Chicken Run Bedding

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ramblin Rooster, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    Hello Folks.

    Unique Situation here and need some help rather badly. Our 25 x 25 chicken run is alongside our barn, and is under/ next to a tree which drops leaves and branches into the run (if they don't get caught in the aviary netting.) The run is on a slant so when theres water it pushes all the dirt, silt, leaves, sticks, etc down to the bottom of the run. The bottom
    is where there is a dutch door we use to enter the run and clean it, give chickens treats, etc.

    The dirt and buildup is blocking the door in a way that it can barely be opened, which is bad!!! How can I make it so it will be more easily accessible and also provide bedding to the run (probably sand) without it all washing downhill?

    Thanks for the help.!
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    You are an experienced chicken person and still in need of answers, Just like the rest of us, and that is why we read these posts. Here is my suggestion. Get some landscape timbers and create a sort of barrier a few feet in front of the doorway. This way the flow of soil, leaves and such will be stopped short. Dig out the excess material in front of the door , and door will open fine. This will create a sort of step . but should not be a problem. This is a situation that will be low maintenance and inexpensive to achieve. . Hope this helps. Naturally if I was standing in your run, I might get even better ideas and solutions.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I know exactly what you are talking about. Any barrier on a slope will collect stuff being carried off by rainwater runoff and hold it, eventually filling up and leveling the ground behind it. Any leaves, grass clippings or whatever slows the water enough that it drops a lot of the sand and dirt that it is carrying.

    Building the run on a slope like that will really help keep the run dry when it rains, the water will just run off. So there is an advantage to have it slope. That tree probably provides valuable shade in the summer. Many things about your run sound really good but there is a problem.

    You are not going to stop that stuff from flowing downhill and building up at the bottom. But there are some things you can do to help your situation.

    Terracing like Cavemanrich suggested will help. I don’t know how steep your slope is so I can’t suggest a spacing or size, but building a wall across the hillside with wood, rock, cinder blocks, low fencing, or whatever else you can come up with will slow it down and catch a lot of that stuff. Leaves and such will still wash over the top of the barrier or around the sides and collect on your fence at the bottom, but you can stop a lot of the dirt and a lot of the leaves and other trash. You can do this either across your entire run or just to protect the gate area.

    One potential problem with this is that you can get some really bad erosion when the built-up water runs off the side or even over the top. Depending on your soil type, you can get a pretty deep ditch pretty fast in a heavy rainstorm if you concentrate the water. You might consider incorporating some type of overflow channel to carry the water away without eroding. I don’t know how steep the area is or how heavy your rains can be, but maybe line a ditch with rock. If your rains are not that heavy you might get away with a pipe or something like that. Then again, maybe this won’t be a problem for you. Each situation is unique.

    Hopefully the coop roof is sloped so water drains away from the run, not into it.

    You probably have the same situation at the top fence too. That should slow down some rainwater runoff from going into the run, but you might consider a berm or swale at the top to divert water away from the run.

    Is it possible to move the gate to a place this is not a problem?

    Good luck!
     
  4. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is some of the water that is entering the run runoff from the barn roof? If so, installing a gutter on the barn with a downspout that directs the water away from the run would probably help some.
     
  5. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    I was thinking about that this morning when I was out there brainstorming... Do you know if Home Depot has landscaping timber?
    Wow, I hadn't thought about terracing but you're right that would probably do it. I could try to dig a trench down the side of the run to divert water to a hole where it exits through hardware cloth in the bottom corner. To answer your question, the gate is a dutch door on the side of the barn that cannot be moved. I will start doing some sketches and then hopefully this Spring or early Summer I can get to work. I will definitely document it for other people who may have the same problem. Thank you for your wonderful help! [​IMG]
    The drainage is not really an issue, more just the debris that comes with the water. The water from the barn roof goes straight down and out and therefore not moving any debris.
     
  6. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    [​IMG]

    This photo sort of shoes the slope of the run. Its much lower than the actual ground level thanks to the chickens though. You can see the debris collected at the bottom. The gate I am referring to is out of the frame but on the wall of the barn more to the right. Hope this makes it easier to envision.
     
  7. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Home depot has all the landscape timber needs that you need. Ask the peeps there and they will help you surely, including ways to secure to ground easiest. If you have more ???? just ask. We are here to help. [​IMG]
     

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