Have been using sand in the run for 3 mons..now what?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MaKettle, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. MaKettle

    MaKettle Songster

    I have a 6x8x4 covered run that I filled with sand at the beginning of June. After reading many other posts on this forum, I decided to use a couple of inches of gravel & then cover it with 6" of sand. Due to the smaller size of my run, I opted to buy the bags from Home Depot & ended up with play sand. I was in love with my beautiful, CLEAN sand filled run & had visions of scooping the poop with my kitty litter scoop & everyone living happily ever after! [​IMG] Very quickly, my chickens scratched the gravel up through the sand, making it impossible to scoop out the poop without getting a bunch of rocks in the mix or even finding the poop for that matter.

    Currently, my run looks disgusting. The sand is the color of mud, its hard & packed down (even though my run gets minimal rain because its covered) & when I rake to turn the sand over, it is impossible to find any poo.

    How often do you change your sand out?? I'm going to start over again...does anyone have suggestions for what I can do better/different this time??
  2. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Songster

    Nov 3, 2009
    Maryville, Tennessee
    Same thing happened to me. I'm going to try to get out the gravel by sifting, then add more sand. I'm waiting for cooler weather though.
  3. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    Note to self: No gravel under the sand.

    How many inches of sand should I use?? I am really wanting to do this.
  4. JFW

    JFW In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2009
    After you remove the play sand and gravel, replace it with builders sand or fill sand. The fine play sand does not work well for your app. The course builders sand with no gravel will give you better results and will be easier to clean without as much packing. I also mix DE in with my sand.
  5. moo900

    moo900 Hatching

    Jun 23, 2010
    My covered run is 6' wide x 10' feet long x4" deep. When I built my run, I removed the dirt to 4" then filled with a cubic yard of construction sand. If you can find a quarry close by, and have the means of transporting, you will save a lot of money this way. Bagged sand, even the construction type, at the box stores is expensive. Bagged sand contradicts the saying, "cheaper than dirt".

    Every morning when I check on the ladies, I scoop the area that I'll be walking in with a kitty litter scoop, placing the droppings in my compost pile next to the coop. I dont do the whole run. The area underneath the elevated coop is a little hard to reach for me. The coop is 2' off the ground, and I'm 6'4". I'd also leave out the gravel next time.
  6. MaKettle

    MaKettle Songster

    So should I just scoop it all out & start over again??

    I'm definitely looking into a construction grade sand & absolutely will not do the gravel again. I only did it in the first place because I heard everyone touting the benefits of great drainage.

    How deep does everyone have their sand?? 6"-12"??

    What is the correct way to maintain the sand so that it stays clean? I haven't had much of a problem with smells, no bugs, etc..but I only have 5 chickens & am cleaning it out to the best of my abilities atleast 2x a week. It just LOOKS so gross...
  7. JFW

    JFW In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2009
    Yes, I would remove all of your snad/gravel mix. Then replace with approx. 4 to 6 inches of builders sand. You can clean it with a litter scoup or rake. You can place your old mix over your garden and work it in. Good luck.
  8. Mtn Cur

    Mtn Cur Songster

    Apr 5, 2010
    Seymour, Tn
    If someone has already asked just disreguard me. But what kind of gravel did you use? I would use what we call in Tn "crusher run" or "crushin run" depending on who you ask. It's a much smaller or finer gravel and will pack tight but will also allow water to drain. It will pack very tight if you rent a tamper, which would be hard for chickens to scratch up. just food for thought and good luck
  9. MaKettle

    MaKettle Songster

    I used a small sized pea gravel...basically very small to small rocks. I don't think drainage is a huge issue for my run, as it is totally covered & is actually on a bit of a hill that slants downwards. It doesn't get very wet. I have heard of some people using landscape cloth as a base & then laying their sand down on top of that...Anyway, I think I am going to dig the entire thing out & then cover with maybe a foot of sand...
  10. katdam

    katdam Chirping

    May 19, 2010
    in my coop i put 2 pallets on the dirt floor..put linolium that i had extra of, down on the pallets..then put construction grade sand...i use a dog pooper scooper to clean..that's all i've done...my chickens love it..i don't have to turn the sand because my chickens do it when they dust bathe in it...i never heard of the gravel thing...i don't have to use DE in it either.

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