buying "dirt" in the winter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by naturababe, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. naturababe

    naturababe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my husband pointed out that every time i shovel the coop i'm digging down further and further (it's getting below fence line at this point) so i thought that every time i shoveled i would put down a layer of dirt to keep the run the same. if it were spring i would just go out to the back of our property and dig up some dirt but it's winter and the ground is frozen. where can i get "dirt" in the winter? i mean potting soil is out because it has chemicals and such right? plain sand seems, well, too plain. can i put down compost? like organic lobster compost or something? any thoughts?

    i do know this makes me crazy but my chickens are loving scratching in the unfrozen dirt i turn up when i shovel. it's better then corn, they go nuts.
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd put sand down. It drains well so helps to keep the coop dry and you can just rake it out instead of having to shovel everything out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  3. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    I usually go to Home Depot and buy bags of top soil!! Works fine!!
     
  4. naturababe

    naturababe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh, see, that's why i need BYC. i'm not a gardener so i didn't even know that home depot sold something called "top soil." thanks guys. i think i will try a combo of sand and top soil, sand in the area prone to mud and top soil in the area the chickens have been going crazy in.
     
  5. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well.........I'm the husband here at this location....and I'm as crazy with the chickens as my wife is! If you have to buy something,do like I did. I made a "sand-box" dustbathing area by nailing some old barn siding boards to form a bottomless box about 36" x 36" x 12" tall. Then I put in two bags of the "contractor grade" sand from Lowes. Sometimes it looks like a hot July day at he pool! All fourteen girls will be either piled in the sandbox or perched on the edges looking in. It's really a hoot!

    I used the contractor sand because it's a bit coarser sand and it drains well which means it will not freeze as quickly either. I do have to add a bag of sand every few months though.

    Larry
     
  6. naturababe

    naturababe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you worry about the sand not being playground sand quality? i guess i'm not really sure what that even means though.
     
  7. naturababe

    naturababe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i was going to ask if you cover your sand box when it snows and then i noticed you are in kentucky. i wonder if i would need to cover it or if the sand would freeze up like the ground even if i covered it.
     
  8. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I've found that the playground sand is really too fine and tends to hold water more. As for a cover....well.......that's one of my next projects! The snow does create a minor problem(very unhappy chickens!!!) when the girls can't get to the sand. A piece of plywood,some plastic sheeting or a small tarp would work fine. With all the snow we've had this year I really should have planned better.

    Larry
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I do not know what size your run is or what your situation is, but I will point out that if you will be buying a significant quantity of sand or wahtever (like a cubic yard or more) it is usually much cheaper to have a dumpload delivered than to buy it in those wee lil' retail-sale bags. Look in the phone book under "aggregates" or "gravel", or call landscaping companies who often resell it. You would have it dumped in whatever location is accessible to their truck, e.g. the back of your driveway, and then move it by wheelbarrow yourself to the coop ("in the fullness of time", lol, as even just 1 cu yard can take a while [​IMG])

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Pea gravel works as well.
     

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