False information about sand all over the internet

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by refamat, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. refamat

    refamat Songster

    Feb 16, 2012
    Blaine, WA
    There is a bunch of people saying this kind of sand is better than that kind of sand..they even believe sand is made by crushing rocks. Sorry to be the bringer of the truth..SAND is not dangerous (unless you are buried to your neck in it and the tide comes in, or you are digging a tunnel in a mound of it or you decide to cram as much as you can down your throat.

    Fact 1: All quartz sand is silicon dioxide. If you see clear and colored but clear grains of sand, it's quartz. If you get dusty sand it has other minerals in it. Quartz is the most durable mineral commonly found

    Fact 2: Silica dust only happens if you deliberately pulverize to a flour consistency sand or quartz

    Fact 3: Silica is a term used properly by scientists and manufacturers and is most often found in electronics and opals in the real world. It is brandied about by idiots just like the word theory is. And just like asbestos, misunderstood, and therefore dangerous.

    Fact 4: Those publishing this garbage about sand ARE NOT GEOLOGISTS and do not know what they are talking about

    Fact 5: The washing of any sand does not make it safe or dangerous. Do you really think they would allow play sand for use in sand boxes for children to be sold if it had free silica dust in it?

    Fact 6: Sand is dredged up from rivers, gravel pits, and beaches, it is not made from crushing rocks.

    Fact 7: They wash all sand to get the organic debris out of it..Concrete would be worthless with a lot of rotting veggative matter mixed in it and play sand would stink as the organics rot and then so would children. This washing removes all the dust when done properly as well. The dust is usually from softer rock btw.

    I have written one person who has a popular website who quotes someone else who says play sand has silica in it (and based on that, used to say play sand was dangerous to animals)..people who do not know enough to understand what it is they are posting for others to read and believe need to be shut down.

    BTW, I have a degree in Geology...I have worked with many forms of silicon and washed much silicon dust down into the recovery bin.
    5 people like this.
  2. N F C

    N F C booooo!

    Dec 12, 2013
    Interesting, thanks for the information.
  3. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Songster

    Jun 22, 2014
    Cedar Rapids, Ia. area
    Thanks for putting it so bluntly. It just baffles the crap out of me when they post against using natural river sand, and push for expensive play sand for their dust bath. Chicken have lived in all types of different soils forever.
  4. earlyredrooster

    earlyredrooster Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    Harrisburg, Ar
    Good post. However I worked at a gravel pit and there is a specialty use sand made by crushing up gravel, the cost will push most people away from it and for those to whom cost is not a concern the texture would get. Very very rough and jagged.
  5. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    Along this line, there is a popular website around pointing out the dangers of sand in the coop (not just about the dust.) The information there is mostly unresearched B.S. as well. Took about 10 minutes of googling to figure out that their entire page was based on feelings+hearsay.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yep, sand can be baffling, nice synopsis.

    So @refamat could you suggest where folks can get sand appropriate for use with chickens...and what it would be called?
  7. earlyredrooster

    earlyredrooster Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    Harrisburg, Ar
    Sand, at a gravel pit. Walmart.
  8. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Songster

    Jun 22, 2014
    Cedar Rapids, Ia. area
    Still confused? The terms "sand" and "gravel" can both be confusing if you don't have a vision of what you're looking for. GOOGLE images and the web both may help to clarify what you might really want. If you want sand just for a dust bath, maybe pick up a bag from the local Wall-Mart, or lumber store. For the coop or run try the sand/gravel pit, (locally sometimes called a sand plant) garden centers, or maybe a landscape contractor to find some for you. I know nothing, so I hope this helps.
  9. earlyredrooster

    earlyredrooster Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    Harrisburg, Ar
    In the industry gravel is any rock bigger than a pea. Sand is the fine residue extracted by the washer.
  10. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    I get play sand from home depot.
    I like it because it stays cool in the summer, it's cheap (when I filled up the run, I went to a landscaping supply company to buy it in bulk, but now "refresh it" with a few bags from Home Depot), it's easy to clean and it stays dry. Where I live, the soil has a lot of clay in it so it really holds water. The sand is thick enough to stay above ground level so never floods and dries out quickly if it gets wet. The poo dries quickly as well so as long as the sand isn't wet 24/7, I don't see how any organic matter can really rot anyway. Last year we got a few nasty cold fronts where the temp dropped over 40 degrees in 24 hours. I tossed some shavings on top of the sand so they weren't walking on cold sand. It was easy enough to clean the shavings up.

    Some of the rumors posted by the OP sound more like precautions for adding sand to an aquarium. You have to be careful of the type of sand because of water parameters and algae growth. You also have to be careful about the size of the sand. Sand that compacts too much will allow anaerobic bacteria to grow and if it goes a long time without being disturbed, when it finally does get disturbed such as while cleaning the aquarium, it will release toxic gas into the water that will kill fish. And then you wash aquarium sand to get rid of any fine particles that will be hard on the filter or would cloud your water by remaining suspended instead of settling.

    I think you'd have to really try hard to find sand that would be detrimental to the health of a chicken. You could probably stroll down to the beach and dig that up, throw it into the coop and still be fine.

    I think people obsess about their pets a bit. Chickens live all over the world, in different climates, different environments, etc. They wouldn't be nearly as successful a species as they are if sand that isn't the "right" type would kill them.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: