Damp sand-is that a problem?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gale65, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    After reading about 50/50 about construction vs play sand we just bought 2 bags of each for the coop. DH put the two bags of construction sand in and it was fine-dusty but it settled fast. Then he put in one bag of play sand and it's clumpy and damp-probably because they keep it outside at the Home Depot. I know that with the horse pellet bedding, the Dummies for Chickens book says to wet it down so I'm guessing damp sand isn't a big deal? We're letting the first bag sit in there to hopefully dry a little bit before adding the 2nd bag (which is probably just as damp). Should we put a board or something so they can get off the damp sand if they want to? Also how much should we level the sand? Will the chickens level it out themselves?

    eta: should I wait until all the sand is totally dry before adding the DE?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  2. nurseshelly

    nurseshelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Gilbert AZ
    Quote:Mine are on sand. It will dry out, and they will dig in it and have a great time taking sand baths [​IMG] Right now because it's so hot, I spray my sand down and they love to sit on the damp sand and sand bathe in it too.
  3. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    How funny. So if you actually dampen your sand on purpose I won't worry about this damp sand. [​IMG] thanks!
  4. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    My sand gets wet every time it rains (even though I have a roof on the run) and it dries just fine. I occasionally add more sand and it's always moist when they bag it for me. I get the construction sand at a building supply place and they bag it when I buy it. It kills me...I originally got a pick up full (2500 lbs) for $35.00 and now I only get 10 40lb bags for $35.00. Getting it by the truck full is so much cheaper, but boy what a chore it was to empty a truck load of sand and cart it to the run. Bags are so much easier, so I pay for the convenience...but then I'm not filling an empty run again...just topping it off.

    I mix Stal Dry in with the sand every couple of months. I just sprinkle it on the sand and rake it in. I also sprinkle Stal Dry under the roosts.

    I sprinkle DE in the coop and the nest boxes. And I use the DE mixed in with peat moss for their dust bath. I just started using a kiddie pool. I used to have these small tin round containers (24" x 4") but they would kick so much dirt out that my sand looks like dirt now and I don't want it to turn muddy. I got the smallest kiddie pool I could find (walmart $10 about 36" x 10). It's high enough that I don't think they'll be able to kick dirt that high. [​IMG]
  5. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    Our sand gets wet every time it rains. The chicks don't mind the wet sand at all.
  6. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The sand is actually drying fast now but the chicks are very hesitant about going into the coop now. I guess any change is a big deal for them. Once they kill all the grass in the run I might try to talk dh into putting some sand in there. We have pretty sandy soil here though so we may just leave it.

    I am hoping it dries ok because I can't imagine trying to scoop out the poo when it's damp and clumpy.
  7. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Quote:Same here. They do everything they normally do in dry sand. Doesn't seem to bother them.
  8. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Come dark, 7 of the chicks were camped out outside the [open] walk door to the coop. Guess that scary sand was just too much to bear. DS and I had to pick them up and put them in the coop. Hopefully after tonight it won't be so scary and they'll go in on their own.
  9. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2011
    Thanks for asking the question. Good to know damp sand is okay. I was concerned too, so I dried it out. I spread it out on a tarp and let it sit in the sun. Then I turned it a few times over the next few hours and it dried out just fine. Kind of a pain in the butt though! I do like how much easier it is to clean with a cat litter sifter though! I dried out a second bag and put it in an airtight container so I can use it to fill when I clean. Will probably do one more bag and dry it out to store for future use.

    I left pine shavings in the nest box and all the girls ended up sleeping in there. I think they were unsure of the sand too! I'm going to take the pine out today and replace it with sand. I don't want them sleeping in the nest box! I don't think the girls like the sand as much as the pine shavings, but I love it! So much cleaner in my opinion. Hoping it will encourage them to roost more.

    Let me know how your chickens were in the morning!

    So far none of mine have dust bathed! Can't wait till that happens.

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