Sand in run?

MakelaNJoe

Chirping
Apr 26, 2015
353
36
98
Northern California
I put a larger grade sand in the corner of my run there is fine construction sand but also little pebbles, my 3 chicks are 5 weeks and first thing in the a.m the love a dust bath in it and to plop over in the sun! Chickens are so awesome!
 

beccaWA

Songster
8 Years
Feb 22, 2012
327
183
201
Eastern WA
I'd use pine shavings or if you can find it (I have not been able to) there's a ground cover made of straw-like material and treated with soybean oil that is absolutely dust-free. Wish I could find it around here.

I am not sure where the sand idea came from. It gets dirty fast, and unless you have gravel under it, it does not drain well. But the biggest problem I see with it is that if the sun shines on it, it gets super-hot. Tried walking barefoot on hot sand? Chickens have the same experience. I'm not a beach girl and neither are my chickens! :)

You could just go with plain dirt, too. Can plant some edible ground cover on it and they'll have greens.
 

MaLoTu

Chirping
Mar 28, 2015
294
12
88
I'd use pine shavings or if you can find it (I have not been able to) there's a ground cover made of straw-like material and treated with soybean oil that is absolutely dust-free. Wish I could find it around here.

I am not sure where the sand idea came from. It gets dirty fast, and unless you have gravel under it, it does not drain well. But the biggest problem I see with it is that if the sun shines on it, it gets super-hot. Tried walking barefoot on hot sand? Chickens have the same experience. I'm not a beach girl and neither are my chickens! :)

You could just go with plain dirt, too. Can plant some edible ground cover on it and they'll have greens.

People keep saying pine shavings ... are you talking about like little pieces of wood chips or the actually shavings that you would also put in a hamster cage? Thanks in advance for the clarification and sorry to hijack the thread!
 

tigerchick

In the Brooder
Apr 21, 2015
32
2
24
Thought about the sand idea then a friend said she has 2 chickens break their legs flying down from a roosting pole. She had not raked the sand in a few days and it was packed like a brick. So I dropped that idea and I am using pine shavings. I did use the coop clean, cut hay, in the brooder box for a week. I needed to change up my material in my compost pile. I worried about them eating it and getting the crop impacted. I saw a post about that and it scared me. So pack to pine.
 

MakelaNJoe

Chirping
Apr 26, 2015
353
36
98
Northern California
Here's a picture of them. I don't know this brand (probably local). But any feed store should have them packaged like this. 

400


Would this work as well?
 

MaLoTu

Chirping
Mar 28, 2015
294
12
88
Hm ... do the shavings get all soggy and gross? My run is covered, but it seems like they would just be a mess. How often does it need cleaned?
 

beccaWA

Songster
8 Years
Feb 22, 2012
327
183
201
Eastern WA
I think it dries out better than most other material (such as straw). The big factor is, it does not mold if it gets wet. Birds are very sensitive to mold. Keeping poultry is work, and part of that work is keeping their bedding fresh. If your run is covered, it should not get wet by weather/rain. That helps. You can use a deep litter method where you just keep adding material on top, mix it a bit to get the composting of the bottom (dirty) material going. I clean out my coop, throw it in the compost heap, add "stall clean" (or diatomateous earth) then put down clean bedding. I entirely clean the coop every couple months in winter (cold here). In summer I clean it entirely out about once a month, and "spot clean" places where it's dirtier.
 

MaLoTu

Chirping
Mar 28, 2015
294
12
88
I think it dries out better than most other material (such as straw). The big factor is, it does not mold if it gets wet. Birds are very sensitive to mold. Keeping poultry is work, and part of that work is keeping their bedding fresh. If your run is covered, it should not get wet by weather/rain. That helps. You can use a deep litter method where you just keep adding material on top, mix it a bit to get the composting of the bottom (dirty) material going. I clean out my coop, throw it in the compost heap, add "stall clean" (or diatomateous earth) then put down clean bedding. I entirely clean the coop every couple months in winter (cold here). In summer I clean it entirely out about once a month, and "spot clean" places where it's dirtier. 


Thank you for the detailed explanation. I have been worried about how to take care of the coop and run. I will probably do a complete clean like you mentioned you do. Right now I am cleaning the brooder twice a week so once or twice a month will be refreshing!
 

MANNA-PRO

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