Who uses sand in the coop?

KayNova

Chirping
May 24, 2017
44
30
61
So I've read a TON of great things about using river sand in your chicken coop. They all sound like great reasons to me but I've never had chickens before so I don't really know what's best and in what order. We were thinking of doing sand in the summer and hay in the winter. Live in Wisconsin so the winter temps get pretty cold. I would like to hear from you all about who uses sand or why you don't like it. Please and thank you!!
 

Lamaremybabies

Crowing
Nov 2, 2015
1,458
1,102
277
New England
I haven't been using it for too long but so far I love it! It's very easy to clean out each day (I use a litter scoop I got from the dollar store) and helps keep nasty chicken Oder to a minimum. I've read that if you keep it clean in the winter because it works like kitty litter the moisture in the coop is almost non-existent so you won't have nearly as high of a frost bite risk. The only "bad" thing I have noticed is when you're cleaning the sand it's very dusty, so you either hold your breath or wear a face mask.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,732
130,707
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
So I've read a TON of great things about using river sand in your chicken coop. They all sound like great reasons to me but I've never had chickens before so I don't really know what's best and in what order. We were thinking of doing sand in the summer and hay in the winter. Live in Wisconsin so the winter temps get pretty cold. I would like to hear from you all about who uses sand or why you don't like it. Please and thank you!!
Me too! I've also read a TON about folks who found it terrible long term.
I use it, mixed with PDZ, in the brooder(for only a week or so) and on the roost poop boards.
But I would not recommend it on coop floor or run, would rather use dry plant material to convert the ammonia to nitrates then nitrites.

There was/is a great long thread with much discussion....started by someone who swore by sand then after 1 year had to move it all out...can't find it tho.
 

LakewoodRN

In the Brooder
Jun 17, 2017
7
3
14
I'm following this too! I have a newly built run and need to put something down so the ladies are not standing in mud every time it rains! So far the general consensus is sand but someone told me not to use sand because they would eat it and get "clogged" up in their throats? Advice welcome! Is this really a concern?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,732
130,707
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I'm following this too! I have a newly built run and need to put something down so the ladies are not standing in mud every time it rains! So far the general consensus is sand but someone told me not to use sand because they would eat it and get "clogged" up in their throats? Advice welcome! Is this really a concern?
Sand can impact the crop...not likely to happen with older birds, more likely with tiny chicks. Other, and better, reasons not to use sand.

This is the ticket IMO:
Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
 

Lynnski

Chirping
Jun 1, 2016
71
15
91
Weymouth, MA
Just my 2 cents, since i am new to chickens and this topic was one i struggled with! I love the ease of PDZ, but only for the poop boards. Easier than cleaning out a cat box! I only have 4 chickens so the coop is small enough that pine shavings are perfect for anything that doesnt land on the trays. I compost so this is a factor since sand doesnt compost. What little PDZ i get is fine. But for the run, i recall reading that post @aart mentioned and went with that for my run. I started with a thin layer of mulch and anytime i have grass clippings will add them. I also have a covered run which helps but even the uncovered part is not muddy. If you know anyone taking down trees, free mulch is even better! Good luck!
 

Huggie5

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2017
6
4
11
I am new to raising chickens, 4 months, but decided to go with sand in coop and run for 24 hens. I rake both every other day then scoop out the solids with a big kitty litter scoop/thro w in compost pile. I also put down fresh PDZ and DE weekly. So far I've found it easier and not as stinky as when i started out with straw. It is dusty though to clean the coop. The only drawback I can see at this point will be where to dispose of it as I've read you need to replace it yearly. With 5 acres I should be able to figure it out. Just my opinion so far.
 

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