Got sand? You should!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chellejeff, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I finally put sand in my brooders as well, and I am LUVIN' IT! I can clean all the brooders in a fraction of the time they used to take, water spills no longer cause a problem by spoiling spilled feed if I can't get to it immediately, a little Stall Dry stirred in dries out such spills pronto, and the feeder and waterer don't end up full of shavings even if I leave them on the brooder floor for newbies. I also switched to heated kennel pads under the sand instead of brooder lights, and the chicks seem much happier. They love to nestle their tummies down into the sand wherever it feels best, and that is now a larger area with a wider temp gradient. All around, this is a win-win for me. I've been using sand in coops and runs for a while, so I really don't know what took me so long to make this switch, but I'm sure glad I did.

    You know my grandpa used to lay out corrugated tin panels and build a wall around them to keep the chicks in. Then he would fill the brooders with about three or four inches of blow sand (desert sand that piles up against bushes its almost like talc). We used to have to put rolled up wetted towls by bottom of the door to keep it out of the house when wed have dust storms. After the brooder was filled he would put kerosine lanterns underneath to heat the tin and finally the sand. Dad said they would have two or three hundred chicks in there all happy and warm.

    Hmm this gives me an idea for my own Keets coming in about thirty days. I am expecting thirty and have been worrying about my own brooding setup being too inadequate.
     
  2. Chicklette 1

    Chicklette 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it's been a long day but I finally did it.........I cleaned out all the shavings from last the last year and I put in SAND! This is in my coop and a separate brooder/grow out cage. I hope I like it because it will be a lot of work getting it out if I don't! I'll update with my opinions compared to the shavings.
     
  3. Kudzu

    Kudzu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2011
    You will like it.
     
  4. CO-OP_COOP

    CO-OP_COOP Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2011
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    Quote:Just about to finish our coop and I think we will try that from the beginning.. Besides I'm in Florida .. Sand? We got plenty.. And with the bamboo.. These will be beach hens..lol
    I love your coop! reminds me of a midevel Wine cellar... wonderful home as well.
     
  5. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
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    Glad to see a thread on here about sand. I stripped the duck coop today and am picking up a load of sand tomorrow. Since I will be stripping the chicken coop next weekend, maybe I'll switch them too.
     
  6. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just started shoveling sand in my pen today. Had not even considered it untill i started reading on here! Mine is river sand, my dad had gotten and entire dumptruck load years ago and he's got it scattered in piles around the property.>no idea why< Anywho...other than having to pull the grass that has grown on the piles over the past i dunno how many years, it's easy to shovel. I've gotten about 1/2 of my run >12ftx12ftx10ft< with the first layer >since i want to go deep with it i'll do it in layers<. I decided sand because A)its cheap..i mean hey, free is right in my price range and B) that entire pen gets soooooo muddy when it rains. I have 2 more weeks till i get my roof up, it's under cover of trees but rain doesnt stop at tree top level. The birds and the ran have compacted the dirt into such a solid mass it is hard for me to even break it up with a heavy garden rake so they can scratch or dust bathe. Within MINUTES of having the first wagon full dumped and partially spread, they were scratching and rolling in it. I would too having lived the past 20+years of my life near the beach. It's cooler for them especially when mostly shaded and it just simply feels good!! I do not believe I will regret this decission, not after reading how much easier it is to maintain, and how much nicer it looks too. Another good thing about the "piles" in the field, i've noticed i'm shoveling up TONS and TONS of grub worms and those chickens were feasting on big fat juicy ...ok lets be realistic here fat squishy gross blobs of white goo. LOL They like them, so its fine by me!!
     
  7. roysnider

    roysnider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am from South Louisiana and our temps are much, much warmer than where you are, so we wouldn't have to worry about "heat" so to speak. I can surely understand your location's temperature and the pine shavings creating heat. Makes sense to me and I agree with what you are currently using. Everyone won't be able to use sand because of many factors (location/temps/soil/cost, etc.)

