Sand floor just isn't cutting it

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CandiceN, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. CandiceN

    CandiceN Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    We have had our 4 chickens outside in their new coop for about a month. We have sand on the floor, because I've read it's easy to clean. Well it's not, lol! I tried using a litter scoop or a rake, but it just makes a mess. I am considering moving to deep litter.

    anyone with a sand floored coop have suggestions to make it easier? Or should I just give up and go to shavings? For 4 chickens, in an 8X4 coop, it shouldn't be so much work to keep it from getting so gross. I found an egg in a big pile of poop under the roost today. [​IMG] It's starting to smell bad, too, which I know is not good for them.

    These are some messy little creatures. They've eaten all the grass in their run and have dug several holes, which of course fill with rainwater and create mud puddles, which they just love to talk around in. Eww! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  2. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I'm really happy with the pine shavings. I sprinkle DE with the chips. I clean the coop and run out at least twice a day, most the time more. I have sand in the run. I also use a litter box scooper to clean the poo. We don't smell the chickens at all and our coop is inside our garage. Cleaning takes about 5 minutes top. I fully remove the pine every month, and I only add enough to barely cover the floor after I do a full cleaning. We talked about using sand in the coop, but we figured it would be messier and have more of a smell.
  3. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    We use only sand and sprinkle it with DE raking and scooping as needed. It stays cooler here in FL for them as well.
  4. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    We use about 4 inches of pine shavings in the coop and only clean it about once a week by taking off the top layer of poop under the roosts. We add DE and occasionally throw in some scratch to let the girls churn up the litter. No problem with odor or ammonia.

    You may want to try adding pine shavings on top of the sand in the coop. It can more easily trap the poop and make it easier to scoop off.

    We use sand in the run with some DE and pine shavings added. Very rarely does it smell. Only when it gets wet form rain going under the covered run. I would have to be there 24/7 to remove the poop before it gets ground into the sand with their feet. The only thing I've done to the run is rake out what pine shavings I can on top and add a fresh thin layer of pine shavings.
  5. sab

    sab Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    Do you have water in the coop? I found that water in a sand coop makes a mess. I only have water in the run now and the sand cleans nicely.
  6. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

    Sep 1, 2010
    Does your sand form a crust on top and pack hard? I think it makes a huge difference if it is that kind of sand or the kind that stays loose all the time.
  7. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    If you are talking about a closed in coop deep litter method is best. If you put sand in an open run it works best. Sand wasnt intended for closed spaces. I have sand in all my open spaces and works wonderful for drying out fast and rake-able cleaning. But used in enclosed spaces is a serious mess. Hope that helps.
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I like shavings in the coop too. I bed the whole coop but I just scatter a thin layer under the roosts and rake that up each morning. That seems to be where most of the poops are and the little bit in the rest of the coop dries out quickly in the shavings. I rarely rake out the whole thing, maybe twice or three times a year.
  9. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    I'm several months into sand in the the coop & I'm still happy with it.
    I've had mostly the same sand in my coop since May 1. That's 2 1/2 months. I have about 2 inches down, and I turn it & rake it every few days, scooping the poop 3x/week. I do have a separate trough made of boards under the roost, filled with pine shavings & DE & fencing wire on top so they don't nest in it. Maybe that trough makes a big difference, because when I scoop the poop piles out of the trough --every other day in the summer, daily in the winter, there is a big wet pile of shavings under the poop. I take out all the wet & put in more shavings when they're low. So most of the birds poop in the shavings at night, and make some little poos in the morning when they're eating before I let them out.
    I used play sand last fall when I first had the coop. It got an ammonia smell & compacted with moisture right away.
    This spring I ordered coarse grade sand for the coop & run. It drains much better in the run & it stays rakeable & scoopabl in the coop The first month I d more ammonia smell with it, but I added DE to it, raked it a lot, and even used a leaf blower monthly to blow out the dust & some of the finer sand. After a break-in period, my coarse sand has achieved a sort of balance where it doesn't build up an ammonia odor at all as long as & rake it frequently, scoop the poo 3-4x/week, and add DE once a month, plus blow it around a bit. My coop is 6 x 8 and houses 20 smaller bantams. Around October 15th I'll shovel the sand into the run & use wood shavings for the winter for warmth & dryness.
  10. LisaAnnW

    LisaAnnW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2011
    I use hay in my coop, and a layer of coarse sand with landscaping gravel on top in my run. If the hens dig down through the gravel - like they have in the corner - they can take a nice dustbath. The hay smells good, is cheaper than shavings, and breaks down quicker in the compost pile. Cleaning is weekly, and mostly consists of changing the hay, picking up feathers, and hosing off the perch area. Once a year we shovel out the gravel and sand and start fresh.

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