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 Sand floor for chicken coop
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StrawHouseRanch
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Paula
Holt Missouri
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2011 :  09:55:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We are going to put in sand for the base or flooring in our chicken coop, which is now just dirt. For those of you who are using sand for footing in your coops, did you do anything to prep the ground below before you threw in the sand or did you just dump sand in there? How deep did you make the sand flooring? Any other tips about using sand for the flooring in your coops?

Paula

Farmgirl Sister #3090
A Beehive is the ultimate Home Sweet Home

sherrye
True Blue Farmgirl

3775 Posts

sherry
bend in the high desert oregon
USA
3775 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2011 :  10:46:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
what kind of sand are you going to use? are you going to scoop your poop or sift it out like car litter? i have dirt floor with shavings. my concern is the kind of sand. sherrye

the learn as we go silk purse farm
farm girl #1014
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StrawHouseRanch
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Paula
Holt Missouri
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2011 :  10:57:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've always heard play sand is safe. I'm sure it will be trial and error on working out a technique for scooping/scraping/sifting. Their coop is kind of an open air style with the roost "in the attic"...It is really a tractor that we expanded and has become so heavy that it has turned into a stationary coop. We then fenced in an area with electric netting to give them more room to roam. But they still like to go hang out in the lower level of the tractor and it is starting to get kind of messy. So, the sand will be somewhat exposed to the elements where the rain and weather can come through the screen wire.

Paula

Farmgirl Sister #3090
A Beehive is the ultimate Home Sweet Home
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Betty J.
True Blue Farmgirl

1232 Posts

Betty
Pasco WA
USA
1232 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2011 :  11:05:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How will you keep unwanted critters out of the henhouse if you don't put something down to keep them out?

Betty in Pasco
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sherrye
True Blue Farmgirl

3775 Posts

sherry
bend in the high desert oregon
USA
3775 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2011 :  11:07:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
it sounds like a great coop. my concern is if construction sand is used is there stuff in it? we bought special play ground sand for the GKs sand box. they told us the stuff in construction sand is bad for kids. so what about chicken feet? that is my thought. a few fine cut shavins on top would make sifting easier. sherrye

the learn as we go silk purse farm
farm girl #1014
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StrawHouseRanch
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Paula
Holt Missouri
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2011 :  11:44:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have 6000 volts of intermittent current surrounding them in my fence. There are doors on the coop that I close up at night too, but I don't think the coop by itself would keep determined critters out, if I didn't have that fence. I'll post some photos this weekend from my home PC. Photobucket is blocked here at work so I can't upload any photos.
I agree with you Sherrye, I don't like the idea of using construction sand either. It might be okay, but I'd rather use sandbox sand because it is marketed to be used for children, which I hope is safe enough for my chickens.
I'm just not sure how deep to make it for proper drainage and to keep it from getting muddy from their scratching. Adding a layer of shavings sounds like a good idea too, to help dry out the droppings as long as the shavings don't get wet from exposure to the weather.

Paula

Farmgirl Sister #3090
A Beehive is the ultimate Home Sweet Home
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batznthebelfry
True Blue Farmgirl

1257 Posts

Michele
Athol Ma
USA
1257 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2011 :  12:22:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes play sand is the best as they filter & heat the sand to get out impurities.....with this on dirt your chickens will have a great time as they will dust bathe in it plus they will scratch it into the dirt....I recommend a light dusting at first since it will be new to them....then add more as you go....one thing nice about sand on dirt if it gets wet it drains thur where dirt turns into mud..lol....Construction sand will have more pebbles in it which won't hurt the chickens as they will go for the small ones for grit.....they play in dirt so think about it the construction sand they will play in as well....construction sand won't have harmful things in it such as pesticides ect but may have weed seeds since its usually just dug up without filtering/cleaning/heating....anything you use will eventually get dirty so don't worry too much about what you use but for drainage sand is a good way to go....Michele'

Chickens rule!
The Old Batz Farm
Hen #2622
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sherrye
True Blue Farmgirl

3775 Posts

sherry
bend in the high desert oregon
USA
3775 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2011 :  08:11:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
my concern in the sand is by product chemicals. since a lot of sand comes from the coast it could be loaded with salt. papa is a brick layer and block. the sand we use for making concrete mud makes me sick. its a lot more money for clean sand. we scraped our floor in coop. then i broomed the base. we then put a full bale of shavings (fine cut) down. i can go in with a pick and clean it up. we also use shavings in nest boxes. we use just plain dirt for dust bath area. i add D.E. to help with mites. we have about 100 hens. when the yard is dirty i add tractor buckets of fresh dirt and put some waste hay on top. i have never had a mite or lice issue yet. all the animals love a clean house. when we do the hog pen she runs and rolls in the new bedding. i love it when things are in order. something very rare here. so much going on we are always playing catch up. sand to me is ok for a base. i want something light to pick through. this way less weight for me to lift out. chicken poop is soooo wet. hope this helps. happy days sherrye

the learn as we go silk purse farm
farm girl #1014
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StrawHouseRanch
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Paula
Holt Missouri
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2011 :  09:11:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm going to try posting a photo of our coop.

