Sand as Coop Bedding?

do you live in New England and use sand as bedding?

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In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2018
I have read some articles recently about using sand as bedding inside our chicken coop and I'm looking for some feedback/more information/answers about this method. We are currently using the deep litter method with straw in our coop but it gets pretty smelly after a few weeks and its hard to keep clean. I Also hear that straw retains moisture which can lead to problems in the winter months. That's why I'm considering switching to sand. However, I'm concerned that sand will not help to keep the chicken coop warm like the straw does during the harsh winter months in New England. Has anyone found success using sand in their coops? Does it really make a difference with the smell? Is my coop going to be too cold? If you have any experience or feedback I would love to hear from you.


Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
The Big Island/Hawaii
Instead of straw try pine shavings & sprinkle PDZ (used for horse stalls) .... When doing DLM, it's been advised to use several different bedding. I use pine shavings & ferment my feed so no stink & LOVE IT! There's a thread here on what material (dried leaves, wood chips, yard clippings, etc.... ) to use. I don't like straw as it's harder for me to work with.


Mar 22, 2016
Mid Michigan
Sand isn't a 'bedding' material. It's great for the coop floor when cleaned on a regular basis.
Straw is nice in the winter as it makes a nice insulator for the chickens... just keep it dry.
Pine shavings and PDZ are another great option.
I like to use a sand poop board under my roosts and straw in nest boxes with pine shavings on the floor.
You can always experiment with any or all and see what you and your flock prefer.
Good luck!


Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
The Big Island/Hawaii
I use PDZ in my poop board, LOVE poop board :love Makes for fast easy cleaning. I use shavings in my nest box & ground, works great for me. FF really is less poop, no stink (except the cecal) & firmer so easy "pick up" in the shavings .... Yes, I do walk my enclosure picking up the "larger" poo (long tongs) when I see any.


May 30, 2018
I use sand in my coop. This will be my first winter so am wondering if it will be warm enough in the winter. I am in Northern California so we don’t get a lot of nights that freeze. I keep sand on my poop board as well. My chickens sleep on the poop board and not on their roost. They sleep with their heads sticking out of the small coop door. I’m worried this will be to cold for them this winter. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Pak Rat

Oct 28, 2018
NW Washington, US
I have no experience with sand as a bedding, but I use it as a substrate for other animals and I find that if there is a heat lamp/ other heat source the sand retains that warmth very well. Better than any other substrate I use.


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