Sand ok for winter coop floor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by swamy, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. swamy

    swamy Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm torn about this, not sure what to do.

    Climate is Iowa. I am using general purpose sand for the coop floor. With some very cold temps right around the corner, should a guy switch over to pine shavings or the like to keep the floor warmer?

    My coop is 6X8 for 8 large breeds built on a 5 inch concrete slab. Pretty sure that floor will get might chilly with the concrete/sand.

    Appreciate any responses.
     
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd have them on shavings, but that's just what I would do.

    Sand seems like it would be colder on their feet and suck more of the heat out of them when they lay on it. My chickens like to come into the coop when they get cold and warm up for awhile, then go back out. They could probably tough it out on sand. They can survive a lot of different things. Wood is always warmer to stand on than things like stone or concrete.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    The sand does just fine in my area in the winter.
     
  4. GardenState38

    GardenState38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's Louisiana, right?--what kind of winter temperatures do you get?

    It will be harder to maintain a suitable floor temperature in freezing temperatures with sand than with shavings.
    Shavings that are kept loose and not packed down provide better insulation than sand.
    Many people use a deep litter method with shavings as a way to keep their coops warmer in cold weather.
     
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:That's Louisiana, right?--what kind of winter temperatures do you get?

    It will be harder to maintain a suitable floor temperature in freezing temperatures with sand than with shavings.
    Shavings that are kept loose and not packed down provide better insulation than sand.
    Many people use a deep litter method with shavings as a way to keep their coops warmer in cold weather.

    Yes, Louisiana. We are not cold as other places but if you asked me I think it feels like Anatarica or Russia. We have gotten as low as 19 degrees. Many people say that's not cold at all. [​IMG]

    ETA: I have always so terrified of wood shavings. For some reason, I think the chickens will eat it, smother and die. [​IMG] I'm so paranoid.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  6. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will also be using sand for the first time in the winter. I recon I would observe and make changes as necessary as the weather changes.
     
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just put another bag of sand in my coop a few minutes ago. We have been known to get down to single digits. N Georgia is worse that that. As long as sand is dry I fail to see a problem with sand. Now any loose droppings from night time action will certainly freeze, but that ain't the sands problem. I would think you should use what makes you most comfortable.
     
  8. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

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    Using deep litter method for the coop in the winter sand in the spring. Run is straw for winter and sand in the spring.
     
  9. swamy

    swamy Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks all. We typically see several weeks staying at 0F to -20F or so weather, along with brutal wind and heavy snow. Most winters it gets cold enough that we drive our trucks on the lakes to ice fish.

    I think I'll monitor the situation and adjust accordingly. Heck, should only take 30 minutes or so max to change things out. The conduction of cold through the concrete into the sand and into my birds was my main concern.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a coop built on a concrete slab with sand on top of that. One half of the floor is a piece of plywood. It is raised a few inches off the concrete. I will be putting either wood shavings or straw on top of the plywood for the winter.

    I am in KY. I have spent a winter in Iowa and you get much colder than we do here. Your windchill is definitely much colder than ours.

    I think I would consider at least giving them an area where they can warm up their feet, even if it is just a box of a few square feet with some shavings or something.
     

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