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12x16 run....just dirt, is that ok?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Buckhorn Farm, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Buckhorn Farm

    Buckhorn Farm OLD Country Girl

    Mar 30, 2009
    North Florida
    We just finished our run for our chicks. It is 12x16, we had to haul in some dirt to fill in the area for the run, so it is all dirt. Is that going to be ok....or should I put something down like straw? Thanks, Glenda

  2. jonathansenn

    jonathansenn Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    East Dublin, GA
    IMHO it depends on the part of the country you live in. If you live in the colder part, I would put down straw for warmth. In the warmer regions the dirt should be just fine.

    All the straw will do is collect poop. If you want use it as fertilizer then I would use straw. I have dirt and sweep the chicken run every so often and use it in a compost pile. Helps go big tomatoes
  3. Buckhorn Farm

    Buckhorn Farm OLD Country Girl

    Mar 30, 2009
    North Florida
    Thanks, I am in north florida....nice and warm:)
  4. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Maybe deep sand so you can rake or hose it down.
  5. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    Dirt works just fine, they will burrow around and dust bathe in it all day.

    I've also heard of people using various things on the floor for the chickens to scratch in. I've personally used coastal hay and it was fine, but I've heard of people having problems with their chickens eating it and getting a crop impaction. Also, if it gets rained on a lot it could mold which is bad for them.

    My experience with the hay was that it was cheap to cover a large area and that it looked nice. Also, the chickens had a blast scratching around in it for the bugs that would hide underneath. The downside was that I eventually had to rake all of that hay up and remove it for composting once it was dirty. Not so fun.

    I've heard of people using dead leaves as a floor covering, and this sounds like it would work better because it would give them hours of fun while they scratch through for bugs and they will shred the leaves down and compost them into the dirt so you wouldn't have to shovel them out later. Now, the only issue, I guess would be finding a place to get enough leaves to fill your run. [​IMG]

    My current run just has the dirt floor, and they seem to be just fine with it, though they prefer to free-range whenever possible.
  6. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    My run is dirt and works just fine. Once they clean out all the grass in their new run, I'm sure it will be dirt too [​IMG]
  7. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Songster

    Sep 19, 2008
    I'm having Dirt as well!

  8. Lmarie

    Lmarie Songster

    Jan 3, 2009
    Way Over Yonder, GA
    we used to throw in grass clippings, they love playing in those also. [​IMG]
  9. I am with LMarie,
    We will also throw in grass clippings at times, other then that we have dirt, and yes the girls love to dust bathe in it.


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