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Ahhh ... Sooo messy ...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CheekyChooks, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chirping

    Apr 22, 2011
    So I have 6 chickens in a 8 x 7 ft run/coop. The first month I put down bark in their run but this got boggy and damp with the rain and the chicken poop. This month I tried sand hoping it would have better drainage but that got damp all the way through and was therefore impossible to sieve out the poo. It then got clogged within a few days of poop and feathers and so I removed it all at the end of the month. Now they are just on the concrete while I decide what is best to put down? What do you guys use in your runs and how do you stop the poop building up and or keep relatively clean.

    I'm not considering only having 3 chickens because of the mess every few days. I literally want to remove all the substrate every few days and start again.

  2. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    Sand in ours, but they also free range too. We rake every other day and hose it down each evening. Never a smell or mess.
  3. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    8x7 is a little small for 6 chickens for their entire set up. For 6 chickens the standard for the coop is 4 square feet per chicken and 10 square feet per chicken in the run. Which total space you would need 24 square ft for the coop 6x4 or 5x5 room with the run being an additional 10x6 or 12x5. Which makes the total square feet 84 vs 56. This is just a standard guideline. Some people think the standard is too small. I personally think it's fine.

    Maybe you can move the run off the concrete. That would help drain the sand and bury the poo, especially if you use sand. I use 1/2 sand and 1/2 grass in my run. The coop has pine shavings. I barely smell the chickens and the coop is in my garage. I scoop out the poo daily in the coop. I just cleaned the run this week for the first time in 3 months. There wasn't much to clean outside with the poop being buried in the sand. With the run being on concrete, I personally don't think there's a good solution in maintenance.

    Good luck. I hope you find a solution that works.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  4. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Songster

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I agree that your setup might be a little small and the fact that you have concrete if not letting the sand drain properly. I have 6 chickens, 6x4 coop and 12x18 run. I have sand in the coop and in the run and I have never had an issue with mess or smell. The sand drains great and most of the poo just disappears. I only have to rake it once a month (and that is if i dont run the tiller).

    It would be helpful to set a pic of your setup but I am guessing your run is not covered since you talk about it getting wet in the rain. I think you have a couple options, either cover your run to keep it dry then you could use pretty much whatever you want in the run or move it off the concrete and use sand in the run.

    Here is my set up. The run it enclosed but not "covered" to keep rain out. I have sand.

  5. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    They make these quick drying pellets used in horse stalls you could try. Our WIR is being built on dirt and then will have sand on top. I think the concrete might be holding in all the moisture and making it hard to drain. How deep are you filling the sand when you do use it? I know we're aiming for 4-6" minimum. Is it possible it's not deep enough?

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