    I'm a flock owner with a large flock (150 chickens). At this moment, my chicken runs are a dirt floor. There are no "wooden or tile floors" in the chicken runs. I will be switching to sand because it seems to work well with my peacocks. To clean my chicken runs, I have to go in and rake the poop up, along with some of the dirt and I didn't like removing some of the dirt. I use my poop for fertilizer for my garden and I give tons of poop away to the local community gardens. My chickens were digging dirt bath holes in their run and digging pretty deep in the ground, so by me placing the sand in the run will save my dirt and the girls won't be able to dig holes in the ground. In a year or so, I think my girls would have dug themselves a grave. That is how deep they were digging. [​IMG]

    I would love to try sand depending on the cost. Our hens are digging deep as well to the point we have had to put big rocks inside the coop along the outside wall and on the outside because it is as if they are digging themselves out which leaves places where critters can get in to them. Yes, we too have had to remove quite a bit of the floor (dirt) even when we had shaving in there and when we had hay in there. After removing the hay and shaving because for us they were not really doing the job and the smell was pretty bad, we have not added anything and that is when the digging got the worst. We're going to checks prices on pickup loads and see what we can come up with. We have 9 "A" frame style coops and a converted horse barn with 3 chickens stalls. The "A" frames were a great ideal we thought until converting the horse barn. Wish we had thought of that a long time before buying all the supplies over the last 6 months making "A" frames. Probably could of built another barn. Of course heating the "A" frames was easy since the space to heat is much smaller. May run into that issue this winter. Has anyone put sand in the top part of an "A" frame?
     
  8. PHarris985

    PHarris985 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It will work. I love the sand in my coop. Every three days I go out and scoop it out and no smell. I bought a snake scoop at the pet store and taped it to a broom stick. I'd rather do that then let it pile up for a year. Much cleaner. Chickens love it also. I only have 16 chickens but have eggs in the incubator, wish me luck.
     
  9. Chicklette 1

    Chicklette 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It will work. I love the sand in my coop. Every three days I go out and scoop it out and no smell. I bought a snake scoop at the pet store and taped it to a broom stick. I'd rather do that then let it pile up for a year. Much cleaner. Chickens love it also. I only have 16 chickens but have eggs in the incubator, wish me luck.

    I usually clean the coop and pen every day so I have never had an odor problem thankfully. So far, so good with the sand. I think it will be fine. It seems tp be ok in the grow out cage which is a guinea pig cage. That is a big help because the shavings were all over. Of course, now there is some sand in the water instead of shavings but it doesn't clog it up like that shavings did. I rake and use a kitty litter scoop and it works well.
    I only have a total of 22 chickens at all different ages. That can be a problem separating them!! I keep looking for other places to put them!
    Good luck with your hatch!!
     
  10. PHarris985

    PHarris985 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2011
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    Quote:It will work. I love the sand in my coop. Every three days I go out and scoop it out and no smell. I bought a snake scoop at the pet store and taped it to a broom stick. I'd rather do that then let it pile up for a year. Much cleaner. Chickens love it also. I only have 16 chickens but have eggs in the incubator, wish me luck.

    I usually clean the coop and pen every day so I have never had an odor problem thankfully. So far, so good with the sand. I think it will be fine. It seems tp be ok in the grow out cage which is a guinea pig cage. That is a big help because the shavings were all over. Of course, now there is some sand in the water instead of shavings but it doesn't clog it up like that shavings did. I rake and use a kitty litter scoop and it works well.
    I only have a total of 22 chickens at all different ages. That can be a problem separating them!! I keep looking for other places to put them!
    Good luck with your hatch!!

    I have 16 at different ages and my coop is 8 X 16. I have a small work or storage area for cleaning supplies and food. I actually go out every other day to clean and talk to the chickens. 1 started to crow today. I'm so glad I read this thread because i don't think I would have liked straw or wood chips. Good luck with your sand and chickens
     

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