4yearsofchickens

Songster
Sep 22, 2020
265
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South Central Pennsylvania
I am thinking about building a bantam house next year and was going to try some new things with it since it will be smaller(I don't plan on getting many). My basic design that I'm tossing around is frame of pallets (we have tons) covered with painted plywood with a floor and just sit it on the ground, and have the roof lift off or lift up to clean it. I thought then that if I had it on the ground I might try using sand as the litter instead of shavings (what I'm using now) I assume it works kind of like kitty litter? Has/is anyone doing that? Do you recommend it? I thought it might be easier using that than buying and disposing shavings.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
1,454
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Lincolnton, NC
We did sand for years, but that requires scooping everyday... and you have to have a large garbage can to collect the waste everyday, and that gets smelly and then there’s the issue of where to dump it? We just switched to pine shavings and are doing the deep litter method with and so far it has cut my morning routine in half. The pine shavings will slowly decompose the waste over time and be much less smelly / less flies. We are planning on replacing everything every 6 months or so. To be considered, we also have 50 chickens...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
and have the roof lift off or lift up to clean it.
Can't imagine reaching over a 40"(?) pallet wall to clean the floor.
Being on the ground the sand would not likely stay dry enough to sift easily....
....and damp poop stinks(you can never get all the poop out of the sand).
Not a sand fan, I do use PDZ on the poop boards, but that's a different scenario.
 

4yearsofchickens

Songster
Sep 22, 2020
265
789
121
South Central Pennsylvania
that requires scooping everyday... and you have to have a large garbage can to collect the waste everyday, and that gets smelly and then there’s the issue of where to dump it?
I'm thinking I would only have 6 bantams at the most so I don't think I would have to clean it every day. I have a compost pile and a garden so I would have no problem disposing of it. My compost pile is already overwhelmed by the shavings from my larger hen house
Can't imagine reaching over a 40"(?) pallet wall to clean the floor.
sorry should have mentioned that they are not full size pallets, they are as long but not quite as tall.. the building would only be about waist height?
 

yakitori

Songster
Jun 22, 2020
559
953
171
New York
I have expanded pine pellets in mine, functions like sand but 100% compostable. Also absorbs moisture *very* well.

If I’m lazy I just mix the poop in and scoop every other day.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
Jul 26, 2008
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My Coop
I also cringe at the thought of having to open a roof and bend down to clean.

A raised coop with a wall that opens like a door is easier, and then you can just slide all of the bedding into a wheelbarrow.

I tried sand once in a wood floored coop... eh....

I prefer wood chips/shavings.

You could however, make the entire coop floor be a PDZ tray, that would work great.
 

4yearsofchickens

Songster
Sep 22, 2020
265
789
121
South Central Pennsylvania
I have been doing the research and I think I'll go with sand. I have not been totally satisfied with shavings in the past- I live in a humid area and they are always wet or damp it seems like. I found this article and others on sand and I really thought it made sense. https://the-chicken-chick.com/chick...of sand in,decomposing straw or wood shavings.
As for being hard to clean, I would not plan on cleaning any more than once a month? I would not have more than 6 chickens and they would be outside almost all the time. The height of the coop would not be more than 45 in. I would use some sort of sifter on a stick so no bending down. Thanks everyone for your input!
 

4yearsofchickens

Songster
Sep 22, 2020
265
789
121
South Central Pennsylvania
Reading some of the other threads on here about this, I should also mention that I am planning on getting feathered leg birds, and I don't want a bunch of shavings sticking to them. Also cost is a factor for me. These chickens wouldn't really be earning their keep (being bantams I don't think the eggs would sell well) and sand seems like it would be cheaper in the long run.
 

black_cat

being chased by a chicken army
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2020
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Connecticut
Reading some of the other threads on here about this, I should also mention that I am planning on getting feathered leg birds, and I don't want a bunch of shavings sticking to them. Also cost is a factor for me. These chickens wouldn't really be earning their keep (being bantams I don't think the eggs would sell well) and sand seems like it would be cheaper in the long run.
I have heard about sand freezing in the winter. When I get shavings from TSC it's $6.99 for 8 cubic feet of shavings, which lasts me a while. Personally, I think that it is better to get shavings, but it's your decision.
 

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