Play sand vs All Purpose Sand for the run which is best???


10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
I had put down play sand before and liked it , it looked like a beach! The chickens liked it too to dust bath in. They have access to grit all the time, so the sand does not have to supplement for this.

I read that someone said not to use play sand, why?
All purpose sand has a couple of benefits: cheaper (for you), has bits of gravel and tiny stones (for the chickens to use as grit, which is also for you, no extra grit to buy), and for the chickens because they will still dust bathe in it.

I must admit the all purpose sand doesn't look as attractive as the play sand. Since I only use about 3 bags at a time the cost factor is not that much different. There was a special on where you bought one and got one free.

I started to use the play sand because it was washed so hopefully no nastys came with it. Also the grains are apparently rounded so if it gets in their eyes I guess there would be less damage.
I recently put 2 cubic yards of sand in my pen. What a difference! No more hauling dirt in there to fill in wash outs and gullies after a hard rain, no more nasty mud puddles for the chickens to drink out of...I shouldve added sand years ago! Forgot to add...mine is all purpose sand.
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I like the play looks prettier and the chickens like it. The only thing is that if you live where it's humid all the time or it rains alot, the play sand clumps together really bad and you have to break it apart. It almost gets like cement. They still dust bathe in the all purpose stuff and it dries out alot faster when it gets wet!
We will change to sand soon because I need to collect chicken poo for soldier fly development and for my red woyms.Also its a benefit durring spring/summer/fall.But winter we use pine bedding.Then the pine gets mucked out for the garden or for the new grass seeds.

Work work work.
play sand from my understanding has been sterilized and all purpose has not been. Since it will be pooped in anyway and since I use so much of it I dont bother with the play sand. Also it is true it is not a fine as the play sand and acts as grit in some cases. Over by me is is $60 a ton delivered so thats a good deal. I just have a few tons dumped in the driveway and shift it around where I need it by wheel barrow.
great for your arms lol
It is very humid where I am but when we moved the chickens to their new run we covered the run with clear polycarbonate. The entire run is shaded by a huge oak tree in the summer. It gets a little wet on the sides when the rain runs off, but for the most part it is dry. I love the sand because the soil underneath is clay and I can cover the holes the hens dig with the sand. It is also very easy to clean - just scoop the poop!

Is the all purpose sand more absorbant than play sand?
I've never heard of traction sand. I guess it is used more Northwards. The only sand I can get is play sand, leveling sand (which looks very fine) and all purpose sand.

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