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Question about using sand for the floor of the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LittleHouseDreams, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. LittleHouseDreams

    LittleHouseDreams Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Ohio
    Hello,

    I am wondering if you use sand for the floor of your run how do you get rid of a build up of droppings? I am considering using sand when my coop gets built.

    Thank you,

    Noelle

    P.S. Sorry if this seems silly but I am new at this(obviously).
     
  2. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I use sand in the coop on the floor over the summer and i just rake out the droppings once every few days and add food grade DE to the sand. The run outside is just plain old dirt and i clean it the same way as the coop floor. Come winter i will add 6 inches of straw to help keep them warm instead of the sand
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Our run is entirely sand, and we rake it with a mini garden rake a couple of times a week.
     
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    I'm new too, and I also have a new run. After my having read lots of posts/replies about using sand in the runs, that's what I went with. I have about a foot of sand, and so far I am overjoyed that that was the medium that I chose.
    All I do is occasionally spread some DE (food grade), and daily I scatter some commercial bird seed with sunflowers seeds and several kinds of small seeds over the sand as a treat. The three hens and a rooster scratch around so much that the poo disappears, and I don't go looking for it. I should mention, however, that I let them out daily to run around in my fenced-in yard, so I have no idea of how much poo would be in the run if they were in there all day. It could be that I'd have to spread more DE and rake sand over the poo to get rid of it (out of sight, out of mind). Hoping my good luck continues and that there's not a "catch" to what has been done (not done) by me so far.
     
  5. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:Yes, during dry spells, the poo gets scattered and dries up completely and doesn't smell.

    I scatter seeds too. It encourages scratching around so the sand doesn't get compacted.


    Occasionally, we find big holes dug where they've gone atomic with their dustbathing. I think they're planning "The Big Break".
     
  6. LittleHouseDreams

    LittleHouseDreams Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Ohio
    Thank you all that really helps. Any other tips?
     
  7. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I have sand in the run - and wood shavings in the coop.

    I just put the sand into the run - been wanting to for awhile, but had to re-do a few things first. I have an 8x16 foot run and put in about a half ton of sand - it made it to be about 4 inches deep or so. I plan to add in another half ton in the spring after the rainy winter.

    One thing which helped, is that I totaly covered the run. I had it half roofed, but half was open (with screen on top). I put the roof over the entire thing and it has stayed more dry and clean that way. I had dirt floor before - clay, actually, as our soil down here is very much clay. I have not gone through a winter with the full roof or the sand yet, but it HAS to be better than bare dirt/clay pummeled with downpouring rain. Talk about stink and mess !! It was like a Chicken Poo Slip and Slide last winter. (yuk). - we don't get much snow, but we get TONS of rain in the winter.

    I am SO happy with the sand - it looks nicer, smells nicer, and is non-slip even when it does rain. The chickens seem to love it, too. My husband was sceptical about sand being such a big improvement - so I took the truck to town and got it myself, and spread it around myself, and when I was done, he went on and on for two days about how much better it was, LOL. I would have done a whole ton, but my truck is a half ton truck, and it is 12 miles to town - I didn't want to pay more in gas than I was paying for the sand, LOL.

    A half ton of sand, near me, is about 17.00 - pretty cheap for the benefit is gives in the run. A Ton is only about 25 dollars - it is cheaper the more you buy at one time.

    I have not had to rake it yet, but I bought a rake just for this purpose. It has been dry, lately, so it has been scratched in (I throw out grains, also) and I can usually not even see any poo in the run. Another benefit is the waterer is cleaner. I did put it up on a concrete slab, but I had that before the sand, and it didn't help much. (I also added some ACV to the water - the stuff is a *cheap* miracle working wonder, IMO). I also have banties in there, now, but they scratch and throw dirt as much as a bigger chicken does, LOL sometimes I think more so. The big chickens I moved to the "new" coop.

    I would reccomend sand in the chicken run to anyone. I cannot go on enough about how much it improved my run.

    ETA - I also sprinkle DE around the run. and I have about 20 banties in the run.

    Peace -
    Meriah
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2008
    1 person likes this.
  8. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    HA HA on the Chicken Poo Slip and Slide last winter! Only reason it is so funny is we lived that!!!!
     
  9. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:I almost went on my butt into it a few times last winter - I swore that wasn't gonna happen again, LOL.

    Although, I still have to deal with the donkey poo slip and slide in the pasture... am wondering how to deal with that one....

    Hmm... thinking of putting more sand into the barn and main feeding area outside the barn....


    Peace -
    Meriah
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2008
  10. jasminty

    jasminty Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2008
    CA
    This was a great topic to read.This spring I adopted two 3yr old girls, so I am really new to this too. I haven't done a winter yet with them.

    I have a dirt floor in my run (our soil is a sandy dirt), with straw over it. 2/3 of the top of the run is covered with roof, we left a space open for "sun" but I am thinking it will be better to just make a piece to cover that 1/3 section during the rain. and if they are cold they can go in the coop....

    Now I'm worried about moisture (moldy straw) in the winter though. My sprinklers catch the edge of the run a little bit, and the straw always seems to be dry/no mold when I turn it, but we have hot summers that dry everything out.

    Since my girls are out all the time and only go in the run to perch at night, they aren't digging around in the straw so I have to turn it and the poop doesn't seem to fall/crumble to the bottom. I just get straw poop cakes under the perches and no matter how much I turn it, or how deep I make it there still seems to be poop on the top level, unless I add more straw. I like the deep litter method idea, but its not working so well with the straw (I am having to add too much all the time). lol

    I am thinking of changing to sand. I think they will like to dig in the sand more (they do in the kids sand box anyways).

    Is this better for drainage/moisture in the winter, than straw? Does it matter what kind of sand I use; Can I just get the play yard kind I get for my kids? Will this replace the need for grit? What is the min depth I should make it?

    I live in Cali so its not terribly cold, though we do get some frost in the winter sometimes, but they have to coop to go into too.

    I plan on getting a few more hens, and only letting them out a few hours a day (rather than letting them own the yard all day like my Penny who squawks for hours on end until I let her out of the run). So if there are more birds in the run more of the day, I feel like I have to find a better working/ healthier solution than poop cake city LOL!!

    Thanks for any answers to my questions!!!!
     

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