Sand for poop board: what type?

Eelantha

Songster
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Mar 11, 2018
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I want to try using sand for the poop board of one of the roosting perches in my chicken shed... but the brands suggested in other posts seem to be unavailable in my country. Or at least not available in the same brands, which leaves me unsure of the quality offered by the brands that are available here (I don't want another run-in with coccidiosis). Which means I'll either have to create my own type of sand, or fetch something as close to the brands suggested here as I can get my hands on. I'll also say right now that despite having read the word several times, I have no idea what PDZ means, or what it does. Is PDZ vital to using sand on poop boards, or is sand alone enough to do the job? Also, what kind of sand should I look for? (fine or coarse, sterile or not, dry or wet, etc?)

Lastly, any catches or warnings I should be aware of about using sand for the poop boards?

Any advice would be very appreciated. Thanks!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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I want to try using sand for the poop board of one of the roosting perches in my chicken shed... but the brands suggested in other posts seem to be unavailable in my country. Or at least not available in the same brands, which leaves me unsure of the quality offered by the brands that are available here (I don't want another run-in with coccidiosis). Which means I'll either have to create my own type of sand, or fetch something as close to the brands suggested here as I can get my hands on. I'll also say right now that despite having read the word several times, I have no idea what PDZ means, or what it does. Is PDZ vital to using sand on poop boards, or is sand alone enough to do the job? Also, what kind of sand should I look for? (fine or coarse, sterile or not, dry or wet, etc?)

Lastly, any catches or warnings I should be aware of about using sand for the poop boards?

Any advice would be very appreciated. Thanks!
PDZ is basically zeolite, which is a mineral that absorbs odors and neutralizes ammonia. You'll want something that is granular not powdered. Again, you can find this under different names. It is also sold in the States as Stall Dry. It is not vital but it sure does keep the odors at bay. I had someone remark to me in a somewhat shocked tone that they were surprised my coop didn't stink as I have 29 chickens.
You can used any washed sand. Look for something that is NOT extra fine or fine. Some concrete sands are good. There may be some coarser pieces in it but that's not a big deal. The sand is usually a little damp if purchased as a washed sand in a bag. It dries pretty quickly when it is spread out on the poop board.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
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Jun 23, 2013
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I use PDZ = no smell, no flies, my neighbors surrounding me did not know I had any chickens. I also do a thick layer of shavings on the clay dirt ground, sprinkle PDZ, pick up the big stuff & add more shavings as needed. Change out completely between "flocks" ... I'm allowed maximum 6 but usually keep 4 in a 8 x 12 x 7 Chicken House.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
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Sand is heavy, stinks and doesn't absorb stuff (in my humid location it also doesn't dry out) in addition to being heavy and a terrible additive to compost or gardening.

I like Sweet PDZ and rice hulls is my preferred combo... Noting that even a plain droppings board with nothing but droppings is far better than having it on your coop floor! It's still easy to scoop. Dobie gave good info.. it's found usually in the equine section at feed stores.

I got a whole truck load of washed river sand... I don't even like it in my run or my coop. :hmm Semi deep litter has eliminated the smell that comes around the edges of my covered run when it rains which is very often... verses when it was just dirt. Dirt breeds bad bacteria. Leaves, grass, hay, shavings... all the stuff added into DL brings an invitation for all kinds of good microbes and bacteria to fight/balance the bad stuff.

:fl

Now all that sand is basically grit.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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Sand is heavy, stinks and doesn't absorb stuff (in my humid location it also doesn't dry out) in addition to being heavy and a terrible additive to compost or gardening.

I like Sweet PDZ and rice hulls is my preferred combo... Noting that even a plain droppings board with nothing but droppings is far better than having it on your coop floor! It's still easy to scoop. Dobie gave good info.. it's found usually in the equine section at feed stores.

I got a whole truck load of washed river sand... I don't even like it in my run or my coop. :hmm Semi deep litter has eliminated the smell that comes around the edges of my covered run when it rains which is very often... verses when it was just dirt. Dirt breeds bad bacteria. Leaves, grass, hay, shavings... all the stuff added into DL brings an invitation for all kinds of good microbes and bacteria to fight/balance the bad stuff.

:fl

Now all that sand is basically grit.
Where do you source rice hulls?
 

SueT

Enabler
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May 27, 2015
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PDZ (zeolite) is also sold as"Horse Fresh". I use it alone on poop boards.it doesn't have to be more than a thin layer, 1/2" is fine. I get a 25 lb bag for $8.99 and it lasts a long time.
 

Eelantha

Songster
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Mar 11, 2018
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Quebec (Qc)
@DobbieLover - I'm not sure we have washed sand here in Quebec, but I'll take a closer look and see what the stores have to offer. I'm thankful to know I must not buy fine sand, as I almost did so yesterday before thinking twice about it. By 'washed' sand do you mean sterilized sand, or is it literally just sand that was passed through some water and then sold as such, or something else? What clues do I look for on the label to make sure I'm looking at the right thing? (I must be able to tell the difference to a sales vendor, lest I end up with the wrong product.)

@EggSighted4Life - Rice hulls, huh? I'll look into that, since my coop gets humid very easily. To my knowledge, I have not heard of rice hulls being sold around here, but I could be wrong. Is washed sand horse-related only, or a general product?

PDZ - or zeolite, as it's called - does not seem available in my area. Do you guys know if Sweet PDZ and Lucerne Farms ship their products to Canada?

And along that note, @SueT, where do you source your PDZ?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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I like Sweet PDZ and rice hulls is my preferred combo
You can sift the poops out of rice hulls?

PDZ - or zeolite, as it's called - does not seem available in my area. Do you guys know if Sweet PDZ and Lucerne Farms ship their products to Canada?
Unfortunately I do not thing granulated zeolite is available in Canada, shipping and duty taxes would make it ridiculously expensive.
There's been discussion of this, can't remember if they found a source.
This Canada chat thread is not too active:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/canadians-check-in-here.144/page-482
Maybe @Kris5902 might know where the Canadians hang out?
 

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