Sand in the run.... Yes or No?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ms Jellybean, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Ms Jellybean

    Ms Jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2013
    I have read so many conflicting articles on the use of sand in the coop/run for chickens. Some say it is great (as long as it isn't play sand) and others say it carries Ecoli, or is bad to use.

    I am setting up a coop/run area with a bigger run area attached to it. The largest run will have deep litter in it. I'm looking for the best ground cover for the smaller (5'x10') run area - it will be covered. Sand sounds good, especially since it can be easily cleaned, but I want what is best for the chickens and our health.

    So, what is the real low down on sand?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    There is a "got sand you should" thread that is awesome.

    I am a lover of sand in the coop and nest boxes. I scoop mine daily with a kitty litter scoop (and wear an N95 mask- sand is very bad to breathe). I use washed sand (delivered from the garden center via truck). I used to use play sand from Home Depot and it worked great. What you are looking for is washed sand, I believe.

    The danger in using sand outside is "hardpanning" and this has happened to some which requires that you either put more on top or remove it, from my understanding. However, if it is covered and remains soft/relatively dry, then you should be good to go! You will need something around the sides so it doesn't wash away from what I have read. When I put sand outside around the waterers it washes away after awhile.

    If you put gravel underneath they will stir up that gravel and then you won't be able to use your kitty litter scoop (some make a long-handled one) to clean poo out as the gravel will be picked up as well.

    What I like to recommend is - make a small area filled with sand (like a little sandbox) with sides and see if you like it and if it hardpans for you. Then you will know if it works for you.
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