Cleaning a Sand Filled Run???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by khable, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. khable

    khable Songster

    Mar 16, 2007
    LaGrangeville, NY
    Hi all,

    We have a new run that we filled with sand.

    Do any of you have runs with sand?

    How do you clean up the poop? I thought I could just rake it out, but it doesn't work so well. And, with them scratching around they cover the poop up. So I can't find it well.

    When I tried to rake it ... it just gathers up sand and rocks... i can't see if I am collecting anything??


    Maybe I am using the wrong kind of rake?

    I am worried that it will start to smell if I can't find or scoop out the poop... My husband has already commented that he doesnt' want to smell anything!

    Can I use the Sweet PDZ in the sand mix it in?? Anything else I can use to make sure that it doesn't start to smell?

    Any suggestions for foing on my poop hunt and getting it out?

    Thanks in advance?
  2. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Are you able to see the droppings before you start raking, and it's the action of the raking that covers them up? If so, it would take more work, but what about using one of those long-handled kitty litter scoops? You know, the kind that is slotted on the bottom so it would allow the sand to fall through but *hopefully* keep the dropping in the scoop.

    I've never tried it, but just a thought...
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I don't clean mine. Usually a good rain will take care of the problem since the poo washes down through the sand but when it doesn't rain often enough I just hose it down good. When odor becomes a problem a good covering of garden lime washed in usually does the trick. Now during the rainy season, when the whole world it seems is mud, there's nothing much that can be done. During those times I just throw hay in there so the birds can better stay out of the mud (and sand will turn to mud with too much rain too often) and when things dry out I clean out the hay and do the garden lime. If there are too many birds in too small a space it will be a mess.
  4. cheapcheap_jeepjeep

    cheapcheap_jeepjeep Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Villa Grove
    [​IMG] SO my question is can I place the garden lime on the ground around my chickens? Or is going to hurt them if the peck at it and eat some? [​IMG]
  5. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I would research to be sure, but my understanding is that garden lime is very gentle and non-corrosive and should be safe around the chickens. There is another kind of lime, the not-garden-lime one (can you tell I can't remember the name?), maybe builders lime? Anyway, it is corrossive and can cause problems for the chickens. But I spread garden lime in the run then hose it down good and let the birds back in and haven't had any problems.
  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    We had a 7 ton load of AG lime.....Agriculture Lime. Its sorta like....fery fine gravel. We used it on the perimeter of the fence, it packs down well, like cement. Helps keep anything from diggin in or out. There is a large pile under a willow tree, the hens and roos LOVE to dust bath in it. They have been doing this for some time now...and everyone seems fine. Getting between 8 and 10 eggs a day from 11 hens. I also use it in thier coop......for the floor, mixed in with the regular dirt/gravel.
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    We use sand in both the chook and turk runs. Had the same problem. I adjusted the distance between the tines of the rake by wrapping each tine with a short lengths of duct tape (kept adding them until I was getting most of the droppings).

    I'll just throw some straw over the sand in the turkey run in the morning and they spread it around (the worst of the poop sticks to the straw) then I'll rake it out in the evening.

    A hard rain definitely works wonders. Our runs are sloped so I just keep adding sand along the fence on the high side of the turkey run and in front of the chicken coop. It gets spread nicely by busy feet.
  8. khable

    khable Songster

    Mar 16, 2007
    LaGrangeville, NY
    so, BeckyLa, You don't clean yours just let the rain and or hose take care of it? I know I have noticed the dropping disappear after a hard rain. Ummm... now thats a thought.... the Lime then will totally take care of any odors?? I see there are two different kinds. Do I need to make sure to get the Garden one? How much do you use??

    HennyPenny, yes I do see a few of them before raking and could probably use a pooper scooper thingy on those... but I would say the majority get covered by the chickens while they scratch around in the sand.

    How about using the Sweet PDZ in the run? Anyone try this?

    Any other suggestions? [​IMG]

    Thanks a bunch everyone... [​IMG]
  9. AZChickenlover

    AZChickenlover In the Brooder

    Jan 14, 2007
    Golden Valley, AZ
    I use a kitty litter scoop, but then I only have 4 hens. I also add garden lime and some DE to keep the bugs out.
  10. I have 9 hens and a 20x 30 run, and the only thing I do is let nature take its course, mostly. I throw in a lot of sod while I am gardening and grass clippings and loose hay. I am going to rake up the loose hay and spread new grass after we mow tomorrow. Really the pen is no problem. They love to scratch through all the stuff in their. I just add new stuff now and again. Merry

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