To sand or not to sand????

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Inkheart, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    I would like to know peoples opinions on using sand in outdoor runs - pros and cons - and play sand or contractor type sand etc. How deep to make etc?
    Just some general thoughts - opinions - tips would be great!
    Thanks!
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello! I personally LOVE sand! I've tried several types of ground cover for my chicken run, and sand is just the best stuff! It drains well, the chickens love to scratch around in it, and if you have a covered run and keep it dry, they will also love to dust bathe in it.

    It beats anything I've ever tried......And it's easy to keep clean. I just go around and rake up the poo, and then I get the garden rake and I scratch around the sand to soften it up again and it really stays pretty nice.

    My husband just goes to a sand and gravel place and buys a truckload....It's not playsand, so maybe it's contractor's sand.....

    Hope this helps!

    Sharon
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:x2 We have it in our bantam coop. Since that coop is framed in 2x4s, our sand is basically 3.5 inches deep, as deep as our 2x4. We got our sand from a mulch/rock company. We chose the coarse sand w/pea gravel mixed in. Poop is SO easy to clean (and much of it just kind of disappears down into the sand). My big run is dirt/grass, and it's hard to clean...
     
  4. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    We use sand, but DH buys playsand. We work full time, so it doesn't get raked out as often. It definitely reduced the amount of flies and odor for the runs, since the poo dries out more quickly. Part of our is covered and stays dry. I add DE to that for them to dust bathe in. The part that gets rained on still drains quickly.

    In the winter we hauled out all the 'dirty' sand to add to the clay soil in our garden beds. We laid out new sand. Ultimately less expensive than buying a high quality soil for the gardens and the plants seem very happy.
     
  5. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Thank you everyone! Those are the things that i was looking for . I have a smaller coop and run and now i have three bantams in there - for now the run is all pretty and grass covered - but i KNOW that wont last long! LOL so was jsut trying to think ahead
     
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Oh, I just wanted to add that it's great for a run that is not covered......Because of the drainage.....If your run is pretty small, play sand would work for you, but I do think it's ALOT cheaper to buy from the sand and gravel place.....I think my hubby got a pickup truck full for like $15.00........

    I also live in OH, and with all the rain we've had, it's just great......I tried just plain dirt, and that was a muddy, stinky mess......And straw is OK, but it eventually turns into a crappy mess that you have to rake out and then what do you do with it? Bag it and throw it away, or just put it in a huge pile for compost.......You don't have to worry about that at all with sand.......

    When winter was over, my sand did seem to have a hard crust on top....I just scraped that off and threw it out.......And the sand underneath was like new.......

    Take care,
    Sharon
     
  7. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Quote:You should be a sand salesperson! You have me sold. I plan on them out in the yard when i am home and on the weekends so the run is for when they unsupervised - so they are protected. Yes and a HUGE line of storm just rolled thru here with some hail!
     
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Haha! I swear, I have no affiliation with the sand companies! I'm up here, probably about 45 minutes south of Cleveland, and today it was probably 55 degrees when I left the house for work this morning.....The breeze felt wonderful! But it's very grey and cloudy....I'll bet your storm is headed our way......I hope your hail wasn't too big....

    I've pretty much learned all my chicken stuff from trial and error.....I just love to be able to share helpful info......What kind of bantams do you have?
     
  9. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    SAND IS GOOD! I get mine from a friend that has a sand pump/screener/cleaner in his creek.
     
  10. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    When we build are new pen we are putting down sand I have found that sand drains better and it helps to dry out the poop so less smell, easy clean up. I would use sand in any run I make for my chickens.
     

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