Sand used in runs for show birds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by RIRJen, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. RIRJen

    RIRJen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello!
    I raise silkies and have started dabbling in showing. With Michigan weather being up and down my runs are a muddy mess! (I also have speckled sussex and some laying hens.) My question is, has anyone used sand in thier runs before? Someone on the MI thread had mentioned throwing down sand and I wondered the pro's and con's of doing this? Does it work as a litter and you just rake it out? Does it help with any mites (dust baths) or does it tend to draw them in? I'm very curious on this and would love some feedback from others who have used sand in thier runs! Thanks!
    Jenny
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Have you tried leaves for the runs? I find they do a great job at keeping mud to a minimum.

    My silkies don't dust bathe as frequently as other breeds I keep, but I always have a bath available with wood ash and black earth.

    If you have white silkies, there is no keeping them clean unless they are inside 24/7. My white silkie is constantly dirty.
     
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Jenny, how big are your runs? Are they walk-in and are they covered?
    Thanks,
    karen
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    There are a lot of different kinds of sand. The kind used can make a big difference. I think play sand would work a lot better than the builder's sand that I have. It compacts very rapidly. Plays and stays loose much longer.
     
  5. RIRJen

    RIRJen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two different coops in use right now...one run is probably about 12x8 and the other is about 16x8. I'm not sure what you mean about walk-in...but no they are not covered other then with chicken wire to keep out predators. I am thinking about putting a partial roof off the coops so the birds can go outside of the coop a little without getting wet when it's raining.
    So you do use sand in your runs? My runs aren't covered so the sand would get wet from the weather. I also thought about putting gravel (too big for them to eat) in front of the coop doors so it's at least not muddy there. Do you do the entire run in sand or just a portion?

    Thank you both for your replies!! :)
     
  6. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use builders sand in both my covered run and uncovered run. It works very well, but I have it quite thick so that the rain soaks through and does not stand. We also have naturally sandy soil which is quite porous so water rarely stands for very long anyway. My son picked up play sand rather than builders sand this last time, so I will find out which works better for me.
     
  7. RIRJen

    RIRJen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Might be a silly question but don't they have a hard time walking in the sand if it's really thick? Do you have silkies in there or large fowl?
     
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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  9. Chloe77

    Chloe77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Use leaves. I do, and they work like a charm. If they want to dust bathe, they dig a hole in the leaves and PRESTO!!!


    [​IMG]

    As you can see, my chickens are running around in leaves back there. Works much better then sand. Trust me. Sand turns into mud too fast.
     
  10. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only have large fowl. They have no problem walking and love scratching and dust bathing in it. I also have a large pen with grass and leaves and they love that as well since there are insects for them to find, but I find the leaves stay damp longer than the sand. If I did not have the large pen, I would probably add some leaves to one section of the run, likely the covered area, but not the whole thing.
     

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