Sand vs. Deep litter. Let's solve this

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Uncle Marc, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Uncle Marc

    Uncle Marc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    Poplar Grove Kentucky
    I hope to make some real progress this weekend on building our coop. I had read and pretty much decided on setting it up for deep litter method until I read the thread on using sand instead.

    My coop is 12 x 16 and we hope to house 12-15 hens. Our coop is three feet off the ground with a dirt run beneath. The floor will be 3/4. Plywood. I plan to put vinyl down over the plywood.

    Is there a definitive preference between sand and wood shavings? In my situation I want to clean the coop as little as possible. I'm not looking for pets, I'm looking for eggs.


    By the way out of that 12 x 16 we will have a 10 x 6 egg room so the coop will be 6 x 16 with a roosting area which is 6 x 6.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Quote:I tried sand for a while, hated it. But lots of people love it. Been doing deep litter now for two years and clean the coop out twice a year. That's more my speed. [​IMG] One of my coops is vinyl over plywood also. Another is just plain wood and the third is on dirt.
    1 person likes this.
  3. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    At an aviary we worked at, the enclosures I liked most had easy to rake/scoop out sand. Easy to clean, easy to enrich the birds. Dirt enclosures packed down and needed constant tilling. Concrete/hard floors could be sprayed down easily enough, but the birds didn't enjoy them as much and scrubbing the floors was awful when things did start growing on them. Any sort of shavings/wood chip enclosures...I hated. D: They got everwhere, and had to have special care taken during wet weather. I just personally would rather do a quick rake up (like scooping a litter box) through sand every 1-2 days, and not have to worry so much about dampness, etc effecting the birds. I also hate deep cleaning, and there was much less work involved in doing a deep clean of a sand enclosure than any other kind. But, that is just me. Different methods exist precisely because people like different things. [​IMG]

    The drawbacks of sand:
    -It will not add warmth/insulation to your coop like hay, etc will
    -You have to choose a kind that will not kick up dust, or that can have negative health effects on you as well as your birds
    -It should be replaced if it gets very cement like, which is heavy, hard work
  4. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2009
    I prefer deep litter..........
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Use shavings inside and sand outside
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    For me it depends on what time of the year it is. Summer, I like sand helps keep the birds cool. Winter, I add pine shavings in the coop & leaves in their run.
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:That shouldn't happen if you use the right kind of sand to begin with: one with low fines content. If the sand clumps when it gets a bit wet, or even when it's dry, it's not the right kind of sand.
  8. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I've been so many of these sand vs ! discussions I'll let y'all hash this out. I know what works for me and what I want, and I have it.
  9. eggdd

    eggdd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Quote:That shouldn't happen if you use the right kind of sand to begin with: one with low fines content. If the sand clumps when it gets a bit wet, or even when it's dry, it's not the right kind of sand.

    what is the right kind?
  10. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I go with deep litter(Pine shavings). I clean out and replace the shavings twice a year. In between those cleanings, I'll dump a fresh bag in as needed ( As the shavings break down). I let the chickens do the work of keeping the bedding turned over by throwing a few handfulls of scratch in there and let the chickens do what they love to do, as in eat scratch and dig around. You can't get much easier then that. With sand you have to go in there everyday with your catlitter scoop, sift around and dig out the crap. Not what I want to do.
    Dani & Mikey likes this.

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