Sand for ducks?


May 6, 2020
Hi there!
Right now we use a deep straw litter in our chicken and duck combined coop but the straw feels so messy and gets everywhere. I'm considering switching to sand. I'm wondering, does it work for ducks as well as chickens? Also, do you need to replace it ever? Or just keep it scooped daily?
Thank you for your help in advance!!
I was also considering using sand and I consulted my avian vet. She told me I could and sand would be a good option for their feet and preventing bumbles. She told me to use a few inches of it.

Then I asked, "so there is no risk of them eating it and getting impacted, right?" And she changed her mind and told me to use straw or hay instead. Lol.

I assume the risk of getting impacted is really small or she would have thought of it before I brought it up. @CoriM used sand for a while but didn't like it for some reason - I don't recall why. Maybe it was hard to clean?
I did use sand in my run around the ducks pond for about 6 months. Maybe it depends on where you live for how well it works, but being in the Pacific NW where it rains all winter I found it to be a mess. It doesn't drain, so you can't really hose poop down through it. I ended up scooping poop off the top, which was heavy and then I had to dispose and continually add new sand. It also stank like crazy! Even a year later where I dumped some of it in the yard still smells bad. But I think I've read some people on BYC like it.
Thank you for your help! I am so curious about this and the stink is a big deal... Right now the deep litter thing gets messy so fast that I'm having to add layers of straw every other day or else it gets really gross. Ugh. What is the best way to deal? haha!
I honestly don't think there is a perfect solution to this on going issue. IMO If there was, the next obstacle would be price. Some bedding / litter works great for one person and not so great for others, everyone has different conditions to work with.

As for the stink, Have you thought about feeding fermented feed? That does help with reducing the poo odors. Best of Luck. :)
I use deep pea gravel in the area around my duck pond and it's easy to hose the poop through that every day, keeping it pretty clean. Next to that and in their sleeping area I use the shavings that come in a bag. I have tried straw, and I know some feel that's better for their feet, but they drag it into the pond and picking up poop and keeping it clean was really hard for me. Because it's such long strands, if you want to clean it up you pull out a lot of straw when you try to pick up a poopy area. For me my outside area got so wet I was worried about mold growing, when the straw became layered (even though the run is covered, it's still a dirt floor at the bottom, and that gets damp). With the wood shavings it's very easy for me to spot clean, which I do once a day in the enclosed sleeping area, so they start with a completely fresh and dry area every night. In their run I actually scoop the poops a few times a day and it's pretty easy. Then sprinkle some fresh shavings on top when need be and we're good to go. Like the previous commenter said, I think people's set-ups and locations vary so much, you just have to find what works best for your situation, and usually it's through some trial and error. And of course knowing no solution is going to be perfect and ducks are a gigantic mess!
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