    My birds are also confined.
     
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't agree that poop does not degrade when using sand or dirt. There are only fresh ones for a few days in my run. Why would they not degrade as chickens scratch around the run? I think either method would work. Sand has always kept my run relatively dry except in the worst of weather & it dries in no time after a heavy rain. Guess I have been doing it wrong for decades. Anything else would blow out of my run during the winter months.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, it would 'degrade', in physical stature, with rain and scratching...but it won't decompose as well as in the presence of carbon matter(dry plant material) where the ammonia/nitrogen is absorbed and changed chemically.
    If it works for you, that's great...I think you may be in the long term minority tho.
    My nose tells me that DL is far more effective in my run...and many others runs too.
     
    Cindy in PA likes this.

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