I use it and I love it! I bought play sand from Lowes/Home Depot cant remember which. I use an extra long kittly litter scoop to clean it out daily. My coop is 6x4 and takes me less than 10 minutes. Here are some pics:
All we have is sand here. Easy to clean, dries quickly and birds can find spilled food easily. and my birds rarely if ever few pests. Good white quartz. Some folks here have red contractor grade sand from river sand pits. I have sand floors in my houses and sand in the runs. No amount of organic matter makes much difference in a bottomless sand pit, just richer sand. Like your metal catch trays, look like some I picked up at tsc for my brooder catch pans.
Food in the sand just gives them something to scratch for. The sand is great (I use quarry sand) cleans up like kitty litter and dries quickly if a accident occurs. Spring cleaning is a snap with a paint scrapper and a shop vac too
Does anyone know if sand in the run (no roof except the hardware cloth) gets too hot in the summer in Texas? For all the reasons I've read on this forum, I'm thinking of lining the run with sand but if it'll mean my chickens can't walk on it for half the day I'll have to reconsider.
I set the feeder inside a large plastic plant saucer to help contain the spills. At the end of the day, I dump what's in the saucer back into the feeder. Anything that gets into the sand is easily scooped out by my home made pooper scooper: a reptile litter scoop taped to a long handle so I don't have to bend over.
I live in the DFW area, and I would suggest you're going to want to add some shade to your run pretty quickly. It gets way too hot here for chickens in the summertime if they have no shaded area, and even with shade many breeds really have a hard time with our heat. At that point you can add pans of water so they can stand inside to cool their feet (one of the only parts on their bodies that isn't insulated), ice down the water, etc.
I have sand in all of my runs, but the runs are also mostly shaded, either naturally or artificially.
I have a deep layer of sand in the run and under the coop and I rake up pine needles from the surrounding woods and scattert them around the run too. The girls love it. They do the scratching dance action to pull the pine needles back and are usually rewarded with some bugs. They love to take sand baths too. I also toss in the grass clippings after mowing and they are especially excited about that too as they get more bugs and fresh green grass.