Using Sand as Bedding in the Winter...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GeorgieGurl, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. GeorgieGurl

    GeorgieGurl Hatching

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    I am considering using sand in my coop as well as in the run. So far I've heard nothing but good reports from people saying they love it! The only one 'bad' thing I read was where one person reported that it was too cold for them to stand in, in the winter. That her chickens preferred to leave the coop and stand outside rather than inside on the sand.

    Can any of you who live in cold areas comment on whether you've had issues with that?

    Also, I know that the Deep Bed Method aids in keeping the coop warm in the winter. Not sure sand would help in that.
    I just want to keep my girls warm.

    Any comments, suggestions or assurances would be welcome!
     

  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    Me personally? I also live in snow country and I'm using pine wood shavings in my coop, about 6" deep to start out with and then will add-to as the winter progresses. Sand I think would work well in your run, but you'll have to make SURE that it isn't 'play sand' or any fine-type of sand, otherwise it compacts down from moisture and then you have a real mess on your hands. All things considered, I just don't like sand, but then that's just me I guess! [​IMG]
     
  3. 1000yearoldeggs

    1000yearoldeggs Chirping

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    I have to say, sand is very nice during the warmer months. I keep pine chips in the coop and sand in the runs. I don't know if it's just me, but my sand freezes in winter. I had a very hard time keeping my runs clean, since the ground was essentially frozen. I would appreciate any advice on this too.
     
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    Same here. I use pine shavings in the coop, and my run is dirt. But like you, my ground gets frozen and I mean frozen HARD. I plan on opening a full bale of wood shavings into the run when it starts freezing and spread it all over the place. This will give the girls something a tad warmer to walk around on.

    But I won't use straw in the run. Straw has a tubular construction to it and is the perfect place for mites/lice to harbor...JMHO
     
  5. GeorgieGurl

    GeorgieGurl Hatching

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    I appreciate your response, True BYC!
     
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Songster

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    I have sand in my run, and live in New England with plenty of snow. The first year I had chickens, my chickens hardly went outside during the winter. They did not like the snow, or wind. Then I put a roof over the run and wrapped it in clear vinyl. The next winter was totally different. The chickens and ducks were out in the run all day long. They were protected from the wind, and the vinyl acted as a greenhouse, and the temps in the run were 10-20 degrees warmer than the outside air on a sunny winter day. I also found my waterers no longer froze during the day. Made their life better, and my life easier - a good thing all around!

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. 1000yearoldeggs

    1000yearoldeggs Chirping

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    Yes, I plan on wrapping it in plastic this year also. My chickens like being outside, even in the few below zero days we had. I'm hoping it will help keep the sand from freezing.
     

  8. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    Yep! I just yesterday started putting up the 6-mil greenhouse clear plastic sheeting up. Just a few panels...don't want to 'roast' them quite yet! [​IMG] But like you, the hard winters we get my girls will be just fine. Actually it's not as hard to put up as I was afraid it would be. Only mistake I made yesterday was I cut one panel 2" too short on width...aaack!
     
  9. morsekathan

    morsekathan Chirping

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    We have sand in our run and it hasn't been a problem, but I'm in the Washington DC area where it doesn't get that cold in the winter. I have storm windows that I put over the screens in the coop and that seems to keep everyone warm enough at night.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    I also am in snow country with sub freezing temps. My run is covered with fiberglass translucent panels which let the sun in all day, heating up the sand in the run. This acts as a "heat sink", retaining heat overnight as well has boosting the daytime temp.

    I have translucent plastic greenhouse panels around the sides and also 6 mil plastic which I've stapled to wood frames made from firring strips. This enables me to reuse them for several years running, and they don't risk being torn loose by the wind, and end up flapping like the sails on a clipper ship. Had that happen and it's not fun. Having maximum sun exposure, the run stays cozy even on the coldest days.

    I happen to like the finer sand since it's easier to scoop the poop. My run stays pretty dry so it only gets wet when I hose it down on really hot days to create an evaporative cooling effect.

    Sand is very versatile and easy to keep clean. However, plan on changing it out every three or four years as it gets dirty. I recently removed two yards of sand from my 500 sq ft run and replaced it with new. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and it sure is a lot less dusty in the run now.
     

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