Got sand? You should!

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

  1. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    wow i read a lot of the posts here and it sound like sand is great! i'm switching over i think [​IMG]
     
  2. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2011
    Mosheim
    Fshed up with the first layer of river sand today. It was in the mid 90's so needless to say it took me all day to do 3 loads because i'd have to stop and cool off as i dont deal well with the heat. But here it is in all it's "beachy" glory!!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Kudzu

    Kudzu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2011
    That looks great, sand is heavy, eh?
     
  4. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mosheim
    Quote:Only when shoveling it!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. wingless

    wingless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I posted previously to say that I didn't have the kinds of problems with sand that some people were worried about, like it being too cold in the winter, but it turns out I do have a different problem to report.

    This weekend my 5 x 12 sand-filled, covered run, REEKED and turned into exactly the gooey mucky consistency that I had hoped to avoid with sand. This coop and run were built last summer, and housed two hens for late summer/fall, and four since December - so this happened after less than a year of use. I generally raked and removed what I could every week, but apparently left a whole lot behind! That, together with record-level rain and early summer warmth turned out to be a smelly combination. Fortunately I had extra sand that I used to cover the muck and stench. That helped a lot, but there is still a lot of nastiness underneath. Not sure how this will play out.

    However, it reminded me that last summer when I decided to go with sand in the run, I read that at least some users of this method replace their sand every year or two. The reason for that is now becoming clear...
     
  6. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks to BYC friends I am planing to do sand in my coop. Beefed up my floor to accommodate it. [​IMG]
     
  7. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2010
    Quote:Did you put a gravel base and landscape fabric under the sand? If not, the moisture backs up into the sand in heavy rains and any organic matter in it can set up a stench. I have at about 4 inches of gravel and a layer of landscape fabric under the sand in my runs. I also dug a trench out of each run to a ditch outside the main run before laying the gravel, then graveled the trenches in. We get some pretty heavy rains here and as long as I keep my runs raked and periodically turn some stall dry or lime into ithem, I don't have any problems.
     
  8. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I rake and clean no less than every other day. Most weeks i do it daily right along with the litter box for the cats. Its just a daily or semi-daily routine around here. I'm hoping to avoid the muddy mess that lies under the new sand, and i'm researching the use of baking soda to neutralize the remainder of any droppings left behind but cant find info for or against its use and mixed into the sand. Since baking soda is a "neutral" and can act as acid or as alkaline, i wouldnt imagine it would be detrimental to the birds. But until i find out for sure, i wont use it. I was going to put some under the sand but decided against it for now.
     
  9. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ohhhhh information is a horrible thing sometimes!!! I have just read 4 or 5 sites about baking soda and birds. MANY farmers use baking soda in their barns and coops for odor control, then you have just as MANY saying that the sodium content in it, if used in excess might irritate or dry the feet of your birds. I'm going to keep lookin tomorrow, maybe call my aunt who has had animals including chickens and emu to see if she knows anything about it. I honestly don't see how very occassinal use would harm if mixed in with say, half a yard of sand and actually mixed in. Since it is a naturally occuring substance, but then again so is citrus and potatos!!! I think i'll go get some un-naturally occuring birch beer and go to bed...or oreos ...yeah oreos sounds good LOL
     
  10. Fluffy2

    Fluffy2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2011
    SF East Bay, CA
    Hi All! 4 hens now 2 months old and now in their 2nd coop.....so for this 3 day weekend we cleared out old greenhouse full of lots of old stuff. Cleaned it all up. opened some fiberglass panels, and installed the green wire/hardware cloth? sorry. I am newbie. this greenhouse was installed on bricks on sand base, so it drains well. covered floor with DE. Laid landscape cloth. duct taped edges. more DE then sand. probably need more sand, about 2 inches deep. We are sure in a cold year here. still only 57 tonite. when will it ever warm up.
    Anxious to get it all finished so I can finally get it hosed down around it. lots of sand getting tracked into house right now. used lots of meal worms to get them warmed up to the new coop. they are all sleeping on sand in corner, not much interested in the 3 different levels of perches. so far. I like the sand so far. thanks everyone for the education I get here!
     

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