Can I just cover gravel or do I need to remove it from the run.

Haunted Chicken

Songster
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
321
4
119
Oregon
I've decided on an area to start my coop and run, however it was once covered in gravel. (It's now half dirt/half gravel) I'm trying to decide between laying a few inches of top soil and sod (wont the hens just kill it anyway?) or sand. I'm reading many mixed opinions on sand in the run. I'd be interested in what others in rainy areas have to say about dirt vs sand. Being new to this I'm not sure if simply covering the gravel is good enough, as in will it just get scratched back to the surface. I'm worried that over time the gravel has migrated pretty deep so removing it could be a beast. The area is 16' x 16'. I want to do this right and provide the healthiest environment possible with what we have to work with. Thanks so much.
 

TigerLilly

I failed Chicken Math
9 Years
Jul 18, 2010
3,035
7
183
Central Florida
If you leave the gravel & put a few inches of sand over it, it will just afford it that much more drainage. That's not a bad thing
You don't say if your run is roofed or not--if not, I would think the gravel would help tremendously when it rains...instead of the muddy mess I have to deal with in my run (for now).

btw...
 
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Rocky Top Chick

Songster
10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
471
3
131
North Carolina
We put our chickens in part of our yard beside the driveway. Once the grass was gone rock started surfacing from when the driveway was paved. We want to cover with sand, but in the meantime I am raking up the rock as they surface. Bumblefoot comes from chickens getting cuts and ours jump off their outside roost onto the rocks. That is the main reason I am trying to get rid of the rocks.
 

Haunted Chicken

Songster
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
321
4
119
Oregon
"Leave it"....I like your way of thinking! Your right, drainage is a very good thing in the PNW. I'll probably just have to tarp it the first year or two until we make something more permanent. Although I like the idea of removing the tarp on nice days to let in some sun. (Shade will still be provided)
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
165
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
I'd say leave and cover in sand - as you and others have said - great for drainage. Tons of people freerange. I'm one of them. With at least 2.5 acres of grass for the girls to wander about on, they are frequently walking the gravel driveway. And we're talking LOTS of gravel. So I don't think you're going to have to worry about pieces of gravel working their way to the top of your sand...jmo.
 

Rocky Top Chick

Songster
10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
471
3
131
North Carolina
Quote:I was worried about the sharp edges. Hmmmmmm more to consider....

Thank you both for the input.

In all honesty I am slightly picky and wanted to remove the rock for my own benefit as much as for the girls
Mine also free range and they have no problems, but in the run I felt I wanted to have it just a little nicer.
 

ChiknMama

Chirping
8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
105
1
91
I was wondering the same thing...we have an outdoor run area for the chickens but we are also making one indoors around the hen house so they have somewhere to go when it snows and rains....the floor where the house is being built is large gravel so I was thinking of laying wire on it and then covering with sand but am worried that it will get too cold in the winter Any ideas??
 

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