Best Ground for UncoveredRun?

Asondo

In the Brooder
May 6, 2021
18
30
41
Ok, so I’ve been going outside this past week after light rain and the run SMELLS! it is plain dirt, and never smelt during the summer. I rake it every once in a while. Even after taking today, it still smells. My neighbor keeps overwatering their yard and flooding my chicken run (the drain is right outside the run door). There has been light rain and that’s when I started smelling. I need something that’ll help keep fresh, the coop/run is on a slant towards the drain, so water doesn’t stay put in the coop.

I use deep litter w pine shavings inside the coop. There is no smell there.

I was looking into pea gravel. My chickens free range from the time I wake up till sundown (6:30), the only time their in the run is for a bit in the morning until I wake up. I’ve heard pros and cons about pea gravel. My plan would be thrown down a coop deodorizer on the dirt, then put pea gravel on top of that.
Is this a good idea, to keep down the smell, while also being lower maintenance?
Or what other ideas are there?
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,177
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WA, Pac NW
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Gravel is the WORST possible choice in your situation. What that does is allow bits of poop to wash in between the rocks, build up and just stay lodged there, stinking.

Deep litter would be the best option here, as it's a composting system. Provided you set it up properly it allows for surface drainage in the area, helps control mud and odor, and provided you have enough volume for the amount of poop/number of birds (hard to tell because from the photo the run space looks small-ish, but it could extend much further than what we see, or maybe you have a tiny flock), it's almost no maintenance.
 

Asondo

In the Brooder
May 6, 2021
18
30
41
You need carbon. Wood chips are the easiest to source. Google Joel Salatin "Polyface Farm" he has written numerous books, various videos on YouTube. Operates a multi generational farm in the Shenandoah Valley. He has decades of experience and swears by my recommendation.
Thank you! I will take a look into it.
 

Asondo

In the Brooder
May 6, 2021
18
30
41
Gravel is the WORST possible choice in your situation. What that does is allow bits of poop to wash in between the rocks, build up and just stay lodged there, stinking.

Deep litter would be the best option here, as it's a composting system. Provided you set it up properly it allows for surface drainage in the area, helps control mud and odor, and provided you have enough volume for the amount of poop/number of birds (hard to tell because from the photo the run space looks small-ish, but it could extend much further than what we see, or maybe you have a tiny flock), it's almost no maintenance.
Thank you so much!

And yes, I should mention I only have two girls, and the run does curve around the other side of the coop, also extends under the coop. And they’re let out in the day, they seem to be very happy lol!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,177
36,858
1,062
WA, Pac NW
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My Coop
Thank you so much!

And yes, I should mention I only have two girls, and the run does curve around the other side of the coop, also extends under the coop. And they’re let out in the day, they seem to be very happy lol!
For 2 birds that are only restricted to the space part time, that should be plenty for deep litter to deal with.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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Gravel is the WORST possible choice in your situation. What that does is allow bits of poop to wash in between the rocks, build up and just stay lodged there, stinking.

Just what I was going to say.

Coarse wood chips are usually considered the gold standard for this use.

Can you discuss the problem with your neighbor? Draining water onto someone else's property is a no-no.
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
24,633
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Gravel is the WORST possible choice in your situation. What that does is allow bits of poop to wash in between the rocks, build up and just stay lodged there, stinking.

Deep litter would be the best option here, as it's a composting system. Provided you set it up properly it allows for surface drainage in the area, helps control mud and odor, and provided you have enough volume for the amount of poop/number of birds (hard to tell because from the photo the run space looks small-ish, but it could extend much further than what we see, or maybe you have a tiny flock), it's almost no maintenance.
X 2
 

Marie2020

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
May 12, 2020
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Imo, I find hardwood chips work really well in the run. I got mine from a chicken supply company. It has no chemicals and can be added as a surround for your garden plants. There's no water logging so far and we have had heavy rain falls

The only drawback is the chickens tend to kick it into their food plates but that is easily remedied :)
 

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