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Using sand as a bedding material in a coop.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AKCub, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. AKCub

    AKCub Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2011
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I've seen a few people refer to using sand as a bedding material for their ducks in the coop. How deep does it have to be? How do you clean it? Does it ever need to be replaced?
    I use wood shavings now, which aren't bad but they seem to get everywhere.


  2. PixieChixie

    PixieChixie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2011
    I've been wondering about that too.
  3. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I use sand with my chickens. I love it. once or twice a year my DH digs the run out and we use the used sand in the garden. Then about once a month I had little more sand, so that the girls have a semi clean place most of the time.

    I have friend that uses 1 to 2 inch rocks in in their duck pen. They just use the garden hose everyday wash the poop into the rocks. At some point I would think that a person would have take all the rocks out in order to dig out the poop.
  4. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    I have sand in my duck coop. It's about 3 inches deep, sitting on about 5 inches of gravel. In hindsight I'd just use sand so that the gravel doesn't get mixed into it. Every day I scoop up the poop and rake the sand. I use a three pronged rake so I get right into the sand, not just scratching the surface. This is necessary to aerate it so it doesn't smell. Every couple of months I shovel out the top inch and wash it in a wheelbarrow, the return it to the pen. I top it up with a couple of bags of new sand every few months too. All that is for the sand in the uncovered part of the coop. The sand in the covered part stays dry and is very low maintenance. Just scoop the poop and that's it.

    Overall I find it to be a good surface to use. No surface is zero maintenance...
  5. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    We have pea gravel and sand....we still need to get more, but so far it works really well. Each morning I have to use my jet sprayer to spray it all down. It stinks in the morning when when I let my ducks out but once all the waste is washed away it doesn't smell at all. We have really, really fine dirt as the bery bottom/base. We put lots of pea gravel down and then topped it off with sand. The sand seems to disappear down into the gravel. Like I said, we will be getting more eventually, but it is pretty cheap, and it is really easy to clean.
  6. BallardDuck

    BallardDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Ballard in Seattle
    Hmmm...I would think that would make for an uncozy nest/bed!
    In my run I use the sand and gravel layers for easy clean-up. But in the coop I use a base of white pine shavings with a layer of straw over that. Most of the poop seems to stick to the straw, so it's easy to clean out. And the shavings refluff nicely.
    The shavings do tend to migrate throughout the entire property but I'm not such a neat-nick that it really bothers me.
  7. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    In the bedding area I use sugar cane mulch over the sand [​IMG] When it's hot they just sleep on the sand though.
  8. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    SO funny that you said it seems like it would make for an uncomfortable bed. I just posted thread about 2 weeks ago asking people what they use in their nesting boxes. I had straw in opened dog kennels on top of the pea gravel and sand to use as beds and a place for them to lay their eggs when they start. I will try to find it and post it here.....it had some good ideas in it, and it may help with this thread.

    ETA: Hope this helps this thread, if not, sorry!

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Some people say 6 inches for chickens, etc. I would have to agree that for ducks it needs to be deep. I use sand for my ducks and it's great. Keeps everything dry and it does not smell. The only thing that I noticed is that I didn't use enough. I may have used about 2 inches because I wanted to see if that would be enough. I will from here on use 6 inches. Minimal maintenance. Believe it or not, I really don't see too much poop. I think they work it in to the washed sand. The poop that I do see, I just scoop it up. It doesn't have to be replaced but you may have to add more from time to time. I'm all for using sand.
  10. RunnerWhisperer

    RunnerWhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use plain ol straw for bedding which they prefer. But the floor of their pen is sand. It is easier to clean and draingage is nice when it get's wet either from them or when it rains really hard. Like blowing sideways rain. I have been thinking though I like pea gravel idea. We have pea gravel in other places of our yard. I like to go around after I clean the duck pen and hose down any duck poo into the grass so we don't step in it. The gravel is nice because it really cleans up super easy and is less messier than the sand. Plus I notice since the ducks have been out full time now for a while, the sand is starting to smell. I rake it out everynight but it still has an odor. I'm wondering if by changing it to small gravel bits and washing it down with the hose, it would eliminate a lot of that smell. It's not like I can smell it just being in the back yard. I smell it when I am inside cleaning the pen. I may have to redo stuff!?

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