Sand, Mulch, DG or ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cathy R., Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Sands the best

    3 vote(s)
  2. I use mulch or hay

    3 vote(s)
  3. DG or pea gravel works

    0 vote(s)
  4. Other

    4 vote(s)
  1. Cathy R.

    Cathy R. In the Brooder

    Dec 28, 2017
    San Diego, CA
    Hi, I'm getting two hens soon and I'm preparing a part of my yard for the coop, their run and a small, secure enclosure when they're not roaming in the yard. Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens suggests 2" of sand as a good base for the pen. I looked online and Quikcrete, a manufacturer of sand for masonry and children's sandboxes, warns that it's toxic. They recommend keeping it wet to avoid inhaling too much dust. I can't think that's good for chickens. I live in Sunny San Diego so there's not much rain. However neighbors who use mulch seem to have a tough time keeping it clean and dry. Right now I have pea gravel over blackout paper over the Earth. Other options are compost or mulch from the City Greenery or DG from the local Building Supply. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  2. lissalischicks

    lissalischicks Songster

    Jan 31, 2016
    Los Angeles, California
    I recommend sand and use all purpose sand and it's awesome. My friend has hay/pine shaving and she always complained about the smell. I never felt I had a problem with smell and cleaning was a lot easier. I use a cat litter scooper to scoop up their poop. I also mix my sand with sweet PDZ which I think helps with the smell. It's also great because when it rains outside they are able to still dust bath inside the run. I will also hide treats in the sand and they will spend the day digging out the treats.
    SwtGrc, rbnk1 and bluebird like this.
  3. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I absolutely LOVE shavings for dry (quail, chickens, turkeys) fowl. They are easy to aerate (thus use the deep litter method) with, easy to deal with and quick to compost. They are cheap in my area ($4 CAD for 6 cubic feet). They smell nice and are so versatile:)
    For wet fowl (ducks geese etc) I far prefer wood pellets or straw. Hay will get moldy so it needs to be replaced more often. Shavings get far too soggy with waterfowl as they absorb moisture well.
  4. TattooedChicks

    TattooedChicks Songster

    Jan 21, 2017
    Kansas City
    I have sand as a coop floor with my bantams, it stays nice and dry and there is never any smell. It’s a small area so it’s easy to clean and a spritz of water keeps the dust down while I scoop all the poop out. I use straw and leaf mulch in the run that they help me compost for the garden.
  5. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Songster

    Jan 16, 2016
  6. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Songster

    Jan 16, 2016
    Some people have had problems with impacted croups due to sand impaction. I would never use it as my horse died from sand impaction.
  7. bluebird

    bluebird Crowing

    Feb 4, 2008
    My Coop
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I use deep litter. I have no idea what DG is. I simply use grass clippings, leaves, wood chips, garden debris, hay... all from untreated sources. My aim is to keep the litter in the run a minimum of 6" deep. This is hard to do b/c the stuff composts down so quickly. If you are using a prefab coop/run, this most likely wouldn't work b/c the prefabs are woefully inadequate to provide enough space (s.f. in addition to height) to allow the benefit of DL. Do your homework before investing in any prefab coop. A chicken should have a bare minimum of 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in the run per bird. More space than that is even better. There also needs to be sufficient height to allow the bird to feel safe when perching.

    For the record: I am greatly opposed to the use of sand for bedding in either coop or run.
    nminusyplusm and blackdog043 like this.
  9. Cathy R.

    Cathy R. In the Brooder

    Dec 28, 2017
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks. How often do you sug
  10. Ms Biddy

    Ms Biddy One chicken short of crazy

    Dec 4, 2017
    My Coop
    We use shavings inside the coop and straw in the run. Both are lightweight and easy to remove later. Some people really love sand, but I'm not sure I'd want to go to the effort of shoveling it out when it gets stinky.

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