Chicken run- best material for floor that's proven????

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by winekntrychicks, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sebastopol, CA
    Mine is bare dirt at the moment. Had rains got stinky and muddy. I really don't have any clue what to put down. I am looking for suggestions that are proven to clean easy and if it gets wet won't be stinky and muddy. Thanks in advance [​IMG]
  2. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    I got some wood chips and it has really helped mine. I was lucky and got some from my neighbor who was chipping up wood, but I'm sure some plain mulch would work.
    hansoto likes this.
  3. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    Sand works great, I've also used Muck Buster from the feed store but sand is cheaper and
    they like to kick up the muck buster and it does best when imbedded in the mud.

    I just went to Home Depot and got a contracter type sand, I was going to get play sand but this contracter sand was a couple bucks cheaper and was cleaned and sifted just like the play sand.

    1 person likes this.
  4. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Sand works extremely well.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    But you have to wait til the run is DRY, like bone dry, before putting the sand down -- otherwise it will jsut mix in with the mud and disappear within weeks or months.

    For the moment, you may have to content yourself with putting in some sort of coarse organic material as first-aid, then rake it out later in the season, allow the run to finish drying, and THEN add coarse sand or some gravel.

    One thing that will also help is to correct the drainage... use gutters on all nearby buildings (including the coop itself) with downspouts directing water well away from run; dig a trench or swale around the run to intercept and redirect surface runoff; and if the run has compacted/eroded down to slightly below surrounding ground level, fix that before (or at the same time as) you add sand/gravel.

    Good luck,

    1 person likes this.
  6. tankernav1

    tankernav1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    I am wondering the same thing about the floor. We have the opportunity to put our coop on a concrete floor. But I'm wondering if that is the best thing. My husband thinks it will be great because he won't have to dig down to protect against predators. However will it be the best for the chickens? SHould we put sand on top or some type of bedding? Thanks for help!
  7. SunAngel

    SunAngel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    My are runs are all sand.

    It keeps the chickens clean, drains well and quicker than dirt, they love taking dust baths in it and they also eat it for grit.
  8. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Quote:My coops are on concrete floors. My runs are sand/gravel (not crushed rock). In the coops we start out with 3" of shavings and add a few inches now and then. We're up to 8". I have a free, unlimited supply of sand/gravel for concrete, so for me, it's just my labor and the cost of cement for me to have concrete.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  9. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    I plan on making a sand area in my new run. They go crazy over it. I have just a little one now. It's going to be my chicken playground with all kinds of fun stuff. I'm going to make all kinds of roosting stuff and things for them to get on in there. I know I'm sick. [​IMG]
  10. tankernav1

    tankernav1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    So it's ok if it sits on the concrete? That will be where their run is too. So we should just put sand on the concrete or some kind of shavings? The hen house is up off the ground but below it will be all concrete in their run. It is all enclosed---we are using plans that we bought online. So I'm also assuming I don't need to worry about predators digging under?

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