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New Chicken Mom.. I Need Winter Opinions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coshappyhens, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. coshappyhens

    coshappyhens New Egg

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    Hello!
    I am a new chicken Mom.. I have 4 girls and I have sand in the bottom of the coop right now.. I am worried that is going to be too cold in this Chicago weather... Anyone else put something different that is easy to maintain in their coop for the winter? Or is sand okay!?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Sand is OK most places and a lot of people use it but you may want to use something more comfortable for the feet in winter. I use horse stall type pine shavings in the coop and straw in the runs.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't live in cold conditions but I think sand would be a bit uncomfortable with the coldness. I use pine shavings and it should work for those cold conditions. Otherwise sand may actually work. Like I said don't know much about coldness.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    you could actually put shavings or hay on top for the winter than clean it off for the spring, I have sand in my turkey shed but they don't stand on it a lot, they either roost or stay outside on some hay I put down in the run. Chickens stay inside more and the sand would be cold.
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends. How big is your coop? What's the ventilation like? Sand is cold, but makes removing feces easy. So, in a small coop where the amount of poop would build up fast over a long winter making ammonia and moisture a bigger threat, sand can be the best choice because it allows for easy daily removal of virtually all the poop. In an urban setting, disposing of just poop might be easier than attempting to dispose of a lot of dirty bedding.

    In a larger better ventilated coop with a high square footage to bird ratio, pine shavings might be a fine choice. Poop builds up but at a slow enough rate that the shavings can dry it out, and one big clean out can be done in spring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops. Pushed reply before I was ready.
    Also, are you referring to just the space in the coop, or do you also have a run/pen area? What you use in the run will also depend on how big it is, whether it's covered or not, if you will have easy access into it during the winter, and how often you want to (or will be able to) clean it.

    So, the point is that there is no way to make a good/better/best comparison without taking into consideration all the factors.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 and trial and error.
     
  8. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think sand would be cold. I have pine shavings in my coop and haven't needed to clean it yet (at least since early April). I do have a poopboard under the roost. I plan to change out the shavings before winter and put in fresh. The shavings are about 4-6" deep.
     
  9. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sand will be cold. That's not really the point though. Cold might be the least of the OP's worries. If they have a tiny coop the chickens aren't likely to spend a lot of time in there anyway so poop removal will be a bigger priority. If they have no run or a run that doesn't allow them to get out of the wind and snow then they will be spending more time in the coop so shavings that provide something to scratch around in for enrichment might be a bigger priority.

    Without more information about the specifics of the OP's coop, it makes no sense to offer a suggestion. The OP asked if there was something "easier" to maintain. Since we have no idea how they maintain it now, there's no way to suggest something easier. Plus, something that seems to make it "easier" might actually add more work or headaches further down the line.
     
  10. coshappyhens

    coshappyhens New Egg

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    I have a coop its about 5x5 with 3 nest boxes.. the run is 10x 5 and 6 foot high.. it is covered on the top and will be covered on the sides in the winter. I will also have a lap to keep the warmth in the run.I guess trial and error is my best bet!
     

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