8 cubic yards of sand!
Next to animal feed, pine shavings is the biggest routine expense for the farm animals. We get through about 10 bags a week at currently $6.99 a bag (yes, even pine shavings have gone up in price the past year). That's nearly $70 a week, and $280 a month!
Some of the shavings are used in the goat stalls. They get shavings and straw. The combination is the best we've found to absorb urine, provide warmth in cold weather, and comfort. But the majority of it gets used in the Poultry Coops.
While I've only been keeping farm animals for nearly three years, one thing I know for sure is, that on any given subject there are at least half a dozen very strong opinions on how something should be done. The subject of coop 'bedding' is no different. Some people only One 'opinion' I have mentally toyed with for a while, is the use of sand for bedding.
Not all sand is created equal! Who knew there were so many different 'types'. The type that should be used in a coop is called River, Coarse, or Construction Sand. It's coarser and has varying particle sizes so it stays dry.
I just spent $304.22 on 8 cubic yards of River Sand. Looking at the pile, as usual I've probably overcompensated, but I'm sure we'll find uses for anything left over soon enough. We have more than enough to fill all three coops (6 inches deep), the Silkie run we currently have and the extension we plan to add, and the boxed areas the chickens like to use for 'dust baths'. Then instead of having to totally clean out each coop routinely, you just rake the poop out of the sand and add Saturday Lime / Sweet PDZ as you would normally to keep the bugs (when its warmer) and smell down. That's going to free-up Rachel to help out with the vegetable growing.
If the weather holds, we plan on switching out 'bedding' tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.