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For those with sand flooring in your runs…..

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Are you as crazy as I am about raking and keeping it neat? I'm constantly fluffing it and leveling out the sand in my run- 2 or 3 times a day. I have 2 ducks in with my 5 hens…so cleaning is constant (sort of regretting my coop design).

 

Problem is that when I am away for vacation in a couple weeks, I do not think my pet sitter (who is coming once a day) will be raking it like I do. The thought of the sand in the run getting all packed down, wet, and gross is stressing me out.

For the winter (I am in New England), do you just cover your sand floor in your run with straw? I know it would keep it warmer- and make it softer since the wet sand might freeze. I am also thinking that all the straw will give my birds something else to do…more to scratch and explore….because I am also worried about them getting bored being locked up for a week while I am away.

 

Has anyone done this before? Did you regret cleaning up all the straw when springtime came? I do love the sand…but only when I am home to maintain it...

 

Would hay be better than straw?

post #2 of 5

 

 

I have a sand floor in my coop. Technically it is a "dirt" floor, but I am in NC and our dirt here is sand. I scoop it everyday with a cat litter scoop. Super easy to clean, I love it. We had some colder nights and I put straw in there thinking it would help with warmth. They did like it, scratched a lot and it kept them busy . . . I hated cleaning it! I had to pick a lot up by hand and the flock scratched it everywhere! I certainly won't do that again. I have heard hay gets buggier and molds faster than straw so would stay away from that. I would just hire someone that will scoop the poop and worry about raking it to your liking when you get back from vacation.

I don't have ducks so maybe that will sway your decision though. I'd imagine with the sand floor the drainage is good, right? If my crew spills their water the sand is only wet for a day, then it drains dry.

post #3 of 5

Yes, and hopefully your sanded area is covered? If it gets really wet from the side, maybe cover the 'bad weather' side of your run with a clear tarp to keep the run drier?

 

Also, you could have your pet sitter throw down some bird seed or scratch (small amount) twice per day. The chickens will scratch around a lot and hopefully poops that aren's scooped will get buried.

Maybe add some fresh sand before you go?


Edited by lynnehd - 12/9/15 at 9:49pm
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yes, the entire run is covered (that clear fiberglass or whatever paneling). The sides are also covered in the heavy plastic in preparation for the upcoming winter (the door is left uncovered for some ventilation, as long with some ventilation at the top under the eaves. 

The sand drains some- but the ducks are messy and play in their water pretty much all day when locked up. Their poop is also not as easy to clean from the sand as the chickens' poop. So I find myself shoveling out the top inch or so of sand every couple of weeks, using a hoe to stir it up, and mixing in fresh sand. 

I have also been adding PDZ to the wet spots too…after DE didn't do much.  I think I am going to also leave a bucket of sand-PDZ-DE mix for my pet sitter to scoop onto the wet spots- maybe that will help.  I throw down scratch (mostly BOSS because I have been concerned about protein intake lately with my All-flock diet) but the little turds eat it so fast…...

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisCVT View Post
 

Yes, the entire run is covered (that clear fiberglass or whatever paneling). The sides are also covered in the heavy plastic in preparation for the upcoming winter (the door is left uncovered for some ventilation, as long with some ventilation at the top under the eaves. 

The sand drains some- but the ducks are messy and play in their water pretty much all day when locked up. Their poop is also not as easy to clean from the sand as the chickens' poop. So I find myself shoveling out the top inch or so of sand every couple of weeks, using a hoe to stir it up, and mixing in fresh sand. 

I have also been adding PDZ to the wet spots too…after DE didn't do much.  I think I am going to also leave a bucket of sand-PDZ-DE mix for my pet sitter to scoop onto the wet spots- maybe that will help.  I throw down scratch (mostly BOSS because I have been concerned about protein intake lately with my All-flock diet) but the little turds eat it so fast…...

Oh my! Well, I don't have ducks, and I could see how they would 'challenge' the sand floor.

 

Good idea about adding the PDZ to wet spots. Can't think of anything else you can do!

 

Note: Sweet PDZ is a great product. I also like Stall Dry, used also in horse stalls. It really seems to desiccate chicken poop. Mine also like to dust bath in it. I get it at our local feed store. Not sure if it would work better in your situation, might be worth a try.

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