What to put on the coop floor - new coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BoiseWiseguy, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. BoiseWiseguy

    BoiseWiseguy Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2013
    Boise, Idaho
    I have just finished my new coop. It has plastic sheeting on the floor and the walls. My chicks are about a week away from going from the brooder to the new coop, but I'm not sure what material I should use to put on the floor. Suggestions?
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    How about Pine Chips? [​IMG]
  3. UnionMan

    UnionMan Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2012
    Sand is the way to go. If you search you can find a couple articles on it. I use Sand on the floor and SweetPDZ on the poop boards. Sift the poop out every couple of days and it stays clean.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Sand is the way to go if you want to clean your coop out every few day. I prefer the Deep Litter method with wood shavings, works well in cold climates as sand is very cold and tends to freeze up.
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I use the traditional pine chip litter too. If you compost it's a great addition to your gardens. Something that's catching on with BYC members is to use sand as a liter. It's likeable as you simply scoop out the poop like a cat box. Sand absorbs moisture so there's little odor. But again if you compost no need to let that poo go to waste so I'd go with pine shavings. Smells of wood chips until getting to saturation point of dirty then actually smells sweet like compost, well, unless you let it get really dirty...
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I also prefer pine shavings and/or hay, for composting.
  7. BoiseWiseguy

    BoiseWiseguy Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2013
    Boise, Idaho
    Thank you for your comments - VERY helpful. I'm thinking about the deep litter method, as I have raised beds that I'd love to use the compost with. Can those of you who use wood shavings tell me how wood shavings compost - quickly (over a winter) or does it take longer?

    For those who use pine, where do you get the pine shavings, and how does this compost over a winter?

    And for the sand folks, how often do you change out the sand? What do you do with the poo after you remove it from the sand?

    Thank you everyone - I LOVE BYC!!
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I don't think sand absorbs moisture, but it will drain it away.

    People often use it in runs where rain water might be a problem.

    Sand is scoopable tho I guess for those who want poops picked up each day.
  9. schmism

    schmism Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2007
    Peoria IL
    I prefer deep litter and use wood/paper/hay/grass/straw etc for floor beding. Summer months sees more cleaning, winter months i tend to layer deeper.

    i prefer to toss scratch out on said deep litter and use the chickens natural hunt and scratch to keep the bedding turned up and dry. The bedding then goes out to the garden for the worlds best manure.
  10. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Yes pine chips will break down over the Winter outside in a compost pile. I have plenty of raw poo that I add to the garden and ammend the soil. You can get a block of pine chips at Tractor Supply (8 sq. ft. block is about 5 bucks). A block of pine goes pretty far for the average size coop.... I have over a couple dozen chickens I could not even image sifting the sand daily for that many chickens! We have two cats I do enough sand sifting each day!! I just scrape the chicken poop boards daily and put it in the enclosed metal can (shown below). Then it goes onto the garden each week. The bedding below the roosts without a poop board is shoveled out every few weeks and that goes into a compost pile. The deep litter may be the way to go if you have a big flock and do gardening.

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

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