Ideas for using sand in the brooder (w/ pics)

mordarlar

Songster
10 Years
May 17, 2010
166
11
161
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.
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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.

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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.
 

georgialee

Songster
10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
2,399
14
191
Knoxville, TN
Awww.... baby dust baths.
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I'll have to try that with my new chickies. I have bags of sandbox sand here that we haven't used.

Thanks for the tip -- perfect timing for chick season!
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terrilhb

Songster
9 Years
Dec 11, 2010
3,014
13
241
Georgia
That is an awesome idea. Thank you for sharing that idea. I will start doing that. And they are adorable chicks. And your son is adorable too.
 

mordarlar

Songster
10 Years
May 17, 2010
166
11
161
Excellent!!
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I hope you all have as positive experience with it as i have.

terrilhb, thank you. The chicks are a lot more fun than i dreamed they'd be and my son, well i'm kinda partial to him, lol. He is my start over baby and his older sisters (11, 13 and 18) call him the Boy Prince.
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I am lucky, he is really a very great kid.

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He is ALL energy. I think some brilliant person needs to figure out a way to harness toddler boy energy...we could begin to move away from our oil dependence.
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Archae

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 16, 2010
29
0
22
Utah
Why didn't I think of that. I love it now I am going to need to some sand tomorrow
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I have some sand scoopers from when I bred lizards that I got at the pet store, which I think I would rather use than my ladle and strainer.

That kid of yours is too cute and such a great helper
 

HEChicken

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
212
356
BuCo, KS
My Coop
My Coop
Okay, I'm sold! My only question is....where do you get sand? I know it seems to be everywhere but I guess I've never really gone looking. Did you use construction sand or just the kind of sand kids have in their sandboxes? (Or is it all the same?)
 

Coldweatherbirds

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 24, 2011
295
0
99
Central Maine
I would think sand type is very important. Sand can have impurities that could be harmful to chicks and high dust content would be bad. I guess that sandbox sand would be safest b/c it is sold for use with kids?
 

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