Winterizing - Sand or Straw in the Run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sciencediva, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Sciencediva

    Sciencediva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have sand in the run and deep wood shavings in the coop - love both!

    Reading up on preparing for winter I noticed that many of you are using deep straw during winter and am wondering if I want to keep the sand in the run or switch it to straw. I am also planning on adding clear plastic halfway up the run to keep the wind and rain out (and substrate dry).

    Sand? Straw? Any thoughts? Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    There's no need to change anything you're doing
     
  3. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -sounds like you are set to me. -agree that there is no need to change anything. (We have sand and dirt in the run and love it. When it gets cold and rainy, I do throw down some coastal hay in the run to minimize mud and pooling water where they've dug out dusting places. -rake it out when it dries up, and return to just sand/dirt. This is purely preferential and not absolutely necessary.)
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry, I'm laughing here in Michigan. You really don't have winter! I use shavings, because straw is heavier at cleanout time. Never tried sand, so can't comment on that. Mary
     
  5. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] The OP is in Maryland which pobably gets a bit of a winter. In Texas we just get "less hot" or "more cool" - no winter at all. -definitely think that the winterizing threads are pertinent for those folks up North that really experience cold temps, snow, etc.
     
  6. Sciencediva

    Sciencediva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our winters in Maryland are hit and miss. We can go with almost no snow to 3 feet from one winter/storm to another - though I keep thinking we are due for some serious weather [​IMG]

    While I know the birds are most likely going to be just fine, I DO want to make things as easy as possible for me and avoid huge icy puddles and mud holes that are a mess to clean up. Thanks for the input. I guess I can always have some straw or hay ready in the shed and see how things go.
     
  7. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our runs are sand year round. I tried adding straw last year and it was a smelly mess. We're back to just the sand.
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Exactly!!
    Take straw, add water, and a nasty smelly mess it what you end up with every time
     
  9. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree 100%!! This is the reason that I do like to keep the hay around. If there is a rain, sleet, or snow melt situation, sand/dirt can puddle and get nasty if the birds like to dig holes such as for dustbathing. Throwing the hay down in the run really alleviates the mess, and allows me access to the run without stomping through mud. As stated prior, I do recommend raking it out after a few days to allow everything underneath to dry. -agree, too, with the above poster that hay/straw left for a good while will become "fragrant".
     
  10. Whovian

    Whovian Out Of The Brooder

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    We live in CT where this winter has been brutal. We have just sand in the run and shavings in the coop. Despite my constant worry, the chickens have been fine in the -10 degree weather. I imagine straw would be a hassle to clean. I like the sand because we can just rake it clean every week (when the ground isn't frozen solid).
     

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