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What could I use inside the coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by youngbaedong, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. youngbaedong

    youngbaedong Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Texas
    I started off with aspen wood, and I changed to sand a couple months back. The sand isn't working for me because it makes the coop smell worse than when I'd use aspen wood. The aspen wood would last me two weeks, and the sand just lasts four days.

    Is there something else I could use inside the chicken coop? I've been told to use hay but I read that it gets moldy faster than aspen wood. Any suggestions?

    I currently have the sand in both the chicken and duck coop. Just like I said it doesn't last not even a week and I'm wasting more money than what I'd waste with aspen wood bedding.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  2. smlfarmer

    smlfarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2013
    Virginia
    I have always just used the fine pine shavings from tractor supply $5 a bag in my 8 x 4 coop - use about half the bag to start then add more as I need it - my girls free range so they don't stay in much w/ 6-8 birds its not bad last between 3 to 4 weeks
     
  3. youngbaedong

    youngbaedong Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Texas
    Yeah I would buy four bags for my coops but I stopped because the aspen wood just piled up outside their coop, got all moldy, and one of my ducks passed two months ago. I don't know if it was the wood because I changed it everyday and it would still get moldy somehow :/ mine don't free range anymore because I have two new puppies that love to chase them.

    I might have to build them an extra run in their coop so they can have more space to run in
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  4. NotableNancy

    NotableNancy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I"m confused as to why you say the 'sand doesn't last a week' I've had sand in my coop and run for months and I love it.
    I use a kitty litter scooper every day and scoop out the poo and it never smells. I have 13 hens in a 20 X 20 run and a 6x6 coop and it's great. It only takes 10 minutes in the morning to scoop out the coop and I scoop the run 2X a day but that's because I like it to look nice. I've left it go a few days before and it's been fine.
     
  5. youngbaedong

    youngbaedong Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Texas
    Yes it doesn't last me at all. It only lasts 4 days like today it's my 4th day with the sand in their coop, and they somehow flatten it out like dirt. I scoop their poop out as well in the morning. It smells bad like when I first put their sand it smells great, until 4-5 days it starts to smell gross. I don't know what they do in there to make it smell and make the sand all flat like dirt. I could take a photo if you like of how the sand is right now.

    I clean it everyday because I'm scared they might get sick or an infection.

    I read sand was better so that's why I changed from aspen wood to sand. Now I might have to change back to aspen wood but I don't know if there's a better suggestion. When I was using aspen wood I'd change the wood everyday and it would still get moldy. With the sand I scoop their poop and gather their eggs every morning but the sand won't even last me.

    I noticed that with the sand I waste more money in a week than with the aspen wood.

    The reason I'm changing is because at first one of my pekin ducks passed away, and I don't know if it was because of the wood. Now I want to change from sand because it doesn't last me at all, and financial issues. I'm a college student, and I have a tight budget in making sure that my chickens, ducks, and puppies have the important supplies needed to grow. In a month I waste $160 on the chickens and ducks. That's my only budget I have for them :/
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  6. NotableNancy

    NotableNancy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure what Aspen wood is. Are they wood chips? Flakes? Many people use pine shavings, not cedar as that's not good for the birds to breathe in, and they do the deep litter method.
    You can put that in the search box and read all about it. I think that would be pretty inexpensive.
    What size coop do you have and how many chickens? Are the ducks and chickens in there together?
    Do you have any ventilation in the coop? I have 2 windows in the front of the coop open all the time (with heavy wire over them to keep predators out) and then a long window in the back is open for cross ventilation.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    What is the bottom of your coop? Bare dirt? or does it have a cement or wood floor? Mold should not be an issue unless you have a moisture problem that needs to be addressed before you even look at what kind of bedding you are using. I'm guessing there's a drainage problem if it's a bare dirt floor, in which case, you might need to install some drainage tile, pea stone or look at the contours of your land to route moisture away from the coop. Is it possible that you have a leak in the roof or walls? How deep are you putting your aspen chips or the sand? Do you have the birds water supply inside the coop? I also recommend deep litter, but only if there's not an underlying drainage issue.
     
  8. smlfarmer

    smlfarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2013
    Virginia
    i do let the bedding get deep before I change it - if you have that much moisture you should check your ventilation as chickens breath out a lot of vapor - as far as smell from the birds I have feed mine a little dietamatious earth on their feed and it cuts the smell way back and it is also good at preventing parasites internal and if they can dust in it external as well $13 for a 20/25 pound bag. can be feed to all pets for same reason and you can dust them with it to. never have had a problem with mold and usually only completely change bedding 2 or3 times a year unless the are confined - our coop opens into a dog run with wire over top. them when they get older we open that up so they can free range
     
  9. smlfarmer

    smlfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Sep 17, 2013
    Virginia
    i do let the bedding get deep before I change it - if you have that much moisture you should check your ventilation as chickens breath out a lot of vapor - as far as smell from the birds I have feed mine a little dietamatious earth on their feed and it cuts the smell way back and it is also good at preventing parasites internal and if they can dust in it external as well $13 for a 20/25 pound bag. can be feed to all pets for same reason and you can dust them with it to. never have had a problem with mold and usually only completely change bedding 2 or3 times a year unless the are confined - our coop opens into a dog run with wire over top. them when they get older we open that up so they can free range
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How big is your coop and how many birds do you have? If you're growing mold, you don't have enough ventilation. I've never, ever had mold in my bedding. I use pine shavings and the deep litter and don't have odor problems either. We need a better idea of your set-up.
     

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