list Pros & Cons of shavings/sand

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Desert-Chicken, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Desert-Chicken

    Desert-Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fellow chicken-fans!
    Well, our run and coop is in the middle of being built but I can't make up my mind whether we should use deep pine shavings or sand.
    I've been trying to research online and on this forum, and can't find any place which lists the advantages and disadvantages of each. Some people claim this is better and some claim that. So I thought of making a list of the advantages and disadvantages of both in order to help me and other new chicken owners make up their minds. From what I've read I can think of this so far, please correct or add things to the list to make it better!!!

    -needs less cleaning and maintenance (just rake it every now and then, and change it about once a year)
    -keeps chickens warmer in winter
    -can be used as compost if u have garden


    -keeps chickens cool in summer
    -less likely to have flies and bugs ( Is that right???)
    -can be used as grit so don't need to buy grit

    -needs regularly raking or scooping out poop
    -heavier to transport

    I've read contradicting views on which one is less smelly.... Any conclusive evidence out there?!
    And if my lists are correct it would seem that Pine shavings win out over sand, but I've noticed that a lot of people on this forum prefer sand, how come????
  2. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I can only give you my (limited) experience. I have sand in my coop and I love it. Scooping takes 5 minutes, max, but I have a poop pit (in which I use shavings because sand would be too heavy). The girls LOVE having such a big area for dustbathing when it's too hot to do it outside. The poop dries very quickly, even in humid, wet weather (and I haven't even used DE yet), and there is no smell.

    I am completely sold, BUT... my chicks are only 12 weeks old, so I don't yet know what it will be like with adult birds, AND I haven't gone through a winter yet. The coop is built inside a large barn, and the coop floor is above the barn floor about 6", so I have insulation galore, but it remains to be seen. As of now, I love it.
  3. arcatamarcia

    arcatamarcia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    I have a suburban coop and run with four hens. I have sand in both the coop (on a wood & vinyl floor) and the run (4" deep, over a base of pea gravel). I live where it is cool and damp all year round, and very rainy in the winter. My number one priority is no smell. The sand keeps everything dry, dries quickly when it gets wet and it's easy to scoop the poop with a strainer. Absolutely no smell. Mix a little DE in with it and the girls bathe happily, keeping down mites. I love the sand.

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