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Kate89

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2020
16
31
33
Hey there
We are just finishing our coop and we have built a walk in one for easier cleaning and we are trying to figure out what is the best to put on the floor?
Straw or sand?
And in the run can we just leave it grass or should we have it sand or straw as well? Or any other ideas

thanks
KatešŸ¤—
 

Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
Premium Feather Member
Dec 4, 2018
1,604
10,314
626
Lakeside, Oregon
Hey there
We are just finishing our coop and we have built a walk in one for easier cleaning and we are trying to figure out what is the best to put on the floor?
Straw or sand?
And in the run can we just leave it grass or should we have it sand or straw as well? Or any other ideas

thanks
KatešŸ¤—
We use pine shavings, but lots of people use sand because it's dry. Dry poops don't smell as much as wet poops. But it *has* to stay dry...you get wet, poopy sand and it's not only stinky but weighs a lot to shovel out. In the run, you can leave it grass. Then, when the hens have eaten/scratched/dust bathed it down to bare dirt, you can put down sand or straw. We use the deep litter method, so we just shovel the pine shavings out the door of the coop into the run. The chickens scratch it around. We had weeds (some of which was alfalfa, yay!) and they ate them down to pretty much nothing. Now we toss in a bucket of compost from the bottom of the compost pile, and random weeds with seeds and garden trimmings. They eat/scratch/pull and it goes down to nothing. Rinse...repeat....they love it all!


Welcome to BackYardChickens! So glad to have you here in our wonderful community of friendly, helpful, knowledgeable people!
 

Kate89

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2020
16
31
33
We use pine shavings, but lots of people use sand because it's dry. Dry poops don't smell as much as wet poops. But it *has* to stay dry...you get wet, poopy sand and it's not only stinky but weighs a lot to shovel out. In the run, you can leave it grass. Then, when the hens have eaten/scratched/dust bathed it down to bare dirt, you can put down sand or straw. We use the deep litter method, so we just shovel the pine shavings out the door of the coop into the run. The chickens scratch it around. We had weeds (some of which was alfalfa, yay!) and they ate them down to pretty much nothing. Now we toss in a bucket of compost from the bottom of the compost pile, and random weeds with seeds and garden trimmings. They eat/scratch/pull and it goes down to nothing. Rinse...repeat....they love it all!

Welcome to BackYardChickens! So glad to have you here in our wonderful community of friendly, helpful, knowledgeable people!
Thanks!!!
 

Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
Premium Feather Member
Dec 4, 2018
1,604
10,314
626
Lakeside, Oregon
I like to get a big load of wood chips from a local tree cutter.
We did that too, but let the stack of chips age for a year to avoid aspergillis. If there is no green in your wood chips, it's my understanding that the chips are ok to use right away, but the 'wood chipper guys' suggested we age it a year to make sure because the chips were still mostly green wood and not dry.
 

Tamdog

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
423
1,528
196
We did that too, but let the stack of chips age for a year to avoid aspergillis. If there is no green in your wood chips, it's my understanding that the chips are ok to use right away, but the 'wood chipper guys' suggested we age it a year to make sure because the chips were still mostly green wood and not dry.
_____________________________________
Opps, I threw the chips in when they were only about 3 months old- I did not know they had to age. Well, so far all the chickens are doing well.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,285
126,450
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
How long to age the chips depends on more than a few variables.
Some chips could be nothing but dirt after a year.
Got to use your eyes, Observe and Adjust.
Best to peel outer layer off pile and spread thinly(1-2") in run.
Mix in other dry plant matter if chips are 'green/wet'.


What kind of bedding you use may depend on how you manage the manure.
This is about cleaning, but covers my big picture
-I use poop boards under roosts with thin(<1/2") layer of sand/PDZ mix, sifted daily(takes 5-10mins) into bucket going to friends compost.
-Scrape big or wet poops off roost and ramps as needed.
-Pine shavings on coop floor, add some occasionally, totally changed out once or twice a year, old shavings added to run.
- My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.
Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.
-Nests are bedded with straw, add some occasionally, change out if needed(broken egg).
There is no odor, unless a fresh cecal has been dropped and when I open the bucket to add more poop.
That's how I keep it 'clean', have not found any reason to clean 'deeper' in 5 years.
 

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