Best ground cover for the run.........Need Idea's

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mtnhomechick, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Here's my problem. I have a large coup and a large competely encolsed run. However, I use straw for run and coup. Well when it rains the straw gets so muddy and messy it's frankly disgusting.

    I have a tarp that covers more than half of the run for protection against sun and rain but it still gets so muddy and messy. Would pine shavings be better or should I just leave nothing in the run area. I don't know how much the shavings cost.......I get the straw for about 5.00 a bail but lately I go through it like crazy, not to mention having to constantly rake up the wet straw.

    Any Ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Sand and/or gravel would be your best bet.
     
  3. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    If I completely covered the run to keep it dry, would indirect sunlight be enough? Or do the chickens need direct sunlight?
     
  4. KellyGwen

    KellyGwen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2008
    Lake Luzerne, NY
    Sun is really good for them... and they LOVE to bask... plus the sun will dry up the poo and mud and kill lots of germs and bacteria.

    I just had a bunch of trees chopped down around our power lines and had the tree guys mulch them all up... the chickens LOVE digging through that stuff adn picking out all the buggies!! Plus, once all the leaves are gone there will be nice big wood chips in the run!

    Have you thought about mulch? (Although, if I could afford it I would go with the gravel!)
     
  5. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    I lovelovelove what we call "grade 4 fill sand" or #4 gravel. It's not really "sand" but more like a fine grey gravel. It does NOT get muddy, no matter what. We've used it everywhere from horse stalls, to barn aisles, to dog kennels, to the chicken yard. It's brilliant. When first putting it down, you want to really soak it good so that it packs down level. Then you can put a larger gravel on top of that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  6. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Quote:The gravel sounds like a good idea.........I suppose the poo washes down through it with rain or a person could hose the gravel to clean it.

    They REALLY LOVE the straw. When I put new straw in........they stay busy for hours scratching and pecking. I'm not really sure straw is good though. Now I read where it can have lice and mites.

    I don't know where to find DE around here or Stall Dry so I use sevin dust with the straw.

    I wish I knew what is best for them and me. I've tired of the muddy mess.
     
  7. Your run sounds just like mine,and I use the straw from Lowes in the run and Hay in the coop, but it seem here in tennessee after heavy rains the straw just sorta blends in with the dirt.All i have to clean is the hay from the coop and it goes on the garden.They have what they call thorn trees here and they have the god awful long thorns on them and the tree co mulches them up with everything else but the thorn trees sprout and grow anywhere,so no line tree mulch at our house because of the thorn trees, marrie
     
  8. belibutn

    belibutn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    We get pine shavings from the Tractor Supply Company. We'll put a giant pile of it in the middle of the coop. Within minutes the girls are all scratching in it, and then they spread it around their coop within about an hour. After that, they slowly work it out into their enclosed run, scratching it all around and mixing it in. It really helps keep mud under control and allows water to seep through into the ground, and dries out very well. Every so often we will rake the run, collect the older shavings and poop compost mixture and toss it into the compost pile we have going.

    We also will toss a handful of scratch into their coop every day or so to make sure they keep that worked up and moving all the assembly line, if you will.

    Works like a charm.
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:3 - 4 inches of sand in the run and use pine shavings inside the coop .
     
  10. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Quote:3 - 4 inches of sand in the run and use pine shavings inside the coop .

    Do you buy the pine savings by bulk or by bag? I have a lot of area to cover.
     

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