Ideas for Coop Instead of hay or Straw... Sand? shavings? what works?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by iamsara, May 19, 2011.

  1. iamsara

    iamsara Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2011
    Sonoma, Ca
    Hello Everyone!
    I am taking a risk posting what has been posted before it seems. I have searched and have a few ideas for the coop to use something besides hay or straw..[​IMG] but thought it might be good also for others too?

    I get major asthma attacks just walking in to get the eggs! I was using a white mask w the circle in the middle for better breathing, but now I cant even do that anymore.

    I miss my hens! I cant even hang out in the pasture much. ( there is some hay there a winter rain temp solution, but we raked most of it out) [​IMG]

    Secondly, I dont want to admit, that I could ALSo be allergic to the poops? omg that would be horrible. It has rained a lot these past few months, and I keep thinking that when the sun comes out full force, the poops will dry right up and ill be better.

    what is your experience?

    We have 14 hens and chicks on the way... my first year... the coop doesnt have an open wall design [​IMG] two small vents up top and a back window and front door.. some breeze.. there is a free range pasture on part rocky and bigger part grass..
    I want to chainsaw the wall off! ok, relaxing...
    thank you for the time and ideas~
  2. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Chickens make a lot of dust, could you be allergic to the chickens themselves? I hear that sand works alright, though in colder climates there are some problems with it.
  3. twister

    twister Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2009
    I love Suncoast shavings. They are very big flakes and less dusty. I have to specify the brand for the Co op to order.
  4. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    I've seen folks use pine needles...
  5. iamsara

    iamsara Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2011
    Sonoma, Ca
    Hi thanks for the posts..
    I could be allergic to the hens themselves, but i dont want to admit that.. just yet.. Id love to try everything else first~ [​IMG]
    Im reading a post about sand, and if we can find it?? we may try that. but all of you on here are awesome! and i thought to ask around first.
    our climate is 60/40 now and warming up. minimal freezing in winter but a LOt of rain.
    i wonder, can pine shavings cause allergic reactions? I mean are there many different kinds to choose from?
  6. iamsara

    iamsara Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2011
    Sonoma, Ca
    its true chickens/hens make a lot of dust, but i dont think thats what is bothering me. its the fumes from the poops in the pasture area, and the hay stuff..
    thanks for all your ideas and keep em coming!
  7. linben

    linben Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I use leaves in mine. I chop them up with a weedeater first to make them smaller pieces. I did it because it was free. However, they don't absorb as well as pine shavings.
  8. MCbur-burk

    MCbur-burk Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 24, 2011
    I was using lucerne mulch but found it was too lice/mite friendly, and the dust... In Oz sugarcane mulch is cheap and readily available and seems to work a treat
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Really, most anything works. Sand would be fine. And your urge to chain saw a wall might be a good one -- or at least greatly increase the fresh air in there by replacing a section of wall with something like hardware cloth. They use open air coops a lot farther north than you are. Good luck!
  10. queenbeezz

    queenbeezz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    We laid 4-6 inches of sand mixed with DE in the coop and run when we built it initially. Easy to rake and clean, the sand absorbs the moisture from droppings. it's a bit like cleanning out a big kitty litter box. Under the sand mix is a floor of chicken wire that is then wrapped up onto the sides to keep varments out. Ever 6 months or so we lay another layer equal to what has been raked up. Roosts and nest boxes are up so everything drops onto the floor for easy raking. The raked stuff goes into the compost pile and the DE is great for the garden!

    Here in Florida we get a lot of rain and the climate is just naturally moist. The sand helps with this and the DE keeps the bugs to a minimum.

    Hope that helps you out!
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

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