How do you Clean your Sand Run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 9ByDesign, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. 9ByDesign

    9ByDesign Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    We have a 10x4 Covered Sand Run. I was wondering what you all w/ covered sand runs do for maintenance?
    Do you hose it down and turn sand?
    Do you shovel out every so often (how often?) and add new sand?
    Do you use DE in sand run?
     
  2. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My run is smaller than yours, so this may or may not be a good suggestion - I use a kitty-litter sifter to get the poops out. I've often thought if my run was bigger I would build a bigger sifter using some 1/4 inch hardware cloth. The thing I like about sifting is that it gets other stuff out too, so my little "zen garden" is fresh every morning. But . . . it is a bit of work. You could just leave it be - the hens will scratch around in it and mix it up for you, if the sand is deep enough. I'm not sure hosing is a good idea. Might just make a big gluey mess. I know other people use sand - I'm sure you'll get other points of view. As for adding - when I clean out our fireplace I add some wood ash for them to dust-bathe in. Haven't tried DE yet - we haven't had much of a pest problem so far, and the wood ash is free.
     
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:I have a 28 feet long - 10 feet wide run and I do the same thing. I sift every week. I don't hose. I have never used DE in my run. I haven't added any new sand since I built it. I started off with 3 yards of sand and I don't need any as of yet. The sand stays in there pretty good.

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  4. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been researching chicken ownership for probably 3 years now and we are finally in a place where we are trying to make it happen..before we moved to this spot, sand is what I had chosen to use..it just makes a lot of sense..and now, we are rural Tucson, the ground is all sand. lol I too figure it is just a matter of picking up obvious chunks and I will use misters during the true heat which will soften it to go back down into the well drained earth.
     
  5. 9ByDesign

    9ByDesign Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2010
    Wesley Chapel, FL
    Kuntrygirl- That looks BEAUTIFUL!

    We've only had our coop up and running for 6 months now. I live in hot/humid Florida, too. I was hosing it down (not kitty scooping though) and it WAS making it a glue-y hard mess on top. So, I shouldn't do that, eh?

    I would imagine the sand just dries the poo up. ... but I thought hosing it down would help it "go down" into the sand a bit more. (Our sand run is raised up on cinder blocks over hardware cloth---so I guess that's at least 12 in. of sand.)

    So, beyone kitty scooping the larger pieces out maybe once a week...and maybe sprinkling a little DE... that's all I should be doing in that part of their housing??
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:Thank you. In my opinion, the sand works the same way as kitty litter work with cat poop. It just clumps for easy removal. I live in Louisiana and it is VERY hot here as well during the summer time. I'm not sure if you should or shouldn't but I know that I don't and won't. You may want to try different methods and see what works for you. You can try holding off on spraying and just "scoop the poop" [​IMG] and see how that works for you.

    You have 12 inches of sand? 1 foot of sand? WOW! [​IMG]

    The run in the pics is a peafowl aviary that houses 2 peacocks and 2 peahens and they are all over the place in there and so is the poop.

    I would agree with you and say scoop the larger pieces, use your DE and that should about do it. Try that and let me know how that works.
     
  7. baldessariclan

    baldessariclan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wichita, KS
    We rake ours about once a week -- get all the bigger stuff on top into a pile and then use a "sifter" (wooden box with screen on bottom) to separate poop and etc. from sand. All poop/trash then goes into the compost. About a 10 minute job -- kids can do it easy.

    Our run is pretty small, and over the course of a year the chickens have mixed in enough feed and dust with the sand (plus other dirt and organic matter small enough to make it through the sifter) where it will clump and dry packed if it gets wet and you don't break it up while drying. It's almost more like really sandy dirt now, instead of pure sand. Still seems to work pretty well, and birds can dig down into it for dust baths and cooling down on hot days. Main thing now is that whenever it gets wet, you've got worry a little more about keeping it broken up and getting it dried out. We'll see what it does over the next couple years...
     
  8. MakNugget

    MakNugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 8x12 run with 4" of sand and gravel. The bulk of sand was purchased from our local sand and gravel lot, which wasn't a very homogeneous. It's more like a sand/gravel mix, so sifting it really isn't an option since I would end up with more rocks than poo. I've added bagged sand and pea gravel along the way as well.

    The run is covered, and I rake occasionally, and a thorough hose down if needed. Water and liquid droppings go away.

    The problem, which I've been contemplating for a while now, is that while what will liquefy drains away nicely, the bio-solids from whatever didn't digest will remain. Hosing and agitating will float some of the solids to the surface. The sand is noticeably firm compared to last year.

    What I plan on doing is to either do a partial replace (but what to do with the sand?) or create some sort of a sand treatment device designed to clean and separate debris. I've been thinking of using some deep trays with a slot cut out a couple inches from the base on one end, then agitate with a hose to raise and pour out debris. Maybe a series of trays would work better, cascading into each other to reduce sand loss. *shrugs*
     
  9. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Middle TN
    Hey, kuntrygirl--this is OT, but do your chickens use that au naturele tree perch (the one that is outside)? Do they like to perch up there? I'm thinking of adding something like that and am not sure if they would use it during the day (locked in their house at night).
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Well, that particular perch is for the peas. They love it!!!! Here is a pic of them on the tree perch/roost.

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    On this roost, I have since added a tree branch across the top so that they aren't roosting sideways anymore.

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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011

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