It is really two chicken tractors that we combined into one. This photo was taken right after they moved in, so there was still plenty of green grass inside.




Paula

Farmgirl Sister #3090
A Beehive is the ultimate Home Sweet Home
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sherrye
True Blue Farmgirl

3775 Posts

sherry
bend in the high desert oregon
USA
3775 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2011 :  9:40:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i have to go to sleep. but i had to jump up to type this. i love love love it. i am going to copy it for our GKs house. they want a few chickens. i love how it is set up. looks safe for your girls. good job. happy days sherrye

the learn as we go silk purse farm
farm girl #1014
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batznthebelfry
True Blue Farmgirl

1257 Posts

Michele
Athol Ma
USA
1257 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2011 :  9:45:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
what a cute hen house/tractor!!!! & I must say those are some beautiful kids you got there....Michele'

Chickens rule!
The Old Batz Farm
Hen #2622
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StrawHouseRanch
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Paula
Holt Missouri
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Aug 22 2011 :  06:13:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the nice comments on our coop! I passed them along to my husband who sweated through the construction process in our garage on those 95 degree days this summer. I like the overall design for its low profile. With the 60 mph wind gusts we tend to get during thunderstorms in our area, I don't worry about it blowing over. I love my little barred rock hens. They are now all clucking and purring these days...but I still call them my little peepers!

Let me know if you need any information on measurements or materials for your GK's coop Sherrye!

Paula

Farmgirl Sister #3090
A Beehive is the ultimate Home Sweet Home
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batznthebelfry
True Blue Farmgirl

1257 Posts

Michele
Athol Ma
USA
1257 Posts

Posted - Aug 22 2011 :  11:27:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
honey you need to tell that hubby of yours he is WONDERFUL! & what a beautiful job he did a wonderful job on building it.....I dare not even let my hubby hold a hammer in fear that he might break it...lol...Michele'

Chickens rule!
The Old Batz Farm
Hen #2622
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gathered herb
True Blue Farmgirl

87 Posts

Patty
Ormond Beach florida
USA
87 Posts

Posted - Aug 23 2011 :  6:35:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just built a chicken yard with a coop inside.. I used crushed shell? So far, so good.. I am a new farmer here. Yesterday I found a ladder that went to a bunk bed... my ladies love it! Also since the sun is so bright here... I put a roll of bamboo on the top for shade.. bought it at Lowes... works great...patty
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StrawHouseRanch
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Paula
Holt Missouri
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Aug 24 2011 :  06:05:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Patty I've heard of using crushed shell before. It isn't very available here, but I've heard it works great! I shoveled 150 pounds of sand into the base of our coop yesterday afternoon, after I had put down some fresh dirt from the horses' dry lot. Of course we are having another heatwave this week, so by the time I was done, I was dripping. Even my legs were sweating!!! I also put a pretty good sized wad of shavings under their hanging feeder where flies seem to really collect. Still need more sand, but I got the heavy traffic areas covered and it smells so much better. The girls had a lot to say about all of that activity.

Paula

Farmgirl Sister #3090
A Beehive is the ultimate Home Sweet Home
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Peg Graham
True Blue Farmgirl

230 Posts

Peg
Chesapeake Virginia
USA
230 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2013 :  2:52:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Read this from The Chicken Chick: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/09/chicken-coop-bedding-sand-litter.html

She says; "The best type of sand to use is a washed, construction grade sand that is silicate-free. River sand or red sand are fine too."

~miles of smiles~
Peg Graham
http://unforgettable-peggraham.blogspot.com/
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StrawHouseRanch
True Blue Farmgirl

1044 Posts

Paula
Holt Missouri
USA
1044 Posts

Posted - Mar 26 2013 :  7:10:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, that picture brings back memories!! It sure doesn't look like that anymore!! The girls took care of all of that grass, and the coop needs a new coat of paint. I lost one of my girls yesterday for an unknown reason. I saw Batz comment about a stroke and wonder if that isn't what it was...she was so young though.
I keep shavings on top of the sand now. The shavings really keep them warm in the winter, and help dry out their droppings. They also keep down any odor during the summer. I think the sand has probably mixed in with the soil underneath by now. I strip it all out and put in new shavings every few months. The sand by itself would have been way too cold and damp for them in the winter though.
I've learned so much since I posted my first question here at the top of the thread. Feels like coming home here after all these months of being away!

Paula

Farmgirl Sister #3090
Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, and Today is a Gift.

"Look deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better."--Albert Einstein
"A meal of bread, cheese and beer constitutes the perfect food." --Queen Elizabeth I
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