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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mountain Peeps, Jan 7, 2015.
Yes it was silica sand from a local mine thank you
Made me afraid to use any sand
Glass is not good...I agree. That is why I get the contractor gravel used for making cement at my local Lowes. The mixture has a variety of pebble sizes and no glass particles. I was told that the majority of the gravel was from the bottom of streams and brooks. The material was sifted and large pebbles were removed for sale for gardens or pathways. The left over fine gravel was considered as SAND for mixing with cement and not for Play Sand Boxes.
Particles of gravel were consumed by the hens, and what they did not eat; formed the floor of the coop. I do scrape up the sand on occasion and refresh the floor for hygienic reasons. I added PDZ to absorb the droppings and thus the coop never smelled bad. The DE kept the mites away and all was good. NOW! I hear CYAN Pepper is another additive to keep the girls healthy. May try that soon.
I have used hot pepper in winter to increase internal heat and laying improved that day careful to add just a few jalapeno peppers in their forage food and let them chose when to peck. I have also used a clove of garlic dropped in their water and other times cider vinegar alternating to help keep the girls healthy.
I have read a couple of threads about sand now and do have a question. My husband and I have built a chicken tractor which is 41x52. My husband feels that pine shavings would make the best bedding. I am uncertain. After reading how clean sand is, I would love to put sand down on the floor of the "coop"/of our little tractor, but I know it is heavy. We want to be able to move the tractor all over our acre of land. Our tractor is built on a garden cart. Here is the link to it: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/welcome-to-the-chick-inn
So, the question is: should we go ahead and use pine shavings or do we go ahead and put a 2" layer of sand inside the "coop"/tractor, even though it would be heavier to move? How much extra weight do you think the sand would add? Our chickies will have an outdoor run with grass, but there is no place for them to take a dust bath, inside or out, unless we put out a large pan with sand in it.
I really like the idea of using sand inside the tractor, then the chickies would have a place for their dust baths and it would be easier to clean the poop. BUT, I don't want a really heavy tractor that we have to grunt and groan every time we move it. I would appreciate any input you can give me.
Your husband has a point with the weight. Stationary coops using course sand (not play sand) are the way to go. Wood chips are light and can be moved easily, however; I have used chips and they tend to cement together when the bird poop dries and they smell real bad in the hot summer. A combination of course sand, top soil, DE, and PDZ deodorant, mixed well make a great blend for a coop. The top soil when dry, mixed with DE (Diatomaceous Earth) are good for the dust bath and keep the girls happy and mite free. The sand and PDZ keep the odor down and fluids drain well, reducing dampness and clumping of the soil mix.
Wood chips alone are not sufficient and you will be out there raking the mess often. It's Preference and what is accommodating to the caretaker of the flock.
I started out w/sand but have switched over to straight PDZ in my coops. As for my runs, I have gravel because of drainage issues. But this winter, it has frozen hard and the girls can't stratch in it. Rethinking how to rectify this in the spring.
Frozen: That is why I made the mix of soil, pdz, dm, and stream bed sand. I also spread some dry grass over the mixture so the girls can stay warm. Worked for me.
straight pdz...am i missing something...but wouldnt that cost a lot
I totally disagree. I have sand in my run and I clean it like a kitty liter box. And it's dry in the winter.
I agree. I have sand mixed with PDZ in my coop. Spread a bag of PDZ over the sand. The hens soon have it thoroughly mixed in. I have attached a super-size kitty litter scoop to a piece of PVC to provide a longer handle. Each morning I scoop out the droppings. Takes about two minutes. Drains well; has no odor; and is the cleanest coop I have ever had.