sand for run, have questions


9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
My chickens are currently in this chicken tractor, when they aren't in the yard.


Yeah I know,
ha ha. It sounded like a good idea, just move the tractor and it will be easy to maintain. It can be moved, but I think I hurt my back doing it so I am going to make a kennel run and attach the tractor coop, just till I can make a new one. Here is a view of the kennel run next to my raised beds. I am going to have to put wire up. Notice the 2x4's that are attached to the bottom tubing. I am planning to put the coop on the rear right side panel. I am also going to put hardware cloth around the bottom and probably some wire on top, along with the tarp roof made for it.


Here is a view of the other side

The board and pipe raises it up a little from the surrounding yard. I am planning on letting the chickens clear the grass out for me, then I'm going to put down landscape cloth, and add the sand. I might have enough height for 3 inches of sand above the area, and am concerned about the sand getting muddy. I am hopping the cloth and roof will help with that. I don't want to dig down because the ground is clay after a foot or so, and I think it will just serve as a water reservour if I do that.

I have a hen and 3 roosters so far. I am going to get 2 or 3 more hens and get rid of the roosters. I think I need to do this sooner rather than later, that way my hen won't be outnumbered by other strange hens. I am going to keep my tractor run for such introductions.

What will be the long term effect of my plans? I imagine the sand will pile up a little bit as it spills over the side, and I can add more. I don't want to go to a lot of trouble and find that it's harder to keep clean instead of easier. I plan on only having 4 hens at the most instead of 5 like I had planned.
I think you would do well with a coarse washed sand. With the barrier down it will keep the clay from coming up and contaminating the sand. Every once in a while you can rake off the top inch or so and put down fresh, like in the fall then you can throw the poo sand in you raised beds and till it in at spring time. Just a thought though!
. That is going to be a nice setup.
I put an open sided pen under an arbor that I already had in place. Previously the bottom had landscape fabric under stone pavers. I just moved the pavers and put down sand. LOVE LOVE the sand but occasionally my rake catches the stupid landscape fabric and pulls it part way through. I wish it wasn't there but I really like the sand. I just like to fluff it up occasionally with a rake. Don't know really where the poo goes...just seems to disappear. I do have the run covered with a tarp though.
We have clay soil here, too. I didn't bother with putting down landscape fabric, just a couple of inches of sand. I pick out the obvious droppings with a reptile litter scoop taped to a long handle, and rake the sand occasionally, adding another bag from time to time. I don't find that the dirt underneath the sand gets dug up at all, and the run doesn't get muddy when it occasionally gets wet from water seeping in on the sides. Wet sand dries out quickly, and I just rake it to help it dry faster.

Just be sure not to get the very fine sand that tends to clump after it gets wet.
I have 4-6 inches of sand just over soil. I think the chickens peck anything that would try to come up through the sand. They don't even scratch down very far. The sand dries really fast and never gets muddy. Works great!
I use the bags of All Purpose Sand that they sell at our local Lowe's.
Thanks Elmo
- that's what I am going to stick with - it's like $4.50 for a 50 lb bag, so a couple or three bags will be perfect for the spot I am planning...and they seem to have it ALL the time, so I won't have trouble if I need more....
Well Lisa202 - I don't know about you ,but I keep getting differing opinions on sand which is okay and to be expected - I got some good advice on one thread saying they use playground sand and its good enough for the kids - chickens should will be fine...the another said construction sand..

so I am following the advice that I can afford and that will not harm my chickens...drumroll please...........
playground sand it is!
Thanks to all for the help!

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