Gravel/Sand in run + nest box questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Smoosh, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Smoosh

    Smoosh In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    We are putting sand in the coop and want to know if we should put it in the run too. Which one would be better in the run? Is an internal or external next box better?

    Edit: added more detail
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    I'm not sure what your set-up will be or exactly what you are hoping to accomplish with the sand and/or gravel. If you are in a low spot where water will collect or stand, then putting a base of gravel down to help drainage then covering it with sand can be a good idea. If it is wet a lot, sand will sometimes disappear into the mud underneath, so a layer a gravel can help keep it from disappearing. They scratch a lot and will reach the gravel under the sand, but I suggest a thick layer if sand in top no matter what you do. They really love to scratch. But under more "normal" circumstances, sand alone may be fine. I'll give you a link to Pat's Muddy Run page. It might help you. She knows what she is talking about, and the best time to fix a muddy run is when you are initially building it.

    PatÂ’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):

    concern I would have with gravel is that you need to use rounded gravel, not the sharp stuff. They can cut their feet on the sharp gravel and get bumblefoot. Gravel from a river bed is great. Crushed gravel can be a problem.

    I'm not sure if you are talking about hanging the nest box on the outside or just having access to the nest from outside. I built mine internal to the coop but with outside access and never use that feature. I prefer to go in the coop to gather the eggs so I can see what is going on in the coop. But there are circumstances when external access is good. To me, that is just personal preference.

    If you are talking about hanging a nest box on the outside of the coop, there are a few things to consider. If you have a small coop where inside space is at a premium, hanging the nest outside can help, especially if you don't have enough height to raise it off the floor. There are some potential problems doing this, but they all can be overcome with proper construction methods. Some of these potential problems also apply to just having outside access, even if the box is internal to the coop.

    External nest boxes may be hard to waterproof. Potentially, they are a weak spot in the coop defenses, maybe allowing a predator access. In extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, they may heat up or cool off faster that a nest box inside the coop. If they are on the sunny side in a hot climate, they may need to be vented. In a cold climate or in winter, the eggs may freeze before you collect them.

    Hope this helps a bit in your decision, and once again, [​IMG]

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