I wanted to share some things i've picked up using the sand in the brooder. We will always do this now. It is fantastic. I agree with the recommendations about covering the sand for the first day or so to ensure they are aware of their food and water. The sand keeps the birds feet very clean. All the droppings sort of dry out and even if a bird does step on some it quickly falls off. The clean up is the best part. We bought a dollar store strainer and ladle. You ladle out the sand and run it through the strainer which sifts it clean right back into the brooder. it is so simple my three yr old helps me. The chicks don't even need to be removed. They go to the far corner and watch. Have good ventilation, in case your sand has a lot of dust. Once the sand is sifted, there is no smell. We mist ours lightly after sifting it. We also really like that the sand retains some of the heat from the light. I alternate two lights and the birds seem to really like laying in the previously lit area where the sand is still warm. For those with smaller brooder areas, please note this point because the light on sand warms the area far more than it would with other bedding types. In a smaller area the sand might cause the chicks to get too warm. When the sand gets kicked into the water it settles to the bottom until i am able to clean it. And sand is good grit apparently so sand in the food is not detrimental. The last thing i really like about the sand is that they seem to be picking up some chicken behaviors very early.. They scratch the ground all the time and I had a four day old dust bath last night. Very cute.