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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...a 16 by 8 foot run? We r putting gravel under neath.....

Thanks for advice! I don't know how thick it should be or how far a bag will go. Thanks!
 

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If you figured 12 inches of sand it would be 16X8=128 cubic feet of sand required.

For 2 inches of sand:
128 divided by 1/6 (2/12)=21.3 cubic feet or about ¾ cubic yard.
(A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet)

A 50 pound bag of sand is about 3 cubic feet…so it looks like 7-8 bags should work for 2 inch depth. A starting point, at least!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Because we have to elevate the ground to prevent flooding. Also, we have placed a layer of hardware cloth on the bottom of the run and need to cover it to prevent damage to the chickens feet.
 

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The cubic foot calculation is correct, but the 3 cubic feet per bag is off.

Depending on particle size/moisture/ etc, sand is about 100 lbs per cubic foot, so a 50 lb bag is about 0.5 cubic feet.

http://www.reade.com/Particle_Briefings/spec_gra2.html#S

21.3 Cubic feet / .5 cubic feet per bag is 42.6 bags.

2 inches is not a lot of sand for a chicken to play in, they will mixing it in with the gravel in no time at all.

I use sand in the coop, it's easy to clean, but the run is straw over dirt.
 

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I wouldn't have the hardware cloth down on the ground in the run. Chickens LIKE to dig and scratch the soil....and they take "dust-baths".
The hardware cloth is not only unnecessary...but actually a detriment to your chickens. Put the hardware cloth on the exterior of your run to ward-off predators....but NOT on the FLOOR of your chicken-run.
.....my opinion.
-ReTIRED- :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Based on my research, predators in our neck of the woods dig under fences. Not risking it. Especially given that my dog was attacked two weeks ago. All our friends who have chicks have lost them because the predators dig under the fence. Hence the hardware cloth underneath the sand on the floor of the run.

Better safe than sorry.
 

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Is there a quarry or gravel place near you? There is one in my town and the sand is way less expensive than the bags.
 

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When I build my outside run, I made sure we buried the wire at least one foot under the ground all the way around. I haven't had any trouble yet )fingers crossed). Then again, I make sure they are all inside the coop at night
 

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The cubic foot calculation is correct, but the 3 cubic feet per bag is off.

Depending on particle size/moisture/ etc, sand is about 100 lbs per cubic foot, so a 50 lb bag is about 0.5 cubic feet.

http://www.reade.com/Particle_Briefings/spec_gra2.html#S

21.3 Cubic feet / .5 cubic feet per bag is 42.6 bags.

2 inches is not a lot of sand for a chicken to play in, they will mixing it in with the gravel in no time at all.

I use sand in the coop, it's easy to clean, but the run is straw over dirt.
I was wrong on the CF of sand in 50 pounds. I made the mistake of going to an 'ask' site…which obviously gave me the wrong answer. And I didn't question the answer…as I should have.

I happened to walk through the cement dept at Lowes this morning and they had play sand. The 50 lb. bags were so small I couldn't believe it! I remember buying a bag of sand a few years back and it was a loose bag, similar to a bag of sugar. I felt one of these bags…they were very, very moist inside. could it be they are selling WET sand these days to reduce the amount of sand in the bag?

Buying in bulk obviously is the answer. And, IMO, it wouldn't hurt to have a few small pebbles in it.
'Fill sand,' I think it might be called.
 

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I'm with Retired here.

Hardware cloth should or could be used as a skirting around the outside of the chicken yard. With a skirt 12-18" out and bury a few inches into the ground, predators will not make it in. It should take way less wire to make one lap around the outside than it would take to floor the whole run. Also another consideration, hardware cloth is galvanized, but it will corrode quickly when in contact with the ground. Predators start digging right where the fence meets the ground, not like Hogan's Heroes, where they tunnel from yards away. You put wire right at the point where the ground meets the fence they can't figure out how to back up and try from farther out. Wire under the run itself, the predator digs down and under the fence wire, rising up inside the perimeter of the eventually one is going to dig in far enough or the wire will be weakened enough to allow him to penetrate. Use your resources to keep the predator away, the further he gets in, the more likely he will be successfull.


For my chicken run I didn't use either method. I place an electric fence wires 3" and 12" off the ground around the entire circumference of my chicken yard. Over 10 years and no predator has got in YET! I capitalize YET, because predators are always trying.

When a predator approaches my yard, they always look for an easy way in. They will stick their nose to the ground, and circle the entire yard looking for a hole in the fence, an open gate or a low point in the wire. Somewhere on the trip around the chicken yard, the wet sniffing nose comes in contact with the charged wire. I promise when that happens, no predator is going to stick around waiting for it to happen again. I have had dog/coyote tracks leading right up to my chicken yard wire. Then I'll find a skid mark, tracks smeared up, and tracks leading away.

I built up the floor of my chicken yard with top soil. It was readily available on my property, and moving it was no problem with my front end loader.
 

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We chose to bury hardware cloth under our run as well. We have raccoons that like to dig. Our entire run is caged. The actual coop itself stands on a platform we made out of 12x12 pavers. We use sand in the run and I highly recommend going to a quarry or a landscaping supply and picking up the washed construction sand. It's very cheap...way more affordable than the bags. Our girls have no issue scratching around and even making little dust baths in the sand which is about 5" deep. They also free range most of the day and get to play in regular dirt, AKA, what's left of my garden planter box that they've taken over.
 
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