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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are getting our pullets in two weeks and in preparation to our new girls (our only girls, just three, we are total newbies), we've decided on washed construction sand for the runs and maybe inside the raised coop too. I'd love to ear from anyone who has used this medium for a large or small flock. How's it working? What do you do in the wind? I'm concerned that the dust will harm the chickens. Thanks for any thoughts.
 

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We are. But we are newbies too. I follow a blog of a lady who raises chickens and she swears by sand! My husband wanted to do deep litter. So we compromised. Sand during the summer. Switch to deep litter in the fall.
 

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Sand is an absolute great thing to raise chickens on. I use it and I have never bought grit in my life. It is an excellent use of the sand and the chickens. Love it. Sometimes dust can harm them and cause respiratory problems but sand is pretty heavy and doesn't blow in the wind too much if it is pretty large grit with lots of rocks. The fine grit, however, might be more of a problem. If you do have a problem with the sand blowing, spray it lightly with a water hose every now and then to help keep it on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good compromise! The farmer we are getting our chickens from says go with sand, as they are used to free ranging on his ranch and love being in the dirt. It doesn't get too cold here in So Cal, but we've been known to get a hail storm or two, so maybe shavings in the coop for warmth. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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We are in Massachusetts. Brutal winters and hot summers. I think switching them will be ideal but won't really know till we try it. From what I have read, sand is cleaner and easier. I already have the sand and my husband and father are out finishing the coop now. We won't be able to use it for probably a month still. It's 42 degrees here today! Spring doesn't want to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ehh. I LOVE Mass. but would die in the winter there. I've spent some time in Cambridge and as a US history buff was in heaven, but snow is nice to play in, not to live in ;) (says a spoiled Cali girl). It was 74 here yesterday, spring had sprung for sure.
 

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I use wood chips in the coop and sand in the run.

Chickens keep digging up the sand which in turns buries/decompose their poop. It's been 10 months and there hasn't been any need to clean the run. The coop on the other hand ...
 

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I use hay straw IN the Coop. The Run is just dirt....but when I have Sand leftover from other projects ( like mixing concrete ), I throw the excess sand into the Chicken Run. ( I think it is good for grit. )
-ReTIRED-
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright, and because my coop is elevated, sand may be too heavy. Straw or pine it is. I'll go down to the lumber mill and see if they have any shavings.
 

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Alright, and because my coop is elevated, sand may be too heavy. Straw or pine it is. I'll go down to the lumber mill and see if they have any shavings.
"LUMBER MILL" ---GOOD IDEA !!!
(
But a "Planer Mill" would be BETTER. )

GOOD LUCK !!!
( I wish you SUCCESS in obtaining this resource FREE ! Be SURE to take along a LOT of BIG STURDY "Trash-Bags" in case you are SUCCESSFULL !!! )
:D :)
-ReTIRED-
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd be willing to pay, not much, but something :) I also have a neighbor that's a small scale cabinet maker, maybe he'd be able to help me out. I've looked for plaining mills with no luck so far. I'm afraid a lumber mill might just give me sawdust, which I don't want.
 

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Just make sure you dont get anything with ceder in it. Ceder is very toxic to animals and i really dont know why it is even made as a bedding. Just completly useless stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've heard that cedar is bad, but I also just read a thread saying that pine is toxic, now I'm not sure what to do. I'd consider straw but I have no place to store a huge bail of it without it going bad and I have just a small flock and coop. I've read that natural clay cat litter works well, but that might be just as heavy as sand, and so I'm back to that issue. How do you clean a coop with straw or shavings anyhow? Keep in mind this is a very small coop, just enough room for 3 hens to roost and that's it. I wont be turning it or using "deep litter" here. Thanks for any thoughts/help
 

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I've heard that cedar is bad, but I also just read a thread saying that pine is toxic, now I'm not sure what to do. I'd consider straw but I have no place to store a huge bail of it without it going bad and I have just a small flock and coop. I've read that natural clay cat litter works well, but that might be just as heavy as sand, and so I'm back to that issue. How do you clean a coop with straw or shavings anyhow? Keep in mind this is a very small coop, just enough room for 3 hens to roost and that's it. I wont be turning it or using "deep litter" here. Thanks for any thoughts/help
YOU must decide WHAT "Internet" INFORMATION is GOOD or BAD. :confused:
( There's plenty of BOTH.) :rolleyes:
Good Luck !!

Caveat Emptor and Carpe Diem !!!
-ReTIRED- :)
 

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Why are you not using sand? It's very inexpensive, easy easy to keep clean, absorbent, non toxic and can be a source of grit. Also insulates in the cold. Why aren't you using sand?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am using sand in the run. However, because the coop is elevated, and I have a poop clean out drawer that is only 1.5" deep, I didn't think that would be enough little in the coop, and I thought sand would be too heavy for it. I'm tempted to just try it out though. However, I'll need something or the nesting boxes, and even to just fill those, I'd be unsure of what to use. Thoughts? And thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
^^^Really? And they are happy with just an inch or two of litter in the coop via the poop tray? That's great news. Maybe I'll give it a try and see how they do. I did find a horse place near me that sells 12 cubic ft of shavings for $9.00
 

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Sand in run

I have a chicken coop that has a 2.5' X 5' sleeping coop and an 8'X 8' integrated run. I use pine shavings in the coop and the floor of the run is covered with a mix of sand and diatomacous (sp?) earth. Each morning when I let the girls out into their big yard, I put on an old gardening glove and pick up the poo that accumulated overnight. The coop and run stay nice and clean. I just top off the shavings as needed and throw two or three bags of sand in the run every six months or so. The hens love to take a dust bath in the run and the diatomaceous earth helps prevent external parasites.
 
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