1. fourbellesabeau

    fourbellesabeau Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Aug 18, 2014
    south Georgia
    We have 10 chickens and our coop and run is so dusty. My husband wants to add some sand of some description to help with this. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what type of sand we need to add. We have two Nigerian Dwarf Goats as well and someone suggested Quarter Down (finely crushed stone) for their pen. Would this be ok for the chicken coop run as well or do we need something different?
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    626
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,000
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    'Clean' sand, without dust...lol.

    Sorry, but a lot of sand that you buy, especially in bulk, has 'dirt' particles in it that can become airborne(ie:dust).

    I spent a lot of time researching sand when doing concrete sculpture and the cleanest sand I found was Quikrete brand Fine Sand. It is washed and kiln dried, as dust free a sand as you'll find anywhere, and about $3-4 for a 50# bag. I now use it on my roost boards mixed with PDZ.

    That said, I think eliminating dust in the coop is impossible. It has several sources: wood shaving bedding (I use the large flake as it's less dusty), chicken feed, dried feces, and I think the biggest source is feather sheathings. I used sand (the 'clean' sand mentioned above) for bedding the brooders in the house this spring and there was still alot of dust everywhere after 8 weeks of brooding.....most of which I believe came from the sheathing off all those feathers that young chicken grow out.

    Sand works great in the brooder and on roost(poop) boards, but I think it's over rated as a coop or run bedding. Sure it's easy to sift poops out of and it drains well-which is great if your run is built on clay, but it doesn't necessarily dry things out like shavings do-essential inside the coop-especially if you live in a humid climate. And what do you do with it once it becomes sodden with feces and feed particulate? You can't clean it or compost it, you've got to dump it somewhere, which is what I ended up doing with the brooder bedding.

    Face it, birds are dusty...where the term 'dirty bird' came from.
     
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    626
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    I am in total agreement with you @aart on this one. Dust is just part of the game plan with chicken keeping. But like the OP I'm noticing that with the every-other-day raking/cleaning I do in their run the 'level' of the run seems to be deteriorating (going down!) to the point I can see almost 2" of space below the 2 x 4 cross-boards that run along the bottom....yikes!

    Fairly soon now I'll be tossing a full bale of soft straw in their run (9' x 16') for added "foot comfort" for the girls due to the hard freezing of the ground .. getting ready for the snow! But in the meantime I need to figure out just what to do about the disappearance of the ground level overall.....a puzzler for me!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,000
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I don't see the Op mentioning a loss of run 'flooring'....
    ....but......
    they will pack down the dirt in the run, they will also scratch it out of the run and they can dig prodigious holes, almost think I need apron on the inside of the run walls too and actually have some in parts of the run.


    Quit raking material out of the run might be a good idea...or replace the material yo remove - what is it anyway?

    They don't mind frozen dirt and a full bale of straw will make shoveling snow out impossible....but wait, your run has a solid roof and plastic covered walls right?

    I kept part of the run shoveled out last winter, more to keep access of the run and outside of the pop doors accessible, we got 160" of snow last year. They wandered in the cleared areas but wouldn't walk on the snow unless I spread a very thin layer of straw on it. Didn't want to put too much straw out there to avoid a sodden mess of wet straw.
     
  6. fourbellesabeau

    fourbellesabeau Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Aug 18, 2014
    south Georgia
    My husband is concerned about the level in the run getting lower as well. Thats another reason why we were thinking of adding more dirt. He said he's going for a load of river sand today and we he's going to see how that does. It shouldn't be as dusty and hopefully will be comfortable for their feet and fix the problem of the dirt level.
     
  7. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    626
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Our so-called "dirt" is really a mix of I'd say about 25% dirt and 75% of volcanic crumble (very fine). It really isn't what you'd call 'dirt'.

    Yes, my run has a complete metal roof and I'll be putting up the 6-mil greenhouse grade clear plastic soon...they'll be snug as a bug in a rug. That's why I'm putting down straw for their little toesies because our ground freezes HARD.I realize I'll be looking at a horrible mess in the spring mucking out the straw but it's worth it to me for my girls' safety and comfort. I know...I know...crazy chicken lady!! [​IMG]

    Good Lord! With 160" of snow I'd be roofing the whole run...what a mess that must be for you!
     
  8. fourbellesabeau

    fourbellesabeau Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Aug 18, 2014
    south Georgia
    Well I live in south Georgia(sorry i just figured out how to add my location on my profile. lol!) so we hardly ever get any snow. We just deal with extreme heat during the summers.
     
  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    626
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Thanks for adding you locale in your signature avatar thingie...helps a LOT! Sometimes I'll reply to a post and ramble on and on and on about snow, etc., only to find out later on they live in Florida!! [​IMG] I wish more members would at LEAST put their state in there!
     
  10. fourbellesabeau

    fourbellesabeau Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Aug 18, 2014
    south Georgia
    Hey thanks for bringing that to my attention! I didn't even realize that needed to be done and then it took me a little while to figure out where to go to add it. I'm a little slow when it comes to electronics of any description. Lol! Thanks for all the info. Hope you have a great week!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by