Building a better chicken run

Bluebonnet

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
247
16
98
Someday, Texas
What are others here are using as flooring in their chicken runs?

Dirt floors can become muddy, concrete is not natural and provides no drainage, straw, sand and other materials can cause problems and more.

There are also pests to keep out.

I am thinking excavating a layer, placing down gravel, then wire to keep out predators, then a layer of dirt with some bedding and a little sand on top.
 

JackE

Crowing
Apr 26, 2010
2,327
756
281
North Eastern Md.
I use grass surrounded by electrified poultry net. That's a pretty nice floor for a run. They are safe from ground predators, and have places to hide from airborne threats. All that for a lot less work and $$$s then what you are talking about.


900x900px-LL-5d44c1b7_IMG_1995.jpeg
 

Bluebonnet

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
247
16
98
Someday, Texas
Money is a non-issue. I think of the money spent on my chickens as an investment in protecting the agricultural diversity of my country and as a pleasure hobby. Those are some beautiful, happy chickens you have there, if I may say so.

As for the mulch, what kind do you use? I have been afraid of using mulch out of fear of little splinters that might lead to the dreaded bumblefoot. Also, when the coops are cleaned out, the result is added to the compost pile and I am not sure how well mulch would break down in my area since it can get quite dry here.
 

JackE

Crowing
Apr 26, 2010
2,327
756
281
North Eastern Md.
"Money is no issue", man, that must be nice. Burying wire, IMO, is not a good idea. The wire will rust/decay over time, and as chickens like to dig, they will dig into that rusted mess, and probably do some damage to their feet. Better to surround, and create a safe area. Using electrified poultry net, or a hardware clothed fence with a predator proof cover, and/or with an apron and a strand of hotwire or two.
 

rgunn1

In the Brooder
Apr 1, 2015
44
3
26
South Louisiana
I use grass surrounded by electrified poultry net. That's a pretty nice floor for a run. They are safe from ground predators, and have places to hide from airborne threats. All that for a lot less work and $$$s then what you are talking about.


900x900px-LL-5d44c1b7_IMG_1995.jpeg

They don't fly out of that?
 

Bluebonnet

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
247
16
98
Someday, Texas
The digging issue worries me. Most coop building plans advice fencing at least 9" beneath the ground around the sides to deter foxes. I was thinking I could pour concrete a foot deep around the perimeter instead because of the issue with rusting wire. You couldn't use concrete as the floor of the coop because it is impermeable. I need something permeable with good drainage that excludes predators.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,031
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
The digging issue worries me. Most coop building plans advice fencing at least 9" beneath the ground around the sides to deter foxes. I was thinking I could pour concrete a foot deep around the perimeter instead because of the issue with rusting wire. You couldn't use concrete as the floor of the coop because it is impermeable. I need something permeable with good drainage that excludes predators.
Easier (and more effective) than going down is to go out by employing a "no dig skirt" around the outside perimeter of the enclosure. This would work with concrete or wire since a digging predator moves up to the barrier and then begins to dig down to get under it....they hit the no dig skirt and will become frustrated in their attempt to gain access, eventually giving up and moving on. They do not think to move out away from the barrier to get beyond the skirting.
 

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