Chicken run floor

Ken Regan

Hatching
Mar 9, 2020
2
5
8
OK so the grass is starting to disappear from my 8x20 chicken run and it is obvious that I am going to need some kind material for the chicken run floor. I use pine flakes in the coop itself but am wondering what would be best for the run. I have heard everything from sand to sawdust or even straw. Wondering what works best. Any suggestions?
 

black_cat

I got a puppy!!!!
May 21, 2020
16,532
50,362
1,076
Connecticut

paintedChix

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 15, 2013
717
871
267
NC
There are actually quite a number of different threads on DLM.

Where are you located? When Aart comes on board, she will post directions on how to set it up in your avatar area...

I personally HATE sand and LOVE DLM. BUT i live in the sandhills of NC, at our current property (permanent?) we are about 3 hours from the coast. On 21 acres of sand. BLECK - :sick:sick. It stinks. It stinks in the open (cleared pastures, about 6-7 acres, were farmed, various crops before previous owner had 2 horses and 3 minis on it), it stinks where the chickens are, the dogs SMELL BAD when they run outside and roll in the open sand and then come into the house (I tell them yep, u smell like North Cackalacky!!). It does drain. We utilize chicken tractors where we are improving the sand to soil and stationary coops sit on the ground with DLM changing the sand to a beautiful, composted loam that can be utilized in our gardens or even pitched out in the sand in front of and around the stationary coops to improve those soil areas.

I have friends that have purchased sand for their runs. The humidity and the rain, causes even their "new" sand to become nasty and stinky when the humidity or the rain comes... They've all removed that sand (hard labor!) and gone to some form of DLM...

We aren't even into hurricane season yet. We got 5.66" of rain yesterday, 0.72" the day before and are expecting more tonite. Not sure how much...

I have a couple of coops right now that are massively stinkly. They haven't gotten the normal influx of materials that they do need and it shows - both in appearance and scent. They will get some help this week in 2 ways. One, the chickens will be moved into temporary grazing paddocks on deep grass/weeds. Two, while they are out, the current bottoms of their coops will be dug in such a way as to level them and then fresh litter (many inches deep) will be added. We've had a lot going on and it hasn't been done this spring like it should have. I've actually worked more hours since the Corona lock down then ever before since we moved onto this property... A lot of things haven't gotten done here on our farmette, LOL.

Edited to add - here is my album of DLM in different coops. DLM
 
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3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
5,549
12,119
846
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I'm also in the NC Sandhills, and used deep litter in the run to keep one too many chickens in my little, in-town coop from becoming an abomination to my neighbors.

I used a mix of wood chips, shavings, pine straw, straw, leaves, and whatever other compost browns came into my hands -- adding another 4-6" of fluffy, dry stuff anytime it seemed to need it (either by nose or by sight), and cleaning it out when it got piled inconveniently high, when an odor issue couldn't be solved by adding said 4-6" of stuff, or when I wanted compost for the garden -- about twice a year.

Because deep litter it worked so well in the little coop before I'm going to use it again when I get chickens again on our new country property (assuming I can find first lumber and hardware cloth and then chicks/pullets in the time of Corona panic).
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,244
126,333
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
OK so the grass is starting to disappear from my 8x20 chicken run and it is obvious that I am going to need some kind material for the chicken run floor. I use pine flakes in the coop itself but am wondering what would be best for the run. I have heard everything from sand to sawdust or even straw. Wondering what works best. Any suggestions?
Wood chippings are best, IMO, but they can be hard to find and it's best is you have a place to store a whole truck load of them so you can add to the run a bit as a time and as needed.

My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.
Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.
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Oh and....Welcome to BYC! @Ken Regan
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
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