Using sand in chicken yard -- does it get too hot?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AutumnFall, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. AutumnFall

    AutumnFall New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jun 4, 2016
    I've been thinking of putting down sand in my chicken yard, but I'm wondering how it works when it gets very hot. Does the sand hold the heat (like on a beach on a really hot sunny day) making the chickens hotter? We live in Iowa, so we don't have blistering Arizona type hot, but it gets pretty hot at times. Part of the yard is shaded by grape vines and part is open to the sun. (And usually they are allowed to run around the pasture, but there are times they need to stay in their yard, and on hot days they don't like to roam too far anyway.) I've heard lots of folks rave about sand, but I've always wondered about this part.

    Thanks,
    Autumn
     
  2. AutumnFall

    AutumnFall New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jun 4, 2016
    I've seen so many people talking about how great sand is on this site. I was really hoping someone could answer my question. Sigh.
     
  3. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    83
    136
    Mar 10, 2016
    Oklahoma
    A lot of our yard is sand and grass and anything else we plant in it grows well (have supplemented in a few areas with topsoil). I guess I would have to say it works well with our chickens (we have 9). When it does get too hot, we cover their area with a tarp and use misters. I would recommend it.
     
  4. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    429
    98
    111
    Apr 24, 2016
    Missouri
    First summer with chickens, but so far here in St. Louis there's been a few days of 100 or close to. Our coop and covered small run are sand, and larger run with dirt. Sand is never in full sun due to covered run, but doesn't seem to heat up any more than dirt would. I've hosed it down a couple of times/day. Love love love it in terms of staying clean, but I scoop poop with a kitty litter scoop once or twice/day.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,582
    7,799
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    .....and many have found it's not all it's chalked up to be.

    Yes, it will get hot and hold the heat...and poop can't decompose in it.
    Eventually it will become saturated with pulverized poop and when wet will stink to high heaven.
    Better to build up a good varied mix of dry plant matter.

    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
     
  6. AutumnFall

    AutumnFall New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jun 4, 2016
    Thank you for the input, and for the link to the thread on muddy runs -- all very helpful. We have very dense clay soil, and I'm starting to think that maybe putting some sand in to lighten the soil, but doing pine needles and leaves and things on top might be a good combo . . . But I think the main thing is I'll have to think about this a little more.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,582
    7,799
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sand mixed into clay can make something akin to concrete.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by