Sand for Bedding questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jdoane, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a first time Chicken Lady! My little ones (5) are still in the brooder but I am getting the coop ready. I think I have been won over to the idea of using sand instead of shavings but have a few more questions. If anyone can pipe in on answers I'd appreciate it.

    1. The only downside I am reading about is the weight of moving the sand. But what am I missing - honestly?
    2. When you do change out the sand where and how do you dispose of it? I was thinking shavings would just go in the composter but that's not a great option for the sand.
    3. I know the sand keeps the coop cooler in the summer but what about winter? I'm in Massachusetts so we definitely do get cold winters. Will the sand make the coop much colder? I do have all cold hardy breeds and have a severe cold weather emergency plan but....
    4. Do you still use diatomaceous earth as you would with shavings?
    5. What about the silica in the sand? I know I should use construction sand but isn't there still silica in it? And will that hurt the birds breathing?
    6. How many inches of sand - I've read mixed things?
    7. What is the purpose of the landscape cloth between the wood flooring and the sand?

    And any other advice you have would be great! [​IMG]
     
  2. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anybody using sand care to chime in????
     
  3. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also live in mass I use sand and it is great I put about 3/4 of an inch not to much weight, I work for a sand&gravel company we get the sand straight out of the ground can't imagine it being any cleaner than it is, in the run I used 2x6 for a border and put about 5 inches in there also. Pdz&De in both no smell no flies.
     
  4. sn0wwhite

    sn0wwhite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for answering Jetdog as I was curious too. Will it be advisable to add straw on top of the sand in the winter for warmth? I prefer cleanup with the sand. And is playground sand ok? I got some at fleet farm and I like how soft and fine it is.
     
  5. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks jetdog. What is pdz?
     
  6. Harikts

    Harikts New Egg

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    I LOVE using sand! I have a small A-frame coop with a raised floor. Currently I just have 2 hens. Last year, using aspen litter, and wood pellets, I was constantly cleaning the coop! Since using sand, and a little bit of aspen litter over it, I have almost no flies and no odor. I just refresh the coop weekly. I've only done a full cleaning once all summer.
     
  7. Harikts

    Harikts New Egg

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    And as far as disposal, I place the aspen with a little sand in the composter, and bag the larger sand for garbage. I have not had to use DE in the coop since using sand. I do still offer the girls DE with their dust bath. I have had no mite or parasite issue
     
  8. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's called sweet pdz it's used in horse stalls to absorb the ammonia smell totally safe for chickens they can eat it and nothing happens. I get it at tractor supply its like 8 bucks a bag.
     
  9. kschicks2013

    kschicks2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What type of DE do I get...and how much do I mix in with the sand? So I read that the gravelly/pebbly type of sand is preferable to playground sand.....Is that right?
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Any Amorphous Diatomaceous Earth should have the information below listed on the label (from a 50lb. bag of ADE from Canton Mills in MN - where our feedstore gets their supply): [​IMG] We use construction/play sand over Congoleum remnants (cadged for cheap at Carpet Outlet store) in both coop/turkey shed. Over this we use wood chips/small amount of straw mixed with a handful of ADE. As we remove poop daily the only real job is in the spring when everything is raked out into the runs - sand is left in runs/other bedding to compost pile - and we replace everything. Sand alone, in the dead of winter, doesn't give the chooks or turks anything to hunker down into during the day.
     

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