Will sand be ok in a rainy climate?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jettgirl24, May 23, 2010.

  1. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    My chickens have been out on their run for about a week now and it's currently grass. I know that won't last though so I'm starting to think about what I'm going to do after they've torn it up. I live in Seattle so it will need to hold up against a lot of moisture without getting too muddy. Fortunately the run is on a part of our lot that seems to drain well so at least we don't have to worry about water pooling in that area. Right now I'm leaning toward playground sand because I've heard it makes good footing and as a bonus it's super cheap! I'm planning to put it down this summer while it's dry so that the ground won't be torn up already... I learned the hard way with my horses not to try to throw down new footing on ground that's already a mud pit! So will sand hold up well in a climate as rainy as Seattle or do you guys have any suggestions that you think might work better?
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    AFTER your grass is gone...lol...I would try a crushed rock base of some kind to help with drainage, with a few inches of sand on top of that.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
  4. drunkdog

    drunkdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    also agreed I am in Seattle (S.Everett) and we put 3inches of sand over our drainbed where the chicken run is....it does get wet but no puddles and it dries out quick enough
  5. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Thanks you guys, I'm glad it sounds like the cheapest plan should work! Lucky for me my parents have a giant pile of leftover crushed rock at their place so I'll be sure to put a few inches of that down before the sand.
  6. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Lecanto, Florida
    I'd recommend placing a barrier between the rock and sand. If you put the sand on top of the rock, over time, the sand will fill the voids in the rock. Consider landscape fabric to keep the 2 layers separated.
  7. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    I live just outside of Portland south of you and can say the bed of crushed rock then several inches of sand worked great for about two years before it all just sunk into the mud. I doubt htere's any barrier that would work that wouldn't become a problem with your chickens digging. Mine dig holes up to 6 inches deep to make dust baths or just to entertain themselves.
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    If youre' going to go to the expense of landscape fabric, it should go UNDER the rock

    Personally I'd just put the cheapest sand I could find. The chickens wont care if it's "cleaned play sand".
  9. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sand, sand, and more sand. I've you're not sure if you have enough, add more sand!!! I was having a muddy mess in central NC last year when I built the first run every time it rained. It was just a bog. But I layed down a base of 2 inches of what they call Crush 'n Run which is just small gravel and course sand ($15/ton here) and then I put down 3-inches of creek sand ($23/ton). For the 8'x16' run it cost about $75. Then we came into possession of a carport my friend was removing from his driveway and I turned that into a run by enclosing it in chicken wire and moving the coop from the original run down to it. Before doing that I repeated the process with the C&R and sand. Being bigger at 22'x18' it cost more, about $150. I use the old run for holding new pullets before we integrate them in with the older Gals and we'll also use it to house the guineas when we get them next month.

    Anyway, after we moved the Gals down to the carport run Tropical Storm Ida blew through here last October and it rained buckets for four straight days. Everything was a muddy mess. Everything except our new run. I went out to collect eggs during one of the downpours and to my surprise the Gals were all enjoying a nice little dust bath! So, yes, add sand. Lots of it. And make a small drainage ditch about 3 inches deep all around your run and lead it off down hill if possible.

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