sand Vs wood shavings in coops ?

chickenman100

Hatching
8 Years
Feb 27, 2011
7
0
7
ah sometimes shavings can have a negative effect on chickens !! mainly because of the dust ! id advise to sand ! i use oil seed rape straw !
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bantyhen'sfriend

Songster
10 Years
Mar 22, 2009
233
9
121
Southern Wisconsin
We use shavings because it is what we have always used. I live in WI, and my biggest concern with sand is, does it get cold in the winter? Does it trap moisture? If the chickens spill water, wouldn't the water freeze the sand into stone until the next thaw? How does wet sand work in the coop? Sometimes our waterers get tipped or leak, and it's easy to remove soaked shavings, is it also easy to remove wet sand? Does anyone who has chickens on sand in harsh winters have any input?
 

AccentOnHakes

Songster
10 Years
Oct 2, 2009
1,333
15
151
bantyhen'sfriend :

We use shavings because it is what we have always used. I live in WI, and my biggest concern with sand is, does it get cold in the winter? Does it trap moisture? If the chickens spill water, wouldn't the water freeze the sand into stone until the next thaw? How does wet sand work in the coop? Sometimes our waterers get tipped or leak, and it's easy to remove soaked shavings, is it also easy to remove wet sand? Does anyone who has chickens on sand in harsh winters have any input?

I have heard that fine sand clumps up after it gets wet and turns into a giant block.
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Coarse sand is better, but I'm not sure if your waterer tips over and freezes...​
 

elmo

Crowing
13 Years
May 23, 2009
4,908
281
376
DFW
bantyhen'sfriend :

We use shavings because it is what we have always used. I live in WI, and my biggest concern with sand is, does it get cold in the winter? Does it trap moisture? If the chickens spill water, wouldn't the water freeze the sand into stone until the next thaw? How does wet sand work in the coop? Sometimes our waterers get tipped or leak, and it's easy to remove soaked shavings, is it also easy to remove wet sand? Does anyone who has chickens on sand in harsh winters have any input?

Yes, shavings will give you more insulating effect than sand. Chickens can even nestle into a big bank of shavings to help keep themselves warm. Can't do that with sand.

Water won't freeze sand into stone, but water will freeze itself. I would imagine the same would be true of water soaked shavings if it's cold enough for water to freeze inside the coop. When I spill some water in the and in my coop, I either scoop out the clump with the same scoop I use to remove droppings, or just let it dry on its own.

I live in North Texas and although we sometimes get freezing weather, our winters are generally mild. For us, sand in the coop works great.​
 

kuntrygirl

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
22,031
804
461
Opelousas, Louisiana
Speaking from first had experience with Sand (Washed Sand), I would say SAND SAND SAND all the way. My uncovered run is 28 feet long - 10 feet wide. Below is a pic of the run with sand when I first put the sand down. The run is open with no roof, so it rains in there all the time. I have not had any trouble with clumping or anything else. We had temps as low as 19 degrees and still no problems. The sand did not get cold with the 19 degree temps. The sand did not trap moisture. The sand did not freeze and turn into stone when water was spilled. You really can't tell that the sand is wet. I actually walked in the run with no shoes to confirm rumors that I had previously heard about sand. There is no reason to remove the sand. Just use a pooper scooper to remove the poop. And the sand never washed away when it rained.

I am110% satisfied with washed sand.

Pic of sand in run 6 weeks ago when the sand was first put in.
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This is a pic of the same area that you see above. This pic was taken 30 minutes ago. The only thing that I do to the sand is to go in and poop scoop where the birds poop. They love roosting on the tree and you can see a circular area on the ground in the middle of the pic. The reason that area looks like that is because I go to scoop up the poop. The rest of the area has been untouched for 6 weeks.
6612_run_002.jpg


ETA: 3 yards of sand (enough to fill the back of a Chevrolet pick up to the TOP and then some) only costs $20.00. I think shavings cost WAY more than that.
 
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Knittycat

Songster
8 Years
Feb 25, 2011
651
17
146
Bay City, TX
I live in Matagorda County in Texas. We are a HUGE rice producer. I'm planning on using rice hulls in the run and shavings in the coop. Rice hulls are freakin' cheap around here, and when it gets icky, instead of having a bunch of sand to deal with I can just dump it all in the mulch pile like the shavings.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
402
341
Ontario, Canada
If you're in the South, I think it's a legit choice. The two have very different properties so you wanna think abot what you want.

If you're somewhere that is freezey for long periods of time in the winter, I do not think sand is a viable option for inside your coop, as it will a) freeze solid and hard (with poo freezing *to* it, if it's especially cold for long enough), and also b) be exceptionally cold and frostbite-creating on the poor little chickens' feets.

JMHO,

Pat
 

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