Sand in enclosed run?

Rick&Chris

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
370
445
161
Southeast PA (Bucks County)
9D609753-63CC-489C-B65A-109673F28F9C.jpeg
For those of you that use sand in your enclosed run, how deep is it? I have wood chips now that I want to remove - too hard to scoop and keep clean. I’m thinking sand might be better, but I feel they’ll just dig and fluff and mix with the ground underneath. My enclosed run is 7’x18’ ... they have a fenced area outside of the coop/run that they have access to daily. Thoughts?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,567
36,140
1,122
Colorado Rockies
I have sand in both my coops and covered runs and really enjoy the qualities of it. I've used different beddings over the years, from wood chips to wood shavings to decomposed sandstone to construction sand to masonry sand. It all ends up being dusty.

At one point, I dug out and vacuumed up all the old sand and decomposed sandstone and used a sealer on the clay sub soil to prevent the clay dust from working its way up through the new sand. It's still dusty. Conclusion: nothing I do will get rid of the dust.

I love the sand. Coarse construction sand is cheap and it also has the benefit of containing suitable size grit. When I scoop poop, some sand gets scooped, too, and it all augments the clay soil where I have grass growing. Grass really loved chicken poop, even uncomposted.

Be very mindful of using petroleum distillate based agents to try to control dust, though. You will kill your chickens.
 

JudithM

Chirping
Jun 12, 2019
23
89
75
View attachment 1918517
For those of you that use sand in your enclosed run, how deep is it? I have wood chips now that I want to remove - too hard to scoop and keep clean. I’m thinking sand might be better, but I feel they’ll just dig and fluff and mix with the ground underneath. My enclosed run is 7’x18’ ... they have a fenced area outside of the coop/run that they have access to daily. Thoughts?

I use sand in my run areas.. about 3 to 4" works great. I have a 4" border around the edges of the runs so the sand stays in pretty well. Great thing about sand is that it is so easy to keep clean. Just scoop poop every week or two when weather is dry then rain comes along and "washes" the sand. I find it much better than any type run material that holds water, poop, etc. Chicken's feet stay much cleaner also. I also sprinkle a little sand on the hard plastic liners I have in the coops to make them easier to clean. I only use shredded paper in laying boxes as I have plenty on hand and can change it on a regular basis. I tried both shavings and hay on the coop floor and run... nasty for sure and sand works best for me and doesn't have to be removed and replaced like other materials.
 

Rick&Chris

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
370
445
161
Southeast PA (Bucks County)
Your wood chips should 'eat' the poops....no need to 'clean' at all here.
But mine is exposed to rain, and that might help
Sand will probably freeze in your humid climate.
@azygous lives in an arid climate.

I was concerned about the sand freezing - our winters are not great, cold and wet. I do rake the wood chips and the poop goes below. Very dusty. It gets hardly any rain, just what comes in sideways, so never really gets ‘clean’. I’ll hose it out tomorrow - supposed to be warm.

Thanks, as always! :jumpy
 

Rick&Chris

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
370
445
161
Southeast PA (Bucks County)
I use sand in my run areas.. about 3 to 4" works great. I have a 4" border around the edges of the runs so the sand stays in pretty well. Great thing about sand is that it is so easy to keep clean. Just scoop poop every week or two when weather is dry then rain comes along and "washes" the sand. I find it much better than any type run material that holds water, poop, etc. Chicken's feet stay much cleaner also. I also sprinkle a little sand on the hard plastic liners I have in the coops to make them easier to clean. I only use shredded paper in laying boxes as I have plenty on hand and can change it on a regular basis. I tried both shavings and hay on the coop floor and run... nasty for sure and sand works best for me and doesn't have to be removed and replaced like other materials.


I use sand on the hard surfaces of the roosts, too! I think sand would be easier on their feet and less likely to injure. @aart has a good point about the wood chips and not needing to clean at all, just turn and water down.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,058
138,206
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I’ll hose it out tomorrow
I wouldn't hose it out, just hose it down a bit.
Post some pics of the conditions of the bedding.

@aart has a good point about the wood chips and not needing to clean at all, just turn and water down.
You shouldn't need to turn them, the birds should be able do that, especially with some scratch grains spread about.

I've always wished my run was roofed, for shade and less snow shoveling,
but I guess there are some advantages.
 

oldhen2345

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jun 22, 2015
1,630
8,857
451
East Texas
View attachment 1918517 For those of you that use sand in your enclosed run, how deep is it? I have wood chips now that I want to remove - too hard to scoop and keep clean. I’m thinking sand might be better, but I feel they’ll just dig and fluff and mix with the ground underneath. My enclosed run is 7’x18’ ... they have a fenced area outside of the coop/run that they have access to daily. Thoughts?
I have a smaller run area than yours, but I use sand - play sand. It hardens as it ages but works ok. I have heard construction sand is better. the sand still gets full of feces and feathers. I use two pieces of plastic hardware cloth about 2ftx2ft squares. I rake all the stuff to the front and then use the plastic pieces as a sieve.. I put them offset on top of each other and rake the stuff on top then pick it up, fold in half and shake, shake shake. the dirt falls out and all that is left to throw away is the trash. I put down a bag or so of fresh sand if needed, and top with sprinkles of DE.
 

JudithM

Chirping
Jun 12, 2019
23
89
75
I was concerned about the sand freezing - our winters are not great, cold and wet. I do rake the wood chips and the poop goes below. Very dusty. It gets hardly any rain, just what comes in sideways, so never really gets ‘clean’. I’ll hose it out tomorrow - supposed to be warm.

Thanks, as always! :jumpy

I really don't know how it would be way up north. We are in the south and snow..when we do get a little, is a novelty. My set-ups have wire on top and the rain does a nice job of washing out the entire thing except for the small space the house itself takes up. Sand freezing would not be an issue here but I can understand your concern. My daughter in law has covered pens and she has a lot more trouble cleaning them since the rains cannot wash them out due to the cover blocking rain from getting to the entire surface. If freezing is not an issue. I would vote for sand any day. A stable rake cleans up the poop clumps and mother nature washes the rest down into the ground and of course, the sand drains well and fast so no boggy ground for the chickens do deal with. We have not had any rain for months... really dry here so I have to take the hose and spray the coops down good. LOL.. the chickens love me doing that, like kids playing in a sprinkler.
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom