Sand in the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by amillecay, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. amillecay

    amillecay Songster

    Dec 29, 2011
    Is there anyone who puts sand in the coop? I've been looking at doing this for my coop because it sounds soo much easier than wood shavings!! My only problem is that I would have to take out all the sand for the winter because it gets so cold here! (I would put wood shavings in) I guess I could do that because I already do a big cleaning before the winter, it just may be a bit more work. But any way just wondering what you guys think about it.

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I don't think it would be easier, but it is probably more hygienic. You could clean it without tossing all of your sand - which is nice. I would think an entire clean out would be much more work, as sand is heavy!
  3. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    You might want to check out this thread about sand in the coop.

    Based on this thread, I went with sand and love it. I do plan on switching to shavings for the winter months only as it's supposed to be warmer but sand has been wonderful for the summer.
  4. amillecay

    amillecay Songster

    Dec 29, 2011
    That what I was thinking but I've been doing a lot of research on it and it just seems like it help to keep the coop quite a bit more clean, also I live in the city so it really does have to stay clean because of course the neighbors wont want a stinky coop, neither will we!

    The coop wont be huge either, just enough for about 5 chickens. So i'm quite undecided at this point as to what I want to do, I guess it just depends how much work I would like to do on that big yearly cleaning before winter comes.
  5. amillecay

    amillecay Songster

    Dec 29, 2011
    Hmm I think I might just have to do it. I actually had a chicken die this summer because it got so hot, so i'm now looking for ways to keep the coop a bit cooler and sand seems like the way to go!

  6. WildchildT

    WildchildT Hatching

    May 6, 2012
    Sand in the run but not in the coop. I would think sand would be really messy and damp in the coop.

    I did a TON of research online including this forum of the "old timers" who all nearly 100% recommended shavings in the coop and sand in the run. We have a truck and loaded sand in by the ton. After two trips our run was complete and I am extremely happy with the results.

    If you have a small enough coop, I would recommend building a poop board to sit under their roost(s). I put a thin layer of shavings on the board and deep litter the floor of my coop. I dump the poop board contents onto my compost pile about once every month and replenish the shavings (sprinkled with a touch of Diatomaceous Earth for absorption and odor). There is almost no poop in my entire coop floor with this method. When I dump the poop board I take my rake and fluff the coop floor shavings. It takes me about 10-15 minutes total for the entire thing.

    I also go out and rake the sand to pick up the big pieces (not much) and "fluff" the sand to help with breakdown. The sand dries very quickly after it rains (although I also have a roof over my run) along the edges, the chickens love to scratch and dust bathe in it, and it provides them grit. We bought "playground" type sand. Not too fine- you don't want sugar sand which is way too fine and clumps. I read some places to dig down and put larger stones on the bottom then cover with sand for drainage, however I would think that would be a pain in the ***. Eventually the bigger rocks work their way up to the top and then it would be frustrating to rake through that.

    Here's a write up on my coop:

    click on side links for earlier updates. I didn't write up the sand yet.
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Sand isn't going to make it any cooler.
    If your bird died from "heat" it was due to air temperature, and not related to what was covering the floor at all.

    In fact, if the Sun ever shines inside the coop at all, sand could absorb even MORE heat than shavings.

    Think about walking across dry sand on a Sunny day at the beach
  8. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Songster

    May 17, 2012
    Moscow, TN
    I have sand in the floor of my coop, scoop it once a week with a large catbox scooper attached to a long piece of 1/2 cpvc. Stays dry and easy to clean.. Like a catbox basically. Deposit what i scoop in a 5 gallon bucket and then give it away for gardens.

    Good luck
    rbnk1 likes this.
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    That makes a lot of sense! It is much hotter than shavings for sure.

  10. amillecay

    amillecay Songster

    Dec 29, 2011
    Okay well i'm going to disagree there, first of all it wont be shinning in the coop at all and second if you think about it when you dig in the sand it's cooler underneath and chickens like to take dust baths in it so I think it would be good and everyone who i've seen talking about sand in the coop says it's cooler in the summer.

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