What kind of sand is okay for chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by akhadley, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. akhadley

    akhadley Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2014
    In a desperate attempt to keep my run dry and hopefully parasitic worm free, I was told to put 5-6 inches of sand in the run. We have a Home Depot and it carries a variety... which one would be best? Would any of them work?

    Quikrete All Purpose Sand
    Leveling/Paver Sand
    Quikrete Washed Plaster Sand
    Quikrete Commercial Sand
    Quikrete Coral Sand
  2. laceykins

    laceykins Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 18, 2014
    Centennial, CO
    I heard that river sand, like the type carried at sand and gravel supply stores, is the best. It's a great question though. Will definitely follow this thread!
  3. 11mini

    11mini Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2014
    Lake Stevens, WA
    It will not work either, you are going to have wet smelly sand. Not sure how big your run is but 6" of sand is many, many bags. I would work on covering the run first.
  4. KGreene

    KGreene Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 23, 2014
    I use sand in my coop and run and it works great for me... But it won't keep it dry if water run-off issues are not corrected (assuming that's the issue).... You'll just have wet sand.
  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I can't imagine wet sand can be as smelly as wet nasty mud that is created in chicken runs.
    1 person likes this.
  6. WNCcluck

    WNCcluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2014
    Mountains of WNC
    I would stay away from paver sands. They're very fine - generally finer than play sand. Some of them have bonding components that will create a mortar-like "grout" between the pavers.

    The general recommendation that I've followed is to use contractors' sand. You don't want anything with any mortar mixed in at all - unless, of course, you're looking for a concrete floor for your run.

    We've found our covered run to be quite manageable even at the rainiest times with contractors' sand with two bags of granular PDZ mixed in. Our run is 8x16 for 8 hens. As the girls kick some of the sand out, as they will, we add more.

    We also did some strategic trenching near the run. Trenches are 4" deep and about 8" wide. An aerial shot of our run area would look like a carving board ... if we hadn't mulched around the run. Now the trenches don't pose an ankle hazard and the water still drains away from the run.
  7. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    Sand really works best when covered. It will look great for about 6 months but then it can get really nasty. Covering sand allows it to stay much dryer and cleaner. Also, combing it for waste once a month is a very good idea. I had sand and eventually had to get rid of it because of how gross it got. I would try it again, but only if covered and protected from the elements.
  8. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there a place near where you live where you can get a load (or half a load) of sand? As someone has pointed out, six inches of sand will be many, many bags of sand.

    We use sand in our runs and yes, it will stay wet after heavy rains so two or three times a year we "top" it off with...sand. We can get half a scoop for $7.50 from a local place that sells mulch (sand is, of course, HEAVY and a full scoop is too heavy for my little Toyota pickup bed)...and hauling it down and spreading it into four runs makes us glad we're dealing with only half a scoop at a time.

    I'm going to assume this is contractor sand (I don't ask). We also spread it in the coops as it's great for drying up poop and keeping the inside odor of the coop down, especially in the summer.

  9. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Southern New Hampshire
    I use sand in my runs. I have 3-4" but my runs are all covered with polycarbonate corrugated roofing (clear). If you have real water problems put in drainage before you put your sand down. I rake it out periodically and it stays clean and dry. Below are pictures of 2 of my runs with Home Depot All Purpose Sand in bags. It was easier to move bags to my coop location than to have it delivered in my situation.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  10. akhadley

    akhadley Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2014

    Our current run has a roof and if we move it back to its original spot there shouldn't be any area that it would get wet aside from erratic rain (which would probably mean a typhoon, which would mean everything outside gets destroyed ... our run will just be part of that "everything" no matter what we do). When we build our new run, someday, it will also have a roof but the run will be taller I think, so we were thinking of putting that "green screen" stuff along the chicken wire so that if it got rained on the rain would hit the green screen and just run down the sides rather than go into the run.

    Does that sound like it would do okay? Maybe every six months or once a year top it off a little bit with some fresh sand?

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