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Sand in Run Question

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

  1. ilovelove

    ilovelove Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    Colorado
    My Coop
    I have 5 chickens in my backyard coop. They have a run area that is about 60 sq ft and it has a sand floor. The sand seemed to be great for the first 8-10 months or so, then it started getting gross really fast. I was scooping out poop and raking up feathers but then it got to the point that it wasn't possible to remove everything without digging up ground. This past fall I had to replace all the sand because it was so caked and gross. Now, its only been about 3-4 months since I put in the fresh sand and now its just as bad. Is there something else I should put down that would have better drainage? I have considered pea gravel, but if it gives me similar issues it will be even harder to remove.

    What do you like to use as substrate for a run and how often does it require cleaning/replacing? I would like something that I can just rake the poo and feathers off of, and have the material left behind.

    For those of you that use sand, do you have similar issues? If so, do you end up replacing the sand every few months?

    This may be a battle I cant win, but I thought I'd try to get some other opinions.
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I have never had a issue with the sand in my run. How deep is the sand? I have had a sand run and have not touched it in 2 years. However I do go in and pick up feathers every few months. Not sure why your sand is giving you so much trouble. Maybe someone else has some ideas.
     
  3. ilovelove

    ilovelove Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    Colorado
    My Coop
    The sand is at least 8" deep throughout most of the run. It is just regular play sand from the hardware store
     
  4. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2011
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    My soil is hard clay. With the run sand on top of the clay.

    One end of my run sand is 3" above grade and the other is a good 12".

    No caking no gross.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana

    I have no idea what "play" sand is. Maybe that's the problem. I have "washed" sand and I don't have any trouble. Does your sand look like this?
    [​IMG]

    And this is what my sand run looks like after 2 years of not touching it and constant Louisiana rains with 9 inches of rain last week. The spot that you see is not a puddle. It's a damp spot. I stepped in the damp spot and could not even get 1 tablespoon of water. And this is an uncovered cun.

    After 9 inches of rain
    [​IMG]

    Sand after heavy rains.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    My washed sand comes from a company that has pits of dirt, sand, clay, etc.
     
  7. ilovelove

    ilovelove Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    Colorado
    My Coop
    It does look like that. It's just regular sand, like the type you buy to use in a sand box or play ground for kids. Sorry, we call it play sand here. I am in shock that your coop looks so clean after all that rain and not having to touch it! How deep is the sand in your run? It seems that in my run the poo just dries and clumps on top of the sand, and if I dont rake it out right away, over a few weeks it is a mess. I live in Colorado, so perhaps the lack of rain/show we have had has made it worse. Maybe all your rain keeps it draining well.. hmm

    Thanks for the pictures
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

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