Can we enclose bottom of run and what about scratching?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mennofied, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. Mennofied

    Mennofied New Egg

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    Nov 12, 2014
    Hi! Totally new here and I've been trying to read up on everything but need some help. Two weeks ago we bought a chicken run with a coop and 4 chickens that are just starting to lay. There is a section of our run that is not fenced in on the bottom. It is fenced on both bottom ends but the middle is open and the girls have enjoyed scratching there and taking dirt baths. We can't let them out where we live so this run is all they get. We also don't close them in a coop at night since the run is "closed". We are worried about predators and attracting rodents though. So should we add wire to the bottom middle of the run and will the girls be okay without any dirt to scratch or should we put something in there? Also, any suggestions for keeping the run clean? We have shavings in the coop and have been putting new in once a week but the whole thing is starting to smell (I think our city code is "keep the neighbors happy" and our neighbors are very close). Also, the wire used on the run has holes about an inch wide. Do we need something finer to keep mice out of their food?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  2. HiyokoInNippon

    HiyokoInNippon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2014
    Japan, Hokkaido
    What is both more cost effective and pleasing to the chickens is actually digging up a space around the run, about a foot out at most, all the way around the coop. Lay down wire mesh (give me a few to look of a thread that describes this in more detail), tie/anchor it to the edge of the run so nothing can sneak through where the mesh and run beet. Cover the mesh with dirt and pack it. Enjoy your safe run.

    Here, some relevant threads:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/68858/building-the-ideal-chicken-run
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/865146/hardware-cloth-on-bottom-of-the-run
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/920603/building-a-run-advice-on-security-hardware-cloth-needed
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014

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