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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Breshcandra, Feb 11, 2011.
What type of bedding do you use and why?
I like fine pine shavings because they work great for the deep litter method and compost great for the garden. However, I've seen a lot of people posting about using sand and its benefits. I might give it a try in one coop and see how it works. If it's as cheap and easy to maintain as some say, I will probably switch unless I find a cheaper source of pine soon. It gets expensive at tractor supply if you have a lot of birds.
I like fine pine shavings because they work great for the deep litter method and compost great for the garden.
Sand, because it's easy to clean with a reptile litter scoop taped to a long handle (picks out the poo, leaves the sand behind). Sand stays mostly put, unlike pine shavings. I hate the way shavings are always fluttering around where you don't want it. And my chickens like to dustbathe in it.
Of course, I do use shavings in the nestboxes.
I currently use straw because I found really cheap bales. I am considering the bedding to pine shavings because they are easier to clean and it costs just a little bit more. I hope it is worth a little more for the convenience.
I use straw in the winter, it's super warm for the chickens (they will actually bed down in it) although it is a bit harder to clean. In the summer I switch back to pine shavings.
I use straw because I get it for free from a friendly neighbor. He grows wheat and barley but doesn't need the straw he gets from it. I give him a few eggs, or chicks from time to time.
I don't find the straw to be that bad to clean up. I have a huge chicken shed with concrete floor, I use a pitchfork, wheel barrow and a broom to clean it up. It then gets heaped up to rot a little before being mixed into the compost. I then hose the floor down.
I go over the straw with a rake every other day, to keep it fluffy.
I am assuming that bedding is synonymous with litter. I am interested and somewhat confused by the different litter options. I was prepared to use pine shavings but suddenly the advocates of sand litter came out of the woodwork. From what I understand, people that have a dirt floor love the pine shavings and people that have another type of floor are split on the pine shaving versus the sand option. I have a raised floor that is vinyl covered and have no idea which is best for my specific situation. Maybe someone knows if the deep litter method works if the coop is raised above the ground? Or is it best in that circumstance to just use sand and a cat scooper? From reading the posts I also wonder if a warm versus cold climate dictates the viability of each strategy.
deep litter only really works on a dirt floor, a few members have posted that they've had to clean the coop out in winter. These people didn't have a dirt floor.
Deep litter wouldn't work on a raised floor, it doesn't work on my concrete floor either. and I'm sure it'll be expensive for me.
I started off using pine shavings, and now use straw. There is no difference in cleaning.
If you're coop is on the small side, maybe you could start off with the shavings for a couple of months, and then try the sand for a couple of months. Work out how much each costs and how much work it is to clean the coop out.