Chicken Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my chickens for 3 days now and I cleaned the coop the first time today. I have straw down in the coop and I use gloves to pick up the poopy straw. I've read that some replace the straw every day, and I've read other just pile it up and remove the top layer every day and the straw lasts 3-6 moths. I'm not sure what's the best method? Is just taking the poop and dirty straw out every day suffient?

Random other question... I'm outside with my chickens now and I opened their coop door (biggest door) and was watching them. They starting laying down and it looked awkward..do chickens lay down awkwardly? :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
I have heard that straw is a poor chicken litter choice as it is prone to grow mold. I think pine shavings would be a much better choice. I personally use sand with dropping boards under the roosts. It makes cleaning a snap, scrap dropping boards, poop scoop sand and its good to go. Every day it's like a new clean coop!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I used pine shavings in my brooder and it works just like cat litter. It drys up the poop and absorbs wetness to keep the smell down. I start with a layer on pine shavings wait a day or two when the floor is covered in poop the add another layer of shavings and keep doing that for about a week then clean it all out and start over. This way I don't have to clean it out every day. In my coop for the time being since mine aren't laying yet I use the pine shavings in the best boxes for half the coop floor and the other half has a wire bottom. They do most of the pooping on the wire so every once in a while I just hit it with the hose
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I'm a bit confused with the shavings because I kept reading cedar and pine were bad because of the dust factor (and of course the smell with cedar)... So shavings would be best and then "poop scoop" every day or so?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
It's actually not true that pine and cedar are bad for the chickens. I took a community college class from a professor with a PhD in chickens (i kid you not) from Utah State University and he said it was just some bad rumor going around. Although I would love to see where it started and what (if any) "data" they have to back it up. If anything, cedar deters many insects!

I use pine wood shavings and clean it out about every 7-14 days using the deep bed method. I only have six 8 weeks old chicks. So far it has worked great (they have been in there about 3 1/2 weeks. See what works for you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
I learned in vet tech school that pine is ok but ceder is bad because it releases fumes when the animal deficates and urinates. And the proof for it being bad is just watch wat happens to a chick when it comes in contact with ceder or ceder sap. Plenty of people have posted about this on this forum so i dont know wat ur professer was talking about. But it is a well known fact that it aint good. The reason they have it is because it is cheap, not because it is good to use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
I have read so many different opinions on this. There really isn't any evidence of it though, no solid trials of any kind. At least none that i have found. just "word of mouth." Ya, if you coop up your chicks without ventilation or fresh air or exercise then you'll prob kill your chick with whatever you use. I have read plenty of people use cedar and their chicks are just fine. As well as others who say they are not. Which make me wonder what else those people have done differently. Personally, pine has been great for us. Heck maybe a little cedar on the outside is a good idea, and not the shavings...? No one really knows though. Until I see concrete data I question most opinions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
379 Posts
GenFoe did you have any issues with sand being too heavy in your elevated coop? Did you have to reinforce the floor at all? Mine is being built and should arrive in 2 weeks so I was just wondering since mine is elevated too. Thanks in advance!

The fence posts of my run will be cedar harvested from my land. But I will be using sand for litter. I've just read so many times how superior it is in so many ways - dessicates poop quicker, absorbs wetness, cheap, ease of mainentance, cooler in the summer (we have killer summers here in Texas and mild winters), fewer flies, keeps chicken cleaner. I am switching to sand in the brooder this week so it will be a good test.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
My coop is about 12 inches off the ground. I only use about 2-3 inches of sand on the floor. It doesn't have to be deep. I have no issues with it, but my husband built the coop and I don't know if he did anything to make it stronger. I don't think a couple inches is that heavy. I go in and scoop it every day and them rake it out so it's nice and even. I used pine in the brooder the first week or so and noticed the poop sticking to it and making it like glue to the chicks feet. I have a couple breeds with feathered feet and the sand makes an enormous difference in their cleanliness. We might switch to deep litter in the winter because our winters are so brutal and it can help warm up the coop. But I might hate it and just go back to sand!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sand sounds practical, but what about the budget? Where do you get sand in the Winter? I have free access to apple tree shavings and cheap hay/straw..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
Home depot sells the quickcrete play sand and washed construction sand for $4 for a 50 pound bag and they sell it all year here in Massachusetts. I used a bag and a half to start and have only added a little bit over the last month. If you clean the poop out of it consistently you won't need to switch it out that much. The dropping board is very big. Once they started roosting and I could easily clean that out the sand has been fine. Just a bit from them going in and out through the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
I bought a yard of washed construction sand, which is about a full load for your standard 1/2 ton pickup, for $23. Much cheaper to buy in bulk from a landscaping supply place if you can.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
825 Posts
I just use old dried straw (about 4 inches deep) on the floor of my small Coop.
I use a hoe to "rake-it-out" into my wheel-barrow every few months.
(then it goes into my Compost-Pile for my garden...later.)

I don't "fret" about it....and the chickens seem HEALTHY and SATISFIED.

What's the "Big Deal" on this question ??? :confused:
-ReTIRED- :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
I use deep litter, so I never clean out my coop, just add stuff to it. Love how good it smells and how healthy it is for the chooks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
valleychicks said:
I've had my chickens for 3 days now and I cleaned the coop the first time today. I have straw down in the coop and I use gloves to pick up the poopy straw. I've read that some replace the straw every day, and I've read other just pile it up and remove the top layer every day and the straw lasts 3-6 moths. I'm not sure what's the best method? Is just taking the poop and dirty straw out every day suffient?

Random other question... I'm outside with my chickens now and I opened their coop door (biggest door) and was watching them. They starting laying down and it looked awkward..do chickens lay down awkwardly? :p
I'm new at this but that's called squatting check blogs on behavior And eggs laying.They may lay soon . How exiting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
valleychicks said:
I've had my chickens for 3 days now and I cleaned the coop the first time today. I have straw down in the coop and I use gloves to pick up the poopy straw. I've read that some replace the straw every day, and I've read other just pile it up and remove the top layer every day and the straw lasts 3-6 moths. I'm not sure what's the best method? Is just taking the poop and dirty straw out every day suffient?

Random other question... I'm outside with my chickens now and I opened their coop door (biggest door) and was watching them. They starting laying down and it looked awkward..do chickens lay down awkwardly? :p
My chickens lay down awkwardly when they're out of the coop- roaming the yard and enjoying the shade.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top