How do you scoop the poop out of the sand in the coop?

ccnycnc

In the Brooder
Jun 28, 2020
9
14
26
So I decided to get on board and try sand in the chicken coop. I live in NE Tennessee with high humidity and constant rain. The grass floor of my new coop quickly turned to a gross muck with caked on poop that never dried. The coop is covered with a tin roof and has plenty of airflow, it’s just that humid. I’m new to the chicken world, but I quickly realized that even with frequent floor raking and cleaning, it was unhealthy for my birds to constantly be in contact with a wet floor. So, I bit the bullet and bought almost 2 tons of construction medium grade sand a week ago. The floor is now dry to the bone and there’s no smell! However, when I tried to clean up the coop floor today with my makeshift shovel-sifter, the poop magically would disappear...I’d sift and maybe get 5 pieces at best. I’ve got 7, 2mo old chickens in a coop that has 144 square feet of floor space. They also spend a few evening hours free-ranging the yard now that there’s sand in the coop. They poop a lot and I normally clean weekly (pre-sand). I don’t know if it’s the dryness of the sand, if the free-ranging has cut down on the poop (doubtful), or if I need to go smaller than 1/4” hardware cloth on my shovel-sifter? Maybe my birds’ poops are still too small to catch because they are so young? I’ve attached photos of my makeshift shovel-sifter, the floor of the coop, the sand, and size of birds. Any recommendations is greatly appreciated! TIA
I'm having the same issue with my sand-filled coop/run and 5 week old chicks. Tonight I happened to try to sift the sand with our steel kitty litter scoop, and the poop still went right through. Like you, I'm hoping to hear some advice, and especially to know if simply raking the sand is sufficient. Thanks for your post!
 

Lesabrowning

Chirping
May 17, 2020
59
123
86
Mt. Juliet, TN
I also live in TN, in Middle Tennessee specifically. I have sand as well, but my chickens are nearly 7 months old. ( I do have new chicks so I will be dealing with baby poop again very soon, lol) I scoop the hen house every morning just to keep it simple and fast. I use a scoop with an extendable handle I found on Amazon. It keeps the poop in and shakes the sand out. I am loving the sand!
Image 10-8-20 at 8.42 PM.jpeg
 

chkncrazy

Songster
Apr 23, 2017
528
704
172
Connecticut
I'm having the same issue with my sand-filled coop/run and 5 week old chicks. Tonight I happened to try to sift the sand with our steel kitty litter scoop, and the poop still went right through. Like you, I'm hoping to hear some advice, and especially to know if simply raking the sand is sufficient. Thanks for your post!
I'm guessing at the time when your chicks are 5 weeks there poop was miniscule hahaha it usually doesn't get big until they're about 7 months old or better
 

cherrybombuk

Chirping
Oct 10, 2020
42
133
56
I read on a blog that to deal with this situation the chicken owner has two piles of sand/sand-like grit/pebbles (the blog showed the right size). One pile is in the coop and one is outside. Then, outside of large litter scoop scooping as needed daily, you shift the piles annually or bi-annually (depends on climate and location). Then the pile that sits outside the coop gets cleaned by rainwater (theoretically). Cannot vouch for this, as we are going Eglus with run extensions and moving the chooks every few days (and the hen Eglu triple run set-up has a fab multi-level chook Egg Cart'n chalet attached, which is easily washed out with a water hose and scrubber then movie, and I made a choobe, as my daughter calls it, a chicken tube for the chickens to travel from chalet to runs and Eglu and that is zip-tied--just cut and reattach when I need to move every few days). My daughter does want to try a tall walk-in setup, so we may be facing similar scoop cleaning issues soon.
 

SnootyHen

Songster
Apr 18, 2020
483
1,302
196
Illinois
I don't know if it will work on chicken poop, but it works on turkey poop, I taped a handle to a kitty litter scoop, and use that to get everything the horse poop rake can't pick up. My husband uses the rake to rake everything in a pile, than he uses the scooper. I personally just use the scooper.
This is what I do too only I found one with a decent length handle on it so I didn't have to extend it.
 

Gooseface

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
287
844
146
I also live in TN, in Middle Tennessee specifically. I have sand as well, but my chickens are nearly 7 months old. ( I do have new chicks so I will be dealing with baby poop again very soon, lol) I scoop the hen house every morning just to keep it simple and fast. I use a scoop with an extendable handle I found on Amazon. It keeps the poop in and shakes the sand out. I am loving the sand! View attachment 2365717
I use the same one...love it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
90,162
111,966
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
I'm having the same issue with my sand-filled coop/run and 5 week old chicks. Tonight I happened to try to sift the sand with our steel kitty litter scoop, and the poop still went right through. Like you, I'm hoping to hear some advice, and especially to know if simply raking the sand is sufficient. Thanks for your post!
Even window screen won't get all the chick poop out of sand. BTDT.

I'm guessing at the time when your chicks are 5 weeks there poop was miniscule hahaha it usually doesn't get big until they're about 7 months old or better
Once a pullet starts laying her poops will triple in size...
.....no more cute little pullet poops!
 

chkncrazy

Songster
Apr 23, 2017
528
704
172
Connecticut
Even window screen won't get all the chick poop out of sand. BTDT.

Once a pullet starts laying her poops will triple in size...
.....no more cute little pullet poops!
Oh my goodness a true word hasn't been spoken, my friends always say when I have little ones how easy it looks to take care of them and how you cant even see the poop I kindly escort them to my adult chicken coop where they witness huge poops that look like it came out of a dog LOL
 

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