Sand under roosts over whole floor of a raised coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PouleChick, Jan 13, 2019 at 4:15 PM.

  1. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

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    Hi, I have a funny 2 story coop - all they do is sleep upstairs and access the nesting box, downstairs is really only used while standing to be let out in the morning and for a bit of shelter sometimes if it is pelting down. I currently use shavings in the coop up and down. With them obviously being asleep a lot longer at the moment and the chooks being older so doing bigger poos and I have too many really for the space but havne't had time to build my big walk in coop yet (I know my bad - chicken maths got me!) it is really hard work keeping on top of the poop. I find it really difficult to seperate the poop off the shavings so end up just mixing in and putting more on top or pulling a whole heap out which in one way is fine as it will get used in the garden but it is costing lots to keep changing it all the time and taking lots of time.

    I've not been sold on sand as a floor covering in a coop or run but wondering if in my situation if it would work well to have the upstairs roosting area totally sand covered? Would it be easy to rake the poop every day or 2 if I did this or will it be a worse nightmare than the shavings? My other concern is thatsome of them seem to still sleep on the floor and not the roosts (but it is in a corner I cna't easily get to to lift them on) - is this a huge problem on sand? Would love any other ideas anyone may have. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    I use shavings in my henhouse. I clean the whole henhouse out every 2-3 months. I occasionally add more shavings and stir in the poop but that’s it.
    If you have enough ventilation your birds will be fine with the poop building up.
     
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  3. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

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    Thanks, It seems to get caked though pretty quick, kind of under the top layer of shavings which grosses me out for them! ideally I'd love to have them on fresh clean bedding every day but obviously that isnt' going to happen - they'll just poo on it! I'm sure half the problem is too many of them in there. Maybe I'll jst stick with it and keep adding on the top layer then change out the lot every couple of months as I've been doing, but maybe more often over the winter. It was much dryer in the summer with the heat! There shoudl be enough ventilation for them.

    Going to do a seperate post about putting up an open ended (3 sided) temporary coop to move some of them into!
     
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I use sand, well zeolite(PDZ), on poop board and sift the whole thing clear of poops every day. Some of my birds sleep right on the board.
    I wouldn't try to lift poops out of shavings.
     
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  5. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

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    See I dont' have time to do it everyday - crazy house mid renovations, 3 kids, a hubby with fibromyalgia so I worry that it wouldn't be as forgiving as the shavings if I didnt' get to it for a few days.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Then sand might not be a good choice.
     
  7. I started out with pine shavings on my poops boards. Then one day I switched to PDZ about 1/4" deep. I'll never go back to shavings on the poop board. I use a pooper scooper every 2-3 days and sift it and level the thin layer of PDZ back out adding more as needed if even needed. What a space saver, cut back big time on my waste pile. The pine chips we're building up a nice mound. Give it a go if it doesn't work you can always go back.
     
  8. Anaray

    Anaray Chirping

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    I have a mixture of sand and flax bedding. I find it easier to handle than shavings, plus it composts quicker.
    The (regular cheap play) sand keeps the poop from sticking and the flax absorbs moisture nicely.

    I would think you can get flax or hemp shavings in France. A big bag for horses is not that expensive (in Germany) and goes a long way.
     
  9. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    Hang some brackets then put removable poop boards where they poop. Scrape the poopboards into a bucket. I can’t tell if this will work I’m trying to imagine what your coop is like.
     
  10. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Songster

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    What's nice about PDZ (zeolite) is that it not only absorbs moisture but it also forms a weak chemical bond with nitrogen, so it locks up a lot of the ammonia from the birds poop. This not only keeps the coop from smelling as bad it also creates a healthier environment for the chickens. It will continue to do this regardless if you scoop it out daily or every few days. If you compost the zeolite will actually help as it slowly releases the nitrogen into the mix.

    A fifty pound bag costs about $6 at TSC and will easily cover 30 square feet a few inches deep. I have two 6 x 1.5 foot trays servicing ten chickens and one bag will last nearly a month before it gets to thin. Most gets stuck to the poop but some gets kicked onto the floor where it still does it's job keeping the bedding odor free. Most people are amazed that my coop doesn't smell bad even though I have ten chickens living in it.
     
    Nibarlan likes this.

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