July 2016
These Dixie chicks are 11 weeks old and they watched us make a big change to their coop this week! Good online reviews about using sand instead of wood chips on the coop floor AND recent 100 degree Georgia days made us decide to give it a try. We removed the wood chips, lightly dusted with food grade diatomaceous earth and spread 6 bags of sand on the bottom of the coop. Straw was added to the nest boxes to complete the new coop look. The chicks very curiously watched this process and by the end of the day bedded down in the coop as usual. We had no cat poop scoopers on hand so use a plastic kitchen strainer (which my husband added a long pole handle to) and in just a few minutes each day, night time poop piles can be removed so the sand remains clean! The Coop is now cleaner and cooler for the chicks. This experiment feels like a success!

Read! Lots of good information on sand in your coop:


homemade poop scooper


Sand in the 2nd coop too!


Joy, the curious chick

UPDATE: August, 2016

Switched to a cat litter box poop scooper which has bigger holes than the kitchen strainer.
Straw in the nest boxes does not work well because the chicks dig in it and throw it on to the sand. Researching a solution to this problem resulted in a trip to Lowe’s for some outdoor grass like carpeting. Astroturf’s longer nap might be nice but this shorter nap outdoor carpeting makes it quite simple to shake off/clean the nest boxes. Notice the golf balls to give the fifteen week old chicks the idea to lay their eggs in the nest boxes 🙂

Fifteen week old chicks should begin laying eggs in about three weeks.

Our Fifteen week old chicks should begin laying eggs in about three weeks.

August 11, 2016

First baby egg layed on the coop floor sand!




Next to a large store egg


Which of the 12 chickens layed the egg? Best guess is one of the white leghorns 🙂

Update 12/2016 Some of the carpeting in the nest boxes did not survive the hens’ proclivity to pull at strings while they spend time in the nests laying their eggs! We should have used a square of plywood with the carpeting wrapped around it and stapled. That would have prevented the pecking on edge strings.

2/6/17 Update
Winter finds us still happy with sand in coop and carpeting in the nest boxes! Hens are doing well with no additional light or heating during our below freezing days.

2/19/17 Update We removed the nestbox outdoor carpeting that the hens had pulled strings from so that it was fringed and added a plywood square that is padded and wrapped in a more durable outdoor carpeting. This is easy to remove for shaking or rinsing as needed.

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