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Can I use play sand for the run and 1/2 the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RoosterRidge, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. RoosterRidge

    RoosterRidge Songster

    Jun 14, 2011
    Dry Fork, Va.
    Was wondering if the play sand that you get at Lowes is ok for the chickens.
    I want to do half of the coop in sand and the other half use the deep litter system.
    Is this ok or should I just stick to the shavings in the coop.
    I purchased a 40 pound bag of DE and have used this in the coop and run,
    as well as new shavings. I know some sand that they sell has silicone in them.

  2. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    Play sand should be fine. A lot of people on the board have used play sand from Lowes.
  3. chicken_noob

    chicken_noob Chirping

    Jun 22, 2011
    Chehalis WA.
    Yup play sand should be fine, if any sand has some extra crap in it, it would be concrete sand.
  4. TouchO'Lass

    TouchO'Lass Songster

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oroville, Wa
    From looking through a lot of older posts in here, many people go with the less expensive construction sand. Only difference seems to be the consistency of the grain size: Play sand is more uniform and lighter colored for aesthetics, but it compacts more than construction sand. Either is fine for the [​IMG]. I made my girls first sandbox using the sandbags I had in my truck for winter weight! They love it...

    Sounds like somewhat of a personal choice, but for my money, I'm going with construction sand when I'm ready to redo the run because I don't want it to hard pack.

    Just don't let the chickies see the bag, and they'll never know! [​IMG]

    Good luck!
  5. RoosterRidge

    RoosterRidge Songster

    Jun 14, 2011
    Dry Fork, Va.
    Thanks for the answers. I will check into getting a few tons delivered. We live so far out they will probably want an arm and a leg to bring it here. I really do appreciate all the help you kind folks give me on BYC [​IMG]
  6. CrotonChickens

    CrotonChickens In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2011
    We were thinking of using mulch for the interior of the coop to create the DL method. Is this a good idea? Also, we were not thinking of using sand for anything. Is there a reason chickens need sand? The exterior run will have dirt/grass (well grass until we get the chickens get into it of course). Many thanks.
  7. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Songster

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    I use pine shaving in my coop and the chickens love it they play in it and all that. Most of the day they are free ranging in the yard, in the heat of the day they go under my Husbands truck and take dirt baths and rest.

  8. Fowl Intentions

    Fowl Intentions In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    I want to give mine a sandy area to dust bathe in. Mine free range during the day - do I still need to make a sand box for them or will they do it on their own in the yard?

    Also, what is DE and where do I buy it?
  9. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    Quote:I'm almost positive I read that mulch was bad. Maybe it depends on the type of mulch (what wood was used). I was planning on the DL method but then dh bought a prefab coop that would make it impossible without a lot of modification (which is what he was hoping to avoid by buying premade) so we have sand. It's nice and doesn't smell and it's very easy to scoop out the poop. They don't *need* sand but it's a very popular surface for in the coop (and the run once they kill all your grass).
  10. TouchO'Lass

    TouchO'Lass Songster

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oroville, Wa
    Quote:Even before they denuded all the grass from their run, mine had dug little "holes" to dust bathe in, so they'll probably find their own places. But giving them a specific area might keep them from clearing a space you might not want cleared. [​IMG] Plus, you can add a little DE to a sand box so they can dust for mites at the same time...

    This is from a previous post re Diatomaceous Earth:

    I found mine through an Ag Supply place after the Feed & Seed wanted $20 for 5 lbs. My local place (Northwest Supply) got me a 50lb bag for $25. It's available from several places online, but shipping is usually quite spendy...

    Be ABSOLUTELY certain it IS food grade. DE is also used in water filtration systems such as swimming pools, but that DE has been chemically treated and heated to make the microscopic crystals hazardous to animals and humans.

    As for the uses? Depending on which site you read from, it's good for everything from external parasites to worms to digestive issues.
    It's basically 'fossil shell flour' and has a similar consistency to regular baking flour, so when you spread it, be careful not to create airborne dust than can be breathed in. Although it's safe taken internally (following label directions!), it can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. Once it settles, tho, it pretty much stays. When I add new shavings, I add another dusting of DE. It's going to sift down thru the shavings, but as the chicks scratch, it gets re-distributed. I use an old baby powder shaker so I can poof it into cracks and crevices where ticks and mites like to hide.

    DE acts as a dessicant, so it drys out the poop faster than normal, which will help keep flies and odor away. [​IMG]

    Next, a lot of insects are affected when they come in contact because it dries and scrapes their protective exo-skeleton and they dehydrate. I add a sprinkling to the sandbox about once a week, and the ladies take care of dusting themselves...

    How it acts on worms is not precisely clear (or proven, from what I've read), but those who use it on all their pets and livestock swear by it. For example http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/diatomaceous_earth.html
    Keep in mind that most of those sites also SELL DE, sooooo...

    A lot of internal parasites attach to the intestinal walls, so perhaps it acts as an irritant disrupting their attachment... [​IMG]

    I didn't start using it until my crew was about 4 weeks and in the outside brooder, and it's cut down the odors considerably. I have a bale of straw in their run that they just love and I don't have the heart to take it out, but it's impossible to get all the droppings out of the straw, so I dust the poops every few days, turn the bale 1/4, and the poop just dries and flakes off. schweet...

    Best advice I can give ya' is to read, read, read, then decide. When you find a product, look up the MSDS (material safety data sheet) and it should tell you how to use it and what precautions to take.

    Good Luck!

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