Advice for best bedding in a run shared by both chickens and ducks?

LoloR

Hatching
Mar 29, 2020
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0
6
What is the best litter for the run area of a chicken and duck run given their very different needs? We are in NC and it's a covered run but alot of clay. Thanks in advance!
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
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6,925
396
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
LoloR, I am BRAND NEW to this, but also have a covered house and run on a heavy clay soil, with a lot of rainfall (looking out the window, i see the gauge is still filling). I'm using straw in the house, the chickens perch there, but the ducks bed downstairs by choice. Their scratching ensures a moderate amount of mostly clean, mostly dry, straw falls "downstairs", where it helps to keep the ducks warm and dry. The house itself is in the form of a U, so I can roll the wheelbarrow in and rake spent straw directly in, rather than shovelling and lifting, as I'm the lazy sort.

Underneath, I laid a bed of river stones around the watering cups and automatic dog feeder I use to supply the ducks with water, its helped to keep the water clean("er" - they are ducks, can't expect too much!) and their feet out of the clay and mud when they splash.

For much of the run, I lightly tilled the dirt and incorporated cheap bird seed and clover before they were moved in. Provides a soft carpet of mixed greens and the occasional grain seed to perpetuate it when a plant survives that long. Also improving the soil nutrients and water holding capacity, attracts insects (mostly grasshoppers and crickets) on which they feed, and slows erosion from runoff. I tried adding peas and green beans to the outside of the fence around the run as well, but a very heavy rain days after sprouting, plus the scratching of the hens when free ranging has rendered that experiment almost a complete failure.

Won't claim its best, but it is (for now, at least) working.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
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:frow From the Sandhills.

Do you have pine straw free for the raking in your area? One of the nice things about pine straw is that water mostly passes through it, leaving it damp on top but never soggy.

Maybe laid over a bed of wood chips to improve the drainage of the clay soil?

I'm a huge fan of deep litter for chickens but have no clue if it suits ducks or not.
 

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