Anyone use SAND in the run/coop

catrinacurtis

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 22, 2013
23
0
22
McBain, MI
I'm really glad I found this thread! I saw elsewhere someone mentioned sand an I was wondering how well it would work in my 10x20 coop that has a cement floor. I'm using hay/straw whatever I can find for cheap. Its too late to switch before winter hits but I was wondering if anyone leaves the sand in year round? Does it get too cold in the winter?
 

kschicks2013

Chirping
7 Years
Nov 19, 2012
177
17
91
Fernley, Nevada
Hi yes I use sand all year round. It's easy to maintain. Make sure you get decomposed granite mixed with sand. You can get it from a rock quarry or a place that sells dirt, gravel, etc. Because the dg mix has little bits of pebbles you won't need to give them grit. To clean you use a kitty litter scooper. Sand dries out the poop quickly which is good. I have sand in the coop where they roost also the run. I have a 10x10x6 enclosure and have sand in there too. I also put hay and shavings in the nest boxes. I'm a clean a phobe so I pick up poop twice a day. Weekly I rake the sand just to even it out. The chickies love to scratch in it as well as have a dust bowl in the corner. I also add diatomaceous earth food grade to the sand to prevent parasites and keep flies away. I bought 1 square yard of the sand mix for 22.00 and I have some leftover to add if needed. I recommend sand. Do not use playground sand it's too fine.
 

catrinacurtis

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 22, 2013
23
0
22
McBain, MI
Ok, good to know! Right now my girls an guys free range all day long. We live in farm country an their backyard is a 5 acre alfalfa field. Where the coop is, is sand so they are used to sand anyway. I dread cleaning the coop, sand sounds much easier than hay or wood chips. I thought about doing the deep litter method for winter but after raising meat chickens an doing deep litter with them, I won't do that again.
 

kschicks2013

Chirping
7 Years
Nov 19, 2012
177
17
91
Fernley, Nevada
Yeah I don't blame you. I wouldn't do deep litter method just doesn't seem sanitary. Piling dirty upon dirty no thanks. I guess it depends on how much time you have to devote to cleaning the coop. Sounds like sand would work for you. My girls free range daily but they return to their enclosure several times during day to drink water and lay eggs. I clean their coop and enclosure when I let them out in morning and it stays clean most of day. I then clean the enclosure after they go to roost so when they wake up in the morning it's ready for them the next morning. I visited a lady that had chickens and she kept their coops just disgusting so I promised my girls they would never live like that. Does your enclosure have a roof? Mine is so it doesn't get wet at all. Also for winter I put tarps on 3 sides and leave one side open since it faces toward my house and rain, wind and snow doesn't blow in that way.
 

catrinacurtis

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 22, 2013
23
0
22
McBain, MI
My coop has a roof but their run, I guess is what you'd call it, doesn't have a roof. It's just a 20x20 fenced in area with a dog kennel door on it. In the mornings when I open the coop I just leave it open an they wander around in the basement of the old cow barn, pasture, or alfalfa field. I kept them closed up in the run but one of my roosters taught the girls how to fly out, so after almost colliding with a chicken to the face one day I decided to just leave the door open. But their run is blocked on the west (side we get the most wind from) an the north is blocked pretty well by the old barn so there hopefully won't be much snow in their run. A lady 10 miles away just let's hers roam free all day long in the winter.
 

kschicks2013

Chirping
7 Years
Nov 19, 2012
177
17
91
Fernley, Nevada
Oh I cant do that we have hawks, owls and coyotes in our area. I would worry about them if I leave them out at night. They are roaming during day but I go out often to make sure they are okay.
 

catrinacurtis

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 22, 2013
23
0
22
McBain, MI
I have all of those plus eagles in my area. I haven't had a problem yet. They put themselves in the coop at night, I count to make sure they are all in then close the coop an the run up for the night. The roosters are very attentive an warn the flock even if a sparrow is near an they all take for cover in the coop or in the basement of the barn.
 

roostingwillow

Hatching
7 Years
Feb 24, 2012
1
0
6
Texas
I was going to us sand also in the new run we are building this fall. We live in Texas, and it is so hot here in the summer. Regular days can hit 105 and the extreme day can see 115'. I had not thought about sand fleas??? Really. Maybe the girls would eat them. I just know WHEN we get rain, it is a mud hole now. I suggested to my husband that we do concrete, and he said they would not be able to stand on the floor when it is that hot. So I think I will go with the sand, and put down Diatomaceous earth to help with the fleas if they become a problem. I read that if you put a little in the roosting boxes it helps keep ants out. We had a problem this summer with fire ants in the coop. YUCK. Thought my girls were breaking their eggs, and then the ants would come. Oh no, not that simple, hubby went out to close them up and a six foot Bull snake was the egg eater. So many issues this year. When we bought our place a couple years back it had a cute little hen house for two chickens, I have enlarged the coop, but have not really prepared a run. So now, we are going to work on coop and run. Let me know about fleas please.
 

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