Mason sand on floor of chicken coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Algonac Jack, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Algonac Jack

    Algonac Jack New Egg

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    Nov 3, 2009
    Hello
    I am new to raising chickens but I would like to know if anyone has used mason sand on the chicken coop floor
    I was either told or read something about that a while back and if memory serves me right it was suppose to be good
    for the chickens feet, they would some time peck at it and make it good for their digestion and it was above all easily maintained.
    The smell was minimal and all one needed was a leaf rake to remove their droppings. Is this true and has anyone else used it
    Thanks. Algonac Jack
     
  2. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I might be wrong, but I'd bet that what you read was for using sand in the run, not the coop.
     
  3. Algonac Jack

    Algonac Jack New Egg

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    thanks for your input sir. I dont remember.....what do u feel is the best material to use on the coop floor.
    I raised some meat chickens for the first time and everyday put fresh straw down but in 8 weeks it took me 4 hours to clean it out and wash it down. It was wet underneath the dry stuff on top. That cant be to healthy.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Joe, surely you've noticed that a lot of BYCers *do* use sand as coop bedding. It only works in fairly warm climates, cuz of being way too cold and freezy in the winter; but those in warm climates who use it generally report being pretty happy with it.

    In principle it can act as grit but in reality it is too tiny to really do a lot of good IMO; of course it does give them something to scratch and peck and dust in, but so does any other kind of bedding.

    I would not use sand for meat chickens however. You need (need!) something absorbant and easily disposed of. You might find shavings to be less objectionable, and work better for meaties, than straw; but fundamentally the tradeoff for CornishX's mindboggling growth rates IS mindboggling poo rates. If you keep them in a stationary pen, you just WILL have a big horrible job to do at the end of the run. The only alternative is more-frequent complete cleanings (doesn't really reduce work), or a moveable pen (tractor) if you have the land for it and enough predator protection, which shifts it to a different *kind* of work.

    Sand is still reasonable to try for a layer or hobby flock, though, as long as you're somewhere warm (and especially if you have a free or v. cheap supply of sand [​IMG])

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I've tried about everything that's reasonable for the coop floor. I've decided that the best/easiest way is putting down a tarp on the floor and up the walls about eight inches (attached with screws over fender washers). Then I put in about six inches of wood shavings from Tractor Supply. Over the wood shavings I add food grade diatomaceous earth to keep the wood shavings and poop DRY. Doing it this way, I only have to clean out the coop about once a year by removing the screws on the tarp and dragging it, the wood shavings, and the poop all out at the same time to the compost pile or straight to and spread over the garden if it's winter time. (See my BYC page)
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Patandchickens is right about sand being a cold substrate; I've got it in my coop and it feels colder to the touch than the wood walls. However, it's very nice for keeping clean (poop scoops right up) and it doesn't hold moisture, either.
     
  7. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just put sand in my very large coop and like it so far.
     
  8. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:No, actually, I hadn't ever heard of its being used in a coop anywhere. Makes sense for a larger-than-needed coop though for a warm climate. I sure do like it for my run year round; wouldn't use anything else. Sure wouldn't want it in my coops though here in Indiana.
     
  9. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:No, actually, I hadn't ever heard of its being used in a coop anywhere. Makes sense for a larger-than-needed coop though for a warm climate. I sure do like it for my run year round; wouldn't use anything else. Sure wouldn't want it in my coops though here in Indiana.

    Nifty put a nice link to my Using Sand in Your Coops page in the Learning Center [​IMG] You could check it out in the link in my siggy
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  10. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Algonac Jack

    [​IMG] BYC is a great place! Welcome.

    PS As one poster mentioned there are several discussions on using sand. You might do a search for "sand" and see what comes up to get more info. If you haven't been reading very long, you probably haven't seen them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009

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