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cement floor run... what material best for keeping clean?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by beckys flock, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. beckys flock

    beckys flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Our run is over cement (not by choice, but has to do... we have a moveable netted run for "ranging", too). The coop is about 6x6 for 3 chickens... and they will have access to this cement bottom run for rainy days & winter exercise (I they are brave enough). I have currently been using hay, to keep this cement run easy to clean, but this gets damp on rainy days (despite a roof), so naturally I am concerned it will become an icy mess come winter... and that even now, the dampness of hay (eeen when cleaned frequently) may not be healthiest. If winter anything like last year, it may be difficult to maneuver in and out as often as I like to keep it cleanest (im quite fussy). Are wood chips a better alternative... or do they pose same problem? Any suggestions?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I like shavings best. Mary
     
  3. dana0710

    dana0710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put in a few inches of construction grade sand and you can just scoop the poop out. :)
     
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop has a cement floor, and I cover it with hay. Since it is inside a shed, it does not get wet, but eventually it decomposes into a nice dirt compost, and in the spring I clean it all out and put it on the gardens. My run is sand and has a roof, and to prevent it from becoming icy in winter, I wrap it with clear shower curtains. Keeps all snow and wind out of the run.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    All Purpose Sand is the best and been using it for years.
     
  6. beckys flock

    beckys flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Love your coop.. looks fabulous! We are new to chickens (never raised around them or anything) so we have started out small,, three hens, small coop with small run (what we could afford to start off with). Our newness is why I am so glad for forums like these... where people are so nice & have such desire to help one another & inspire! Several new BYC friends have mentioned sand. This really has my interest peaked because the enjoy the sand in their dust box... an in effect turn the run itself into a playground of sorts!This is also probably safer than hay or chips if I use a warmed waterer! How do you clean the droppings with sand? Does a rake work, or do you need something finer? Mine sometimes seem to eat some sand from dust box (or are they eating small bugs in it? I dont know). Is this safe? I'm imagining it acts similar to grit (even though they get grit, too).... but checking to be sure. Im have thought about wrapping the run come winter so they don't get as bored in smallish coop.... get some exercise. I like your shower curtain idea (good recycling) & allows more light than a tarp would do! Do you leave some space open for air circulation (hard to tell in photo)? Thanks for your input!
     
  7. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just added a yard of sand into the run today, topping it off for the rest of the year and the winter. I use a large leaf rake to sweep the sand, gathering anything that is not sand into a pile and shoveling it up and out. If they eat sand, they are using it as grit, to help them digest food. It is perfectly normal. When I wrap my coop for winter (usually late at night when the first snowstorm is starting!), I wrap all of the walls completely. I have ventilation built into the run where the metal roof on the run meets the shed and at the far end. I also have a window on the wall shared by the run and coop, and another window on the opposite side of the coop so I can control the airflow as needed. When you place windows in a coop, consider the direction of the prevailing winds in winter. Where I live, the cold winds come from the north, so I have windows on the east and west so the driving winter winds don't freeze everyone out.
     
  8. beckys flock

    beckys flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thomas... we have no Windows, but several 3 inch vent holes on various sides of our smallish coop with screening stapled over them to prevent mice or small birds getting in. We plan to add a timed light in coop in autumn. The run is enclosed with wire fencing and a wavy roof which may add small amt. of ventilation if I wrap sides. The coop & run are located alongside our bigger garden/storage shed that shields the chicken area from the prevailing wind direction (why we chose that location). I want air circulation, but also want them stay warm enough... I guess the smell and hanging thermometers will tell me if I have good enough "balance".
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Ventilation is really important, and so is adequate light. Windows, especially on the south and east sides, are best. Screening isn't safe; you need hardware cloth very well secured to keep out predators. Mary
     

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