What do you use as a sandbox?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by iamcuriositycat, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I've read of someone using kitty litter pans, but what are some other options for sandboxes? And how do you keep them from kicking it all out onto the wire and away? Are there smaller options for sandboxes for breeding pens? And how can it be done cheap or free?

    What are your sandboxes like?


  2. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Crowing

    Mar 2, 2009
    You Can Use Old Or Disposeable Pie Pans.... Litterboxes..... Even The Cheap Throw Away Type Plastic Storage Containers.... Or Make Them Out Of Scrap Wood If You Have Any.
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    That makes sense but... anything lightweight in the cage they just dump and turn over on its side. What do you do to prevent that, or does the sand weigh it down enough? And don't they scratch all the sand out very quickly? Is there a way to prevent them from totally wasting it?
  4. _Randall_

    _Randall_ Songster

    Nov 3, 2009
    Grenada, Ms
    Quote:Try to use something like a big Tupperware dish that has a snug fit top for it. Take the top and totally cut the center of it out, leaving about a 2" - 3" rim all the way around. SuperGlue the top back on once you get it cut out like you want, as according to how many birds you have, they will pack in there so heavy that they will pry the top off if you don't glue it down all the way around. If you notice when they're in a container without a top like this, when they get wild with their scratching, lots of the sand flies outward around the rim. This retainer top will stop "most" of the loss. Use the biggest dish you can afford. Kinda ends up being the cat litter box concept. And not all of that sand is being scratched out of the pan when they're dusting.........you'd be surprised how much of it they eat.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  5. secretquail

    secretquail Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    Chapel Hill
    I used scrap wood. I cut 4 lengths of 2x4, nailed them into a square, then put a bottom on from scrap plywood. It has become part of their pen. I rarely take it out. I scoop it w/ a kitty litter scoop to get the big poo chunks. I add a few scoops of fresh sand every now and then. Now almost all of my girls lay the eggs in the sand box. but yeah, the messy little buggers will kick out a lot of the sand. I just think of it as they are cleaning out the litter box for me.[​IMG]
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Oh, cool. These are good ideas. Thank you. I think I'll try the rubbermaid/tupperware thing first, using containers we have lying around. Then when I have time I'll see what I can construct out of scrap wood--have plenty of that lying around too!

    I don't mind if they eat it, if it's good for them. I just don't want them to scratch it all out and lose it, and have to replace it every day.

    Thank you!!
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Made a sandbox out of scrap wood today. Took about an hour (what can I say--I'm not much of a carpenter, but I have good intentions, lol), and the quail love it. I had to design it to fit through the small front door, so it's not as big as I would have liked and only two can fit at a time. And there are always two in it--didn't even take them long to get over the "omg what is that thing and will it eat me"s. I mixed oyster shell in with the sand, and made a lip around the top to keep the sand in. I forgot that the sand itself would make it heavy, so they're definitely not tipping that thing over, even if the materials themselves were lightweight.

    Thanks for the tips and ideas--it's working out great. We'll see if the sand stays mostly inside the box, but so far so good. Thank you!!

  8. Rozzie

    Rozzie Songster

    Jul 14, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  9. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    For my buttons I use: I got a plastic vinegar container and cut the bottom off and filled it half way w/ sand and it works just perfect for them!
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Before I had to put all mine in the same pen, my smaller coturnix pens (3-6 birds) I would cut down an ice cream bucket, of which we have PLENTY, so that it is about 3" tall and fill 'er up. [​IMG]

    My jumbo browns and my jumbo goldens each had one of those aluminum roasting pans as their dust bath...poetic justice I suppose [​IMG]

    As for them scratching it out, you could take a big box, cut a whole in the side of it (about 3" from the bottom), then put the dusting material in there. You'll lose some from them shaking off once they leave it, but they won't be able to scratch it out as easily. Or you could give them something with taller sides on it, as long as there is enough head room in their pen so they can fly/jump over the side.

    ETA: My buttons have a small square GladWare bowl for their dust baths, the 'sandwich sized' bowls [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010

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