1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!
  1. callieriggs

    callieriggs Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    34
    Nov 3, 2015
    So we have a small 3 chicken set up in our yard. The girls have enough room and are generally happy. We let them out of their coop/run whenever we can. However, when it rains we don't let them out and the bottom of there enclosed run is a wet, muddy stinky mess! I have seen that some people use sand in there coop but I just want to check, do you think if I put sand in the run would it be drier? The run is covered but small. We have play sand and some construction sand laying around and I am thinking that if I put it in their run that it might help but I am not sure if it would cause any problems. Thanks!
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,978
    593
    246
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    First [​IMG]

    The sand will make your run NOT DRY, but drained. Drained means faster to dry. Use the course construction grade sand for best results. If you read threads about using sand,, you will see that peeps are divided on its use... I am in favor of using sand. Some of those opposed do make some outrageous claims including the possible dangers of contaminants. You decide for yourself if it is good for you. I have used some sand in my operation for over 18 years and no bad results yet.
    WISHING YOU BEST [​IMG]
     
  3. evitachu

    evitachu Chillin' With My Peeps

    160
    10
    68
    Jul 10, 2015
    How did you set up your coop? Mine: i bought the concrete blocks from HomeDepot (or plain bricks will work) and kind of put sparingly in a retangular shape. This becomes the base. Sparingly so then when it rains, it will serve as a drainage. Then, i bought square wooden panel for coop flooring, L x W following the coop's dimension. Put on top of the concrete blocks. I cover the wood floor with vinyl tiles (so cheap). You can then put the coop on top of the flooring or (mine) i raised it up again by framing entirely with bricks, kind of make a wall base. Then i put my coop on top of the bricks. I put sand & DE & 1/3 of dirt mix for the coop, as high as the brick height. I don't freerange my chickens, so they take dust bath inside the run. I use play sand with low dust.
    This way, when it rains, the rain falls around the coop, down to the earth, but it won't flood your coop. Your coop stays dry 100%. All the water will drain UNDER the concrete blocks that you put sparingly under the wood floor.
     
  4. callieriggs

    callieriggs Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    34
    Nov 3, 2015
    Thanks for the replies. We don't have a problem with the inside of the actual coop house. The problem is their little enclosed run. Think we may try to put down sand when the ground dries out again. It is pretty sticky but at least it hasn't been raining today.
     
  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have access to wood chips?

    I would go about 8 to 10 inches deep.
     
  6. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,398
    46
    206
    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Wood chips will mold which is not good for your birds.
     
  7. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,978
    593
    246
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
     
  8. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,398
    46
    206
    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I worked for a tree company for many years and had access to unlimited amounts of wood chips and tried taking advantage of it. During this time I had major respiratory issues with my birds and mold throughout my wood chips. From then on I have never used them again and have never had issues like that arise again.
     
  9. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Interesting exception to the rule.

    Could you elaborate on the type of wood that gave the birds respiratory issues?

    That would be very helpful.


    Ditto that.

    Been using wood chips for only about 20 years, and would recommend it to anyone who will listen.
     
  10. ksguy

    ksguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    145
    32
    96
    Jun 9, 2015
    Kansas
    I think a huge factor to be considered about wood chips is your climate. In a climate that sees a low relative humidity between rainfall, the chips can dry out and mold will not be able to set in. In a more warm, humid climate - such as what we see around here (NE Kansas), mold is a certainty. We keep wood mulch in our flower beds out front, and it's only 2-3" deep. Guaranteed every year when I rake it up to replace it, down about 1.5" we'll have white mold. I can't imagine the moldy mess I'd have if I kept 8-10" of wood chips anywhere around here.

    Personally, I'd never use deep litter wood chips in the run for that very reason - especially not a covered run that gets minimal sunlight to contribute to drying. But, if it works for somebody else, I won't argue with them.

    In my climate, I'd use coarse construction sand. It won't dry all the way through, but it also won't mold.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by