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How much sand for run (and "Wonder Fork"?)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Moselle, May 4, 2008.

  1. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you give me an estimate on how much sand I'll need for an 8'x5' run? Dh will probably buy some bags of it at Lowes (any excuse to go there [​IMG] )

    Also, has anyone used this - the "Wonder Fork"? Someone posted a link to it a few months back. I'm wondering if the tines are too far apart to be effective on chicken poo. Maybe we can cover it w/ wire mesh? It just looks so handy [​IMG]

    http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?PGGUID=30e073e9-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    How deep do you want the sand to be. If you want 2" depth or a touch more, you will need 7 cubic feet. If the bags are marked in pounds not cubic feet, look at mulch bags (which are nearly all marked in cubic feet) and compare general size of bag [​IMG]

    I sometimes use one of those manure forks from my barn (they're very common horse equipment) for the chickens. I don't have the girls on sand, but can tell you that on shavings (that are pretty broken down and really more like sawdust) the bigger patties of poo will get picked up but little bits will fall thru. I'd say it depends how thorough a job you want to do, but overall it should be a reasonably useful implement. You probably don't need to bother paying extra for the kind shown in the photo, that has the 'basket' sides and back -- that is slightly useful for tossing horse poo in, to shake off extra shavings, but I seriously doubt it would be much of any advantage with chicken poo and sand. The ones without the sides nad back are generally several dollars cheaper. You can sometimes get them at the local feed or farm store, on sale, for cheaper than mailorder - if you must mailorder, consider just ordering the head (cheaper and lower shipping costs) and putting it on a handle you already own.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK - thanks. Dh called from Lowes and said if we try to put in 4", it'll cost almost $100 with their play sand. Good grief [​IMG]. I'm sure we can find cheaper sand than that! I will put sand and a manuer fork on my list for Tractor Supply or the farmer's co-op.
     
  4. Cheryl

    Cheryl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is the play sand for dust baths? I was looking at it the other day and wondered about it...
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Buy a cheap rake and pick up some flexible rubber tubing of an acceptable diameter/bore (a couple of ft. is all that's required) cut a measured piece for each tine and pull them over tines (adjusts distance between tines to whatever you find suits).

    Our combined turkey/chook runs are 30'x40'. We've just kept adding 80lb. play sand on each side, about every three months, over the past three years. We have large rocks along the outside of the `low' end of the runs and, over time, the sand works its way downhill (to be raked back up). If you're going to add all the sand at one time it is probably cheaper to go with local concrete co./quarry and order a large load.

    As we have thin topsoil over clay, the difference (particularly the heavy weight turks) in cleanliness, when the ground starts thawing in the spring, between using sand vs. nothing, or vegetable material (straw/wood chips/etc.), is marked, i.e., sand `rules' (our neighbors use nothing and their run is a filthy clay/poop pit).

    (large grained sand NOT `tube' sand).

    Ours will tolerate play sand for a dust bath but, if given the choice, they head directly to the ashes in the firepit.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If you can think of anything else you could use sand for, you could consider seeing what it would cost to get a bulk delivery of whatever their minimum quantity is. (They will probably quote you in cubic yards - 1 cubic yard is 27 cubic feet, for reference). It is a LOT cheaper in bulk. Especially if you get roadbase (or A gravel or whatever they call it where you live - mostly sand with dirt and big gravel mixed in) or some other grade of sand that is cheaper than playsand.

    Worth calling to find out, anyhow. Look in the phone book under "aggregates" or "gravel" or "sand", or "landscape contractors" (look for ads that say they deliver bulk mulch, topsoil etc).

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, thanks for that great rake idea, Ivan3!

    Cheryl, we are going to put 3 or 4 inches of sand in our small run instead of bedding like pine or straw. We'll likely stick with pine bedding for inside the henhouse. From what Ivan3 said, "play sand" is great for a sand bath, but it sounds like coarser, more "industrial" or "landscaping" sand would work as well or better (plus cheaper!)
     
  8. GotCochins?

    GotCochins? Out Of The Brooder

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    go to a concrete place and get the washed sand by the truck load.aloooooooot cheaper.[​IMG]
     

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