We filled the run with sand today-my chickens are very afraid!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by farmerinKC, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. farmerinKC

    farmerinKC Songster

    May 5, 2011
    Kansas City, Missouri
    They are so afraid they won't leave the coop-and its hot! [​IMG] We have a coop and run we intended to be a chicken tractor-it's only been a little less than a month and we realized we would run out of yard-so decided to make it stationary. We added sand today and they are terrified of it. I have been getting them out of the coop one by one dipping their feet in cool water to cool them off a bit then putting them in the run-they run back into the coop as fast as they possibly can. I sprayed it with some water to cool the sand-didn't help. The coop is on the east side if the house-so it's totally shaded in the afternoon and it gets lots of shade in the morning from the neighbor's trees. The only treat they like is yogurt-and they wouldn't come out for that either. What should I do? [​IMG] It's going to be hot again tomorrow and I don't want them to spend all day in the coop.
  2. Kudzu

    Kudzu Songster

    Mar 27, 2011
    Hey, I can identify, I had to teach my chickens how to act like chickens. They are now teaching me.
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Omgosh, I'm sorry but getting a visual of this and it's very funny in my mind. It reminds me of my chickens when it snows. THere is NO WAY they are stepping foot in it no matter WHAT treat I try. LOL Well, all I can say is give them time to get used to it. Hopefully they will adapt. Maybe try pulling some grass and throwing it on top of the sand?
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Crowing

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    THey will get used to it and start to investigate. In the meantime you can just keep putting them out. THey hate change.
  5. arianna

    arianna Songster

    Sep 8, 2010
    North Carolina
    It's the color they are afraid of.
    I have sand in my dust bathing box, and when I first set it up I had the fine play sand. The white color scared them off and they did not wanted to touch it, so I change it with leveling sand. It has more red in it and more stones. They are not afraid of it anymore, but they are using it more for digesting (eating) than dust bathing. You should probable try to mix it with something else, or replace it with pine bark mini nuggets (if there is sun in your run). My chickens love the nuggets and so do I. They scratch the ground all the time so the poop goes underneath the nuggets and the surface remains clean.
  6. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    You can always try locking them out of the coop as long as the run is in shade. Have you tried uncooked oatmeal as a treat? Mine love it.
  7. farmerinKC

    farmerinKC Songster

    May 5, 2011
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Thank you all for your replies-my chickens are still in the coop. Scared silly of the sand! [​IMG]

    I am home by myself today, so I can't get them all out of the coop to even try to shut them out of the coop. Only 4 or 5 of them will come to the food and water door to let me pick them up-so the rest would be locked in the coop.

    I didn't think about them being scared of the color of the sand. [​IMG] We switched to sand because we don't have a huge yard and like I said we were running out of spots to move the coop and run to. They destroyed the grass within a week and it was a smelly, yucky mess with so many flies!!! I read the sand thread and that seemed the way to go-to be able to keep it clean and odor-free. Arianna-I am curious about the pine bark mini nuggets-are you able to keep the smell and flies away? I will also see about getting some leveling sand.

    I will just hope for the best today-and would welcome any more suggestions.

    I just don't recall in all my reading about sand, anyone saying their chickens wouldn't step foot in it..... Maybe I need new chickens [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  8. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Songster

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    To save you spending more $ on sand or bark, I would cut as much grass/weeds as I could to make a path through the middle of the sand and then if it doesnt get all eaten you can then easily rake it up out of the sand....maybe a bale of hay? Just until they get used to the sand.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  9. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I would just put them out into the run and shut the door to the coop. (As long as it's shady). If not, you could always hang a tarp or sheet up to provide shade over the run. Be sure to put their water outside. They will be fine with the sand soon enough......

    My chicks are afraid of anything new, (even treats), but once they find out, "Hey, this new thing isn't going to hurt me!", they will come around and adjust nicely. You just gotta give them a little push sometimes.....

  10. Chicklette 1

    Chicklette 1 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    Quote:As to the pine bark nuggets or chips.......mine are flat round smooth pieces of pine bark. If this is what you mean, I would not put it in the pen. It is too difficult to spot the poop in it and also you wind up scooping up a lot of the chips with the poop. I had it under my trees and when I got my coop, some of it was in the pen and I do not like it. My grass is gone, gone, gone, and I do not like the plain dirt. I have used pine needles, leaves and a little sand but I am going to convert it all to CLASS I sand which is a little pebbly and compacts to a nice surface. I have it at the entrance to the coop and I like it. You can scrape it, scoop it, rake it, and I even sweep it. It also provides them with the grit that we supplement with. It drains well it you want to hose it down. Using it in my dog run also. Do not know about the price as our farm buys it by the truckload to use at all the gates into the pastures. Hope this will give you another option.

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