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Discussion in 'Coops, Runs and Housing' started by doug, Jul 20, 2012.
Which do you prefer on your floor and "poop boards".
I dont have poop boards. I use straw as the coop bedding and under that is just ground. I do like sand in the brooder though when I brood alot of chicks. Its easier and cheaper than shavings and its easy to sift and add to the compost.
i use wood shavings in coop. and use wood chip in run. im going to try some sand though.
how has your sand been working for you?
We are in the process of choosing between sand and wood shavings. I have heard so much positive about the wood shavings and the deep litter method, but my interest is piqued by the sand idea. How is the sand working for over the long haul?
I use sand in the coop. We have brahmas and silkies and it helps a lot in keeping their feathered feet clean. Plus I feel as though it really keeps the smell down. I started brooding with pine shavings but after 2 weeks switched to sand after reading a lot about it.
We are going to switch to deep litter method in the late fall though to help warm up the coop during the winter. Then back to sand after the big spring clean out.
I use pine shavings in my coop. My coop has floor a wood with vinyl flooring on top. I scoop up any of their "gifts" a.m. and p.m. to toss for composting. The shavings when changed either go into our wood boiler so we get out of them or around my trees & shrubs.
We live in a hot climate, and are in the middle of building our coop with attached run. The coop will have shavings and the run will have sand with gravel underneath. They seem to really like the shavings now (they are in our garage in brooders) and I think I will continue with that.
I have decided to use sand when my chicks are old enough for the hen house. I am brooding currently on puppy pads with paper towels on top but will switch to sand when they are a week old. I did alot of research on the different types of litter and what sold me on sand was the quick rate of dessication, absorbs moisture and the ability to scoop it. It's also very inexpensive.
Hay Straw...... 4 to 6 inches deep in the coop.
Natural Earth in the Run.
WHY go to the expense of Sand OR Wood Shavings ??
( unless you run a Wood-Planer on a regular basis.)
How about dirt baths? Do you need them if you use sand?
How often do you have to clean out and replace the shavings verses the sand in the run? Some places recommend using dirt baths, do you need those if you use sand?
I use hay in the coop and leaf litter in the run. Every week or two I rake out the hay into the run. The leaf litter I can get all year round as we have eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus leaves are normally very slow to break down but the chooks do a very good job on that,adding nitrogen as well. After a month or two I can add all that to the compost then onto the veggie patch.
Could you use pine needles as litter?
I've heard that pine needles are good.
I haven't used them .....mostly bcause it's about a 50-mile Round-Trip to rake and shovel some pine needles near here.
BUT...when you do end up putting them into your Compost Pile....they will help to acidify your soil for your garden.
( Our soil here tends to be quite a bit alkaline.)
IF you grow blueberries...you will want your soil to be MORE acidic.
It depends a LOT on WHERE you live.
I use sand. Super easy to clean, dries out quickly and keeps their feet clean. I use pine shavings in the nesting box. I put Timothy hay in there too but they just eat it.
SMART Chickens !!!
Timothy Hay is VERY nutricious as is Alfalfa.
( I give my chickens some Alfalfa occasionally. It has been growing IN FRONT of my front fence for decades.)
But...then again...Chickens will EAT danged-near ANYTHING !
My almost 3 week old chicks dirt bathe in the sand.
I needed some dry sand to put into the coop as we have had some crazy rain this week. My husband went down and got 150 pounds from the quarry for $1! That's enough to do our coop over completely twice! Plus what we already have. But we are going to start keeping some dry stuff in buckets so we don't have to go running down there when we need it.
Anything wrong with regular hay instead of straw?
I use a number of things such as pine shavings, leaves, pine needles, twigs and any other yard leavings and I don't have poop boards. I don't have a run but if I did, I'd use the same things.
I do deep litter, which means I never clean out the coop,just add to the bedding so as to build a deep, cultured flooring that composts in place under the birds. No odor, no flies, no moisture, no raking, no shoveling, no cleaning...bliss!
No. that's fine.
BUT...IF it is Alfalfa Hay...the Chickens will undoubtedly EAT it...which is good for them...but NOT so much to use as a "Deep Litter".