SAND in coop/run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LeslieG87, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. LeslieG87

    LeslieG87 In the Brooder

    Jan 6, 2014
    Hi all,
    I've been researching old posts and Googling 'sand in chicken coop.' Who uses it, and where? In the coop or just in the run? My coops are built off the ground in a small barn/shed. My runs are on the small side, which is why I became interested in using sand for aesthetic purposes and possible dust bathing material.
    I've heard some argue that chickens simply aren't made to walk or live on sand. On the flipside, most people seem to LOVE using it!!! Need some updated input here. Many thanks :eek:)

    ....Thought about using a layer of sand THEN shavings or straw on top of that in the coops.

  2. seann

    seann Chirping

    Dec 30, 2013
    I'm not an expert but I will use sand only in the coop itself and in the small area underneath it.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sand can be good for drainage in a run...but it can also get stinky and is hard to 'change out'.
    Sand in coops can be easy to 'scoop poop' out of...but ditto above.

    I use sand on the roost boards, mixed with Sweet PDZ and it is great for sifting out the poops and making the coop bedding last longer. I also used the same mix in a brooder and it worked well.

    There are also lots of different kinds of sand, and it's hard to differentiate between the types as the names are arbitrary and colloquial. The coarser and cleaner, no dirt - but no stones/pebbles, the better.

    Maybe try it in one of your small runs and see how it works for you?

    Lots of examples on BYC

    advanced search>title only>sand
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  4. c2chicks

    c2chicks Chirping

    I use sand in my uncovered outdoor run AND in the "play" area of my coop. In the roosting area, there is a tray w/Sweet PDZ for scooping. I love the sand. The stuff inside stays nice and dry, they bathe in it all year. The outside sand drains well and doesn't smell. I rake it once in awhile, sometimes scoop the poop and sprinkle on sweet pdz 1/week. Part of my run is sand and the other part is dried leaves, grass and pine needles. In the winter, the sand freezes and I just sweep it off--the girls play out there year-round. I know there's folks out there who have had issues with sand, but it sure works for me. I have a suburban lot in a "no chicken" city!


  5. kazula5

    kazula5 Chirping

    May 22, 2013
    We use sand in our covered run and the chickens do great with it. Inside the coop we use pine shavings because it seems warmer than sand. In the run the sand is very easy to maintain. I just rake it once or twice a week. Our run is at the base of a hill but the sand has excellent drainage and water just goes right through. The only problem is with all the chickens' scratching they tend to knock some out of the run. But I throw an occasional bag in and they even spread it for me.
  6. rguerra75

    rguerra75 In the Brooder

    May 16, 2013
    How big is your run and how many chickens do you have?

    I am thinking about using sand in our run. I was planing on using a very large grain sand/river sand. What kind do you use?

  7. GPowell

    GPowell In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2014
    Eastern North Carolina
    I am brand new to owning chickens, but I just wanted to add my two cents. I was going to make their entire run out of sand since I had a lot of sand already but I decided not to. what I did was I made a small sand box underneath the coop and left the rest alone. I did put sand in the coop though. I heard and read that the poo was much easier to clean up in the sand vs. shavings and that it doesn't hold odor as much. It makes since to me. again just my 2 cents!

  8. OScarlet

    OScarlet Songster

    Jul 30, 2013
    My coop (4'x4') is half and half sand and PDZ and the ladies are happy and have soft feet and it only stinks if it hasn't been cleaned recently.
  9. WoodenCoyote

    WoodenCoyote In the Brooder

    Jan 18, 2014
    Sir Ceredigion, Cymru
    I'm worried about the frequent rain in my area turning the run into a bog, so I was going to spread sand inside. Would that help? The run would be covered, but I've read that even covered runs get muddy.

  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    I use a fine, cleaned river sand in the yard from a local soil company. Since the yard is dirt, the sand mixes in well with the soil to assist drainage. The birds excavate the yard and mix the sand in with the dirt making it loamy. Grasses still grow in the yard, so the sand actually helps aerate the soil worked so well by the birds. I do not recommend gravel or large particle sand since it is hard on birds' feet.

    Sometimes, depending on location, it is also a good idea to dig a ditch in a strategic location and lay drainage pipe. Surround the entire pipe with 3/4 crushed rock and it will keep standing water out of the yard during those heavy rains.

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