Sand for Chicken bedding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HuskerHens18, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. A friend of mine breeds chickens, she has a lot of coops and uses sand for bedding. It seems really cheap and simple to clean.
    I would like to do this also, but I want YOUR expertise.

    Do I need a specific type of Sand?

    Do I need to mix anything in the sand?

    If I scoop it like cat litter, do I still need to do 100% bedding changes?

    Are there any risks?

    Will it work well in summer heat and winter freezes?

    Anything else I should know?
    I have about 20+ chickens per coop. I brood in the garage, which I would still plan on using pine shavings unless sand works for babies.
  2. SavKel&RynKel

    SavKel&RynKel Free Ranging

    Mar 16, 2018
    Bay Area, California
    My Coop
    HuskerHens18 likes this.
  3. Mmm popcorn :D
  4. Do you think I could use popcorn as bedding? :gig
  5. Mechtel8989

    Mechtel8989 In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2018
    Akeley, mn
    Does sand freeze? Not really, it does not hold water like dirt. I work outside even in the winter and the sand on the lake shore this winter was not frozen. I could still make boot marks and dig in it, about 2' away was the frozen lake. I live in northern MN
    HuskerHens18 likes this.
  6. HenHouse4Life

    HenHouse4Life GrandmaOnDuty

    Mar 22, 2016
    Mid Michigan
    :popwhile I'm eating popcorn I'll give this one a go lol....
    I prefer sand and dirt in my run only. I like to use the deep litter method using pine shavings in the coop and a poop board under the roost . The chickens don't really poop much inside the coop as they are in the run most of the day. The poop board can easily be scraped off in the mornings when they go out.
    Everyone has a method that works well for them and you'll find yours too!
    Best wishes!
    HuskerHens18 likes this.
  7. I free range so the only "run" I have would be the bantam pens. But in winter and while I'm away, they stay inside. I have rib damage and it makes cleaning the coop painful and take longer, so I've always tried to get help and/or find ways to make it easier.
    A poop board would be a great idea! I should look into that.
    What kind of sand do you use in the run? Is it just any sand you could buy at Menards, or is it a certain kind?
  8. lissalischicks

    lissalischicks Songster

    Jan 31, 2016
    Los Angeles, California
    I use sand in my coop and I love it. I scoop up the poop every day with an extendable cat little scooper. I use all purpose sand. I have heard don't use play sand and sand make with silicia. I occasionally with mix Sweet PDZ in the sand. I also use Sweet PDZ under the roosting bars as it helps get rid of the ammonia in the poop.

    I have had my sand for 2 years and will be changing out the sand this year so they have clean sand but that is my preference. I have heard some people change it every year.

    One thing i love about the sand is when it is raining and the girls can't free range, I hide treats in the sand and cover it. That gives them something to do and not be bored.

    In the summer when it gets over 100 here where I am, I spray water onto the sand and cover it. The girls will then give themselves a hole and sit in it to cool themselves down.

    Having that been said, I have never had anything but sand so my answer may be bias.... but I still vote for sand LOL
  9. Do you think it could change the coop tempature at all?
    One of my coops is metal, so it gets super cold in winter and super hot in summer. My only concern would be, will the sand amplify the current coop tempature?
    You know, like sand at the beach is hot during the day and cold at night. That's what I'm thinking of.
  10. Ahh that sounds wonderful! Thank you so much! That's what I needed to hear. I have had an injury since 2010 and it's made it a nightmare to clean the coops, my last cleaning had me in tears. So when I saw my breeder used sand it seemed perfect. Im so happy right now LOL all because of sand. Thank you!!!! :hugs
    Sparcleus and SavKel&RynKel like this.

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