Maintenance of run with sand?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rhaj, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. rhaj

    rhaj Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2010
    NE'ern Connecticut
    I am not sure if I am doing this wrong or not...

    I have sand in my run. I sprinkle a bit of DE and rake it around, but the poop is still out there... somewhere in the sand. Is this ok or am I supposed to be somehow removing the poop?
  2. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I hear you. I've been wondering for three years where the poo in my run's sand goes to after a rain or after I throw in some bird seed and the chickens scratch it under. Hope I never find out.
  3. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    You mean your poop is just vanishing? [​IMG] Thats some good coop/ run design!!!LOL!
    I have sand on the floor of my coop, it is a wood floor with a piece of linolium over it, and 3 or so inches of sand on top of that. In my run the poop dries up and 'floats' on top of the sand, mostly, some breaks up and gets mixed in, but I use a kitty litter scoop to scoop it out, daily is best. If it goes a while I rake it with a rock rake, to get the bulk of the poop off the top, then scoop it. It is 8X8 and it only takes a few minutes to do the whole floor. Your vanishing kind is better [​IMG]
  4. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I rake out the poop daily too. If I'm away for a few days then come home - the poop is magically gone (!) - I'm guessing it gets raked under when they scratch around. The mess I don't like is the spilled feed. As time goes by I find the sand floor gets a "crust" so I have to chop it up with a pitch fork and turn it under then add some lime and rake it in. I only have to do this about every six months.
  5. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    Aug 5, 2008
    I think it depends on if your run is completely covered or not. Our run is completely covered and I have a very thick layer about 8 inches or better of construction sand. When I first dug it out and replaced the dirt with sand I figured I'd have to rake it out at least once a week. I was wrong. [​IMG] The poop does seem to almost disappear into nothing as the sand dries it out really fast, it breaks up, chickens scratch it in, and it doesn't stink. Since it doesn't stink, there is no problems. I do rake it out about once a month mostly just to remove the lost feathers, pieces of weeds and what not that didn't get eaten, etc.. It never packs down or forms a crust on it. I think that is just because it always stays dry in our run. It seems to be different for everyone probably because of different situations and setups. I don't think there is a need for you to completely remove the poop though, I wouldn't. Just my 2 cents worth. Hope you find the right answer for your unique setup.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  6. rhaj

    rhaj Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2010
    NE'ern Connecticut
    Our run is covered... BUT the roof does leak when it rains. Hubby is supposed to re-roof it very soon.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I use a reptile sand scoop duct taped to a long handle to pick up the obvious droppings in the run daily, but I'm sure I miss plenty.
  8. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    [​IMG] My birds turned the fluffy white sand into dark brown sand. The rain helped with that process. They also added some shavings from inside, and they get their scraps and grass cuttings to play in out there, too, so there was other 'organic' matter mixed with the sand. I was amazed at the amount of worms and grubs below the chicken's scratching level!

    We shoveled the brown sand out last weekend and put it in a resting raised garden bed to let it set over the winter and age. It will go into the other beds in the spring.
    The chickens are just now starting to walk on the white sand again. Maybe because it already isn't so white [​IMG]
  9. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Mine is covered and the poop just vanishes too! I occasionally pick up a big one if I see it but mostly don't mess with it. Some I collect with my shoes and scatter it in the yard.....
  10. MakNugget

    MakNugget Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Mine is covered, and have 4" of sand, and 3 chickens have been in it for almost 12 weeks. The sand was hauled from a local sand & gravel place and it's not very homogeneous sand ranging from granules to pea size gravel (and glass!!!).

    I imagined I would rake it every once in a while but that hasn't been the case at all. I just muck it up daily with a rake, and the girls just turn it. I occasionally run a mister line to keep things moist. This sprouts left over seed and the girls spend the day scratching them up.

    So far no smell and we've run hot and cool days here with this set up and things have been fairly good. Only problem is that I need to get some chicken shoes instead of regular shoes since I do get poop stuck in the treads sometimes.

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