Building a run on some decking

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TessHen, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. TessHen

    TessHen New Egg

    Sep 19, 2009
    Scottish Highlands
    Hi There

    I'm new to the forum and to hen keeping so please be gentle with me:).

    We have got our hen house, designed the run and ordered four black rocks which will be ready in two weeks. Our garden is gravelled with established borders and a fenced off veg patch. The only place really suitable for the run is a 10ft by 12ft decked area which is almost flush with the ground. We can't lift the deck as there are baby hedgehogs living underneath it so thought we could build the run around it. Will this be suitable for the hens? What would be the best stuff to do on top to allow them to scratch. They will free range when I'm in the garden so won't be run bound all the time.

    I'm in Sunny Scotland by the way.

    Thanks in advance.

    Tess. x
  2. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    [​IMG] from Wisconsn. I put my first run on a patio (stone, not wood). On one side I was glad to have a solid base to protect from diiging predators, on the other side I was worried about the chickens not being able to dig/scratch in the dirt. I do let them roam in the large, fenced in backyard a few hours a day. I ended up covering te stone floor with a thin layer of PDZ Stall Dri and PDZ are for stables and livestock housing, made from diatomacous earth and clay, like coarse sand. It helps to dry droppings, keep ammonia and odors down. I don't know what is available in your area) and then covred it several centimeters thick with pine shavings and straw. The chickens were happy with it. They dustbathe when they have the run of the yard but you can also make a small area in the pen with sand/soil or a mix if you want [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  3. TessHen

    TessHen New Egg

    Sep 19, 2009
    Scottish Highlands
    Thank you so much for your reply [​IMG]

    I am planning on putting sand down and lots of autumn leaves from the garden. They will also have a small gravelled area that is not on the decking. The deck is very well preserved so no danger of it rotting.

    Thanks again.
  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee

    Have seen footage of Scotland and fell in love with it! Am a cool weather lover too, but live in Tennessee in USA.

    My concern is that there are chemicals that are not healthy in pressure treated decking. I do not know if that would lead to problems since chickens eat off of the ground all of the time. It could be that none of that could get into their food any way. Lots of litter is good, but can hold moisture too, and lead to premature failure of the wood. For me, the hedgehogs would have to go at some point.

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