Tell me about sand.....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ambersparks, May 2, 2009.

  1. ambersparks

    ambersparks Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 27, 2008
    I have my coop/run set up and it's on a gravel area so before I move my chickens in I'd like to put a few inches deep of sand on the gravel. I'm wondering what the pros and cons of sand are. Is it considered deep litter? How often and what are the best methods of cleaning it out? Do they still need grit if there is sand on the ground? I think that's it.... any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much!!

    Amber [​IMG]
    mama to four children, 1 dog, 1 fish, and 4 chickens
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  2. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:I think sand will work good and you can rake it once a week and it will stay relatively clean, and I think they don't need any more grit because they will find what they need from the rocks under the sand, because they are going to dig it, But I never used any deep litter or any thing I always use plain dirt.
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  3. SoJoChickens

    SoJoChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Fountain Green, UT
    Sand is not "deep litter". It is not a compostible material (it does not break down). I think sand would also be miserable to clean. Even with sand, you will want to use pine pellets, pine shavings or another bedding material that can be easily removed or can be used in the "deep litter" method. Also, if it is fine grain sand, you will still need grit. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
  4. doodledoo

    doodledoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2008
    Cartersville, GA
    I have sand down in my coop. My coop is not water tight and when it rain really hard the water comes in under the wall and that is when it gets messy. When it is dry however I love it. I do keep cardboard down under the roosts so that I can just pick it up and carry it to the compost pile and replace it. My chickens free range all day every day so it really only gets poop from the night and most of that lands on the cardboard. I previously had a dirt floor and when it got wet it was like a slip and slide.
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Sand is not big enough for grit for adult chickens.

    It's cheap so why not just offer some to be on the safe side?
  6. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    I have sand in my run. I love it! down side is that it was a gravel run. now it is a sandydirtygravelyrocky run. they dug and scratched all the sand into this new mixture. but it drains very well (PNW) and is very easy to clean, doesn't get compacted as badly. when it was just sand I would scoop out poo just like kitty litter. we will add another 1/2 yard this summer. If your run has gravel on it now it will still have gravel on it in a couple months. with chickens you can't "cover" anything they will dig everywhere and mix everything up. my run has plenty of course gravel.
  7. roosterrescue

    roosterrescue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2007
    rainier washington
    evry year before winter i add sand to my pens.. I live in the PNW and it really helps here drain water from all the rain.. I have to readd every winter because of the clean outs.. I normally like to put i nice thick layer under my shavings to asorb the water and keep from having a swampy mess..

    But in all that I am now changing to floors coops for all my bantys and will continues the pens for the standards..

    sand is great to fill the areas that get wet the most.. nicer to walk on then muddy dirt or wet bedding
  8. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I use sand in the coop on the floor over the summer months, I use a small rake to rake the poo out everyday and add DE to the sand to keep things dry. It is fabulous for the summer and sooo much eaiser and cheaper to clean out. My chickens free range as well so the only time it gets poopy in there is at night right under the perch. In the mornings when i let them out i give it a quick muck out and cal it a day.
  9. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have sand in my run and shavings in the coop. My coop and run sit on top of a concrete patio. I have a coarse multipurpose sand, not play sand. It has a texture similar to Decomposed Grantite, DG.

    Pros. = It is easy to rake out to clean. A small amount comes out in the raking, but it is cheap and I doubt I will need to top it off anytime soon. There is not a lot of poo in the run, the majority is under the roosts in the coop. I rake out the run once a week. The sand drains easily and quickly. Doesn't get muddy under the waterer. The chickens enjoy digging and scratching in it a lot!

    Cons. = It smelled odd when I first put it in when it got wet, and I am still not sure why. I hosed it down really thoroughly a couple times one day and the smell didn't come back. ( I'm really picky about how things smell, so maybe no one else would have noticed that smell.) When the crumbles get knocked out of the feeder on to the ground, it is hard to tell what bits are crumbles and what is sand, but I haven't noticed a build up. I will be switching them to pellets soon, so it doesn't matter much after that.

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