how much sand?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by animalsRawesome, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to dig all the dirt out of my run and replace it with sand that way it drains better and doesn't get all muddy. How deep should the sand be so it drains adequetly?

    Or does someone have a better idea than sand? I'm open to any and all suggestions! [​IMG]
     
  2. BallardDuck

    BallardDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I first put in a french drain through the center of the run. I then covered the existing soil with 3 inches of sand and followed that with a couple inches of pea gravel and washed 5/8" gravel (smooth). So far drainage seems fine, and the clean up is so easy...just a blast from a garden hose and it rinses through.
     
  3. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll need to rake sand to keep it loose and aerated, so make it deep enough to rake without hitting whatever is underneath. At least 3 inches. I have about 4 inches gravel topped by 4 inches sand. In future I'd just go with 6-8 inches of sand so it doesnt get mixed in with the gravel.
     
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens have sand, and I put a couple of ducks with them to see if I wanted sand for them too or something else.

    Something else for sure! The ducks got 2.5 tons of pea gravel, which filled there 10x10 run 6 inches deep. The sand got so hard and compacted, fast. It's not like raking it once a day is enough, as soon as the add water and tamp it down with those flat duck feet, it becomes a hassle.

    Gravel, hands down. I didn't even put a base of sand down, I dug drainage (away from the coop), filled that with gravel, laid down landscape fabric to keep the gravel from sinking, and then all that gravel right on top. Blast it with the hose for cleaning.

    After having it for about 8 months now, the hosed off poo composts below the gravel level. Worms have taken up residence and the ducks look for them. When I hose, the worms come to the surface and the ducks eat them.

    Once a month I use a garden sprayer in the evening and spray bleach into it. After the ducks have gone to bed. Then the next morning the ducks are let out into the yard and not their run, and I sniff the rocks until the bleach smell is gone from sitting in the sun (deactivates it). I started to notice an odor from the composting poo below when I used a gravel rake. Little bit of bleach into that wet mess under the gravel stopped it. With time to deactivate, it won't kill the ducks either. The hose sprayer mixes it, you can control how much you use.

    The gravel also made it so that their pool has a higher elevation, just enough to be able to drain it with a hose into different parts of the yard. No more dumping it in the same area. The gravel also keeps them SO clean! The pool water lasts at least a full 24 hours... instead of just 2 hours when it's surrounded by dirt. With gravel, you only have to clean the pool when it gets poopy.
     
  5. yoyosma

    yoyosma Out Of The Brooder

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    This is really helpful for me- as Mandelyn said, the sand in the run gets packed down really fast- I'm going to get some gravel today for my 5 ducks' run and around their pool.
    Has anyone used Stall-Dry to try to keep their sand/gravel less wet for the ducks? It's made of DE and clay, and I learned about it in the Chickens section of BYC. My feed store got some in for me, and now that I'm moving away from sand, I'm not sure if I'll be using it for the ducks. Will be putting some underneath the goose pen, though.
     
  6. rainy day ducks

    rainy day ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    I would make sure that the gravel that you do use is free from any fine material like silt. The fines will compact into the open spaces between the gravel with traffic. Eventually it will be so compacted that nothing will penetrate. You will just end up with surface drainage.
     
  7. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whew! I'm glad I didn't go to all the work of putting sand in already. sounds like it might not be the best option after all.... hmmm. I have lots of sand, but I'd have to buy gravel! [​IMG] I'm kinda on a budget! But I supose I want my duck pen to be as clean as possible.
    Thanks for all the great advice.
     
  8. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    I would use gravel around your pools but sand everywhere else. If they walk on gravel all the time they are more apt to get bumblefoot. The ducks feet are made for water and soft ground. There is no getting around this fact. Could you use gravel? Yes. Should you. No.
     
  9. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Isn't bumble foot in ducks caused from a cut that opens the foot up to a bacterial infection? Not seeing how the gravel would cause that unless it had sharp stones in it or something that could injure the foot pad. We bought small sized pea gravel, it has "give" to it when you walk on it and the stones are small and rounded.

    You could save on the project by using some lumber to frame out a pool area, and only filling that area with gravel and the rest in sand. Just don't put a drinker or anything on the sand part. Though to be effective with the pool splashes when they really get going, you'd want at least 3 additional feet around the edge of the pool. Like if it's a 4 ft pool, you'd want the total square to be 7x7 with the pool in the center (or a corner)

    Course I've also been thoroughly splashed in my chair that's a good 10 ft away when they dive under water and send it flying in all directions. Pool will be half empty by the time they're done goofing off.
     
  10. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    Yes it is. Most gravel has those occasional jagged stones. Would you rather walk on sand or gravel. I also said you could use it. I wouldnt though. Plus the OP said she had plenty of sand and wanted to save money.
     

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