1. jeffreypresley

    jeffreypresley Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2008
    Flemington,NJ
    Hi All,

    I have a very nice former kennel run setup on my property that I'd like to convert into a chicken area. It is a large cement slab lined with insulated dog houses and covered with a shade fiberglass roof. The doghouses are a great size for coops, but I'm concerned about having cement runs. Is this healthy for the chickens? Will it harm their feet? Should I cover the cement with something?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!
     
  2. arwmommy

    arwmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    California
    Hey-- Welcome, first of all!

    Second, our coop is on a concrete slab. That is not how we originally intended it, but it could not go on the dirt area we originally had planned, so it ended up on the slab. We have about 6" of straw on the ground (sometimes as deep as 12" until they pick through it, then it ends up about 6") of the coop so they are not on the hot cement in the summer, and so they have something to dig through. So far we have had no problems, other than the fact that I feel bad that they won't ever be able to dig down to get a worm in the coop. We let them out for much of the day, though!

    It is nice knowing that nothing is digging under the coop at night.

    Here is a photo:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. glock3540

    glock3540 New Egg

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    May 20, 2008
    SW PA
    I just finished my coop that was also once a dog kennel. I used treated 4x4's on the bottom and placed 3.5 inches of dirt on top of the cement. Inside I have about 3-4 inches of wood chips. If I get a chance, I'll take some picutres and post later.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you *have* to have your runs on the slab area, I would suggest investing in a delivery of gravel or at least roadbase, to cover the area to a depth of something like 4". *Not* dirt or woodchips or shavings, all of which will wash off when it rains - you want something heavy and basically mineral in nature. Then you'll have to periodically rake it back over whatever holes or bare spots develop.

    Other than the initial expense I would think it would make a pretty good run (have not seen it done for chickens but am familiar with the general properties of the setup from various farms and stables).

    Good luck,

    Pat, whose chickens are in a converted boarding kennel but I'm not using the (cement) outdoor runs b/c the slab is badly broken up and they're on the (very) upwind side of the building.
     
  5. jeffreypresley

    jeffreypresley Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2008
    Flemington,NJ
    Thanks for all your advice! I have a few questions about your suggestions though.

    The area is covered, but when it storms, which it has been doing a lot lately, rain would definitely get into the run. It's also very humid here (I'm in Iowa near the Mississippi) in the summer in general.

    So, the straw looks nice, but I think the rain and moisture here compared with SoCal will be a problem. The dirt floor may also be a similar issue, as it would turn to mud whenever it rained since there is no drainage.

    As far as the gravel, would it just be sprayed down to clean it? The chickens won't eat the gravel at all?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Jacky'sMamma

    Jacky'sMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2008
    Antelope, CA
    Quote:Chickens actually NEED smaller gravel/sand (grit) they'll pick through and eat what they like : )
     
  7. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    Heck you are in Iowa, go get some corn cob to use for flooring. If your concrete is level is no much slope put down some gravel first then the corn cob. When it rains it will go through the cob into the gravel then run off the concrete. That way your cob doesn't stay wet and has a chance to dry.

    I would check around I am sure they have ground up corn cob pieces at a local farm store near you.

    Good Luck

    Nick
     
  8. CodyChristine

    CodyChristine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Belle Plaine, MN
  9. jeffreypresley

    jeffreypresley Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2008
    Flemington,NJ
    Hi CodyChristine, we're in Davenport, IA, a couple hours from Keokuk I believe. What have you done with your cement runs so far?

    Thanks for the advice GallowayFarms, I will check on corncob pieces. How often would I change that?

    I plan on building a portable pen that i can put the chickens in during the day when the weather id good so they can forage on the grass. I just have to be so careful as we have so many predators, racoons, skunks, fox, possums, hawks, eagles etc.

    I'm actually right in the middle of teh city, but on one of the few acreages left, and all the animals come here to live!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  10. CodyChristine

    CodyChristine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Belle Plaine, MN
    Well, nothing yet. We just built it this weekend and haven't moved the girls out yet. I read your thread because I was wondering the same things. [​IMG]
     

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