Loving the sand in the run and coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by saltnprepper, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. saltnprepper

    saltnprepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was debating for a while what to put in the run now that the grass has been eaten. I went with sand after much reading in these forums. I LOVE IT! It has rained for the last week straight bad pouring rain. The sand is damp but its not muddy and doesnt stick and the girls come out in it unlike when they avoided the wet ground. I also added sand to the coop and I have a giant kitty little scoop ordered for cleaning it out. I really really like the sand so far.

    Now to keep the area from so much rain we are ordering a shelter that will go over it, which we will put a little fenced area that is uncovered for them to go out in to the sun. They love to sun bathe.
     
  2. confusedbanti

    confusedbanti Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    somerset,CA
    Thanks for posting, good info [​IMG] I have the DLM method going on since 1 Dec have not cleaned out the coop yet but the inside got a little wet with all that rain (northern Ca) and I have to clean it out next week. I have a question, where did you ordered your giant kitty litter scoop ? The reason I did not go for the sand is because I don't have the time to crawl on the coop floor to scoop up poop [​IMG]
    And are you mixing PDZ with the Sand ?
     
  3. saltnprepper

    saltnprepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    http://goliathscoop.com/index.html

    I only have playground sand and under it there is some DE around the edges where it gets a bit moist from all the rain here in Washington State.
     
  4. confusedbanti

    confusedbanti Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    somerset,CA
    Thanks for the info! I will look into that scoop [​IMG] and do my homework about the sand.
     
  5. uc4tuna

    uc4tuna Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2012
    Daly City, Ca
    Good to know. What do you do with the dirty sand? Do you just throw it away? Or does the chicken poop really separate from the sand like cat poop in a kitty litter box? Do you ever change out all the sand? I'm trying to decide what to put in our run (when we build it), and I like the idea of sand because it will stay drier, but I want to be able to compost the chicken poop so I'm leaning more toward wood shavings.
     
  6. californiagirl

    californiagirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    Yucaipa, CA
    I have sand in my run, coop, and now our brooder. We love it! In the coop I use just enough to keep the poop from sticking to the floor. I scoop it every couple of days with a regular kitty litter scoop. Right now we have 8 hens and it takes me about 5 minutes to scoop it into a bucket which I then dump in our compost bin. It separates beautifully and any sand stuck to it is actually good for our compost because our soil is very heavy with clay. I also have a little kid's rake and smooth it out every now and then.

    In the run I keep it a couple of inches thick. The girls love to scratch and take dust baths in it. It drains well, smooths out their feet and toenails, and is easier to rinse off boots. I don't scoop the run because the poop dries, breaks down, and disappears. The only time I scoop is when the girls are moulting and all the feathers pile up against the fence! The sand also gives them access to gravel for digestion (I use washed, all-purpose sand - not sandbox sand which is fine and doesn't drain well).

    After experimenting with many kinds of bedding (paper towels, cloth diapers, doggie pads, paper litter, wood shavings, etc.) I decided to give the sand a try in our brooder this year. The baby chicks actually started dust bathing in it! I like that it doesn't end up in their water dish like shavings do, and it keeps their little feet clean so we're not getting smeared with poop every time we pick them up. The litter scoop doesn't work with their tiny poops, but a kid's sand sifter does for most of it. I've also noticed there's less odor with sand because the moisture is absorbed faster. It also retains heat from the heat lamp (think reptile tank). The little ones even nibble on the smaller pieces of sand allowing me to give them occasional treats without worrying about digestion issues.

    For all areas, I replenish when it starts to look thin or muddy. I just pour the new sand on top and spread it around. Even though it's washed, it is still quite dusty, so I wear a bandana if I'm pouring a lot. I'm prone to allergies and the dust gets to me after a few bags.
     
  7. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goshen, OH
    I put sand in the brooder after they outgrew the towel method, and not wanting to do pine shavings again. SO MUCH goes to compost.

    LOVE!!!! sand. For cleaning I take a dust pan and use that to dump it into a large screen style kitchen strainer, give it a couple shakes, all the little poops and food bits come out.

    Every 3 days I have half a quart of waste, compared to a trash bag full of shavings.

    Too bad it won't work for ducks.
     
  8. californiagirl

    californiagirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    Yucaipa, CA
    Another plus for using sand:

    This past week we got sideways rain followed by snow for several days. Part of the coop floor was soaking wet. I was able to use a rake to move the sand around and everything was dry within a day. Looks like we'll need to reseal the floor, but at least I didn't have to deal with a foot of wet shavings and the mold that follows!
     
  9. PaintedWolf

    PaintedWolf Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2012
    Kitsap WA
    You guys have me convinced. I'm in the rainy pacific northwest as well, and I've decided I'll be using sand for both the run and coop once the chicks are big enough to go outside. When it's time to clean out the pine pellets they're on in the brooder right now, I'm going to try sand in the brooder as well. Thanks for the posts! [​IMG]
     
  10. threecutechicks

    threecutechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    Camano Island, WA

    Watch out up here in the PNW, some of the places where you can get the sand by the yard, will give you small pea gravel and not sand!!! This is very hard to clean up with a scooper and we can't put it in the composter as it is very heavy. So, make sure you specify playground sand and make sure you are getting sand and not that horrible gravel like we did. :(
     

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