Chicken Run Flooring?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SpotsandStripes, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. SpotsandStripes

    SpotsandStripes Out Of The Brooder

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    I am going to keep my chickens in a walk in run and let them out when I was at home.

    But whilst i'm not at home I am building them a large run for them to stay in. Where I am putting them there isn't much grass and would be gone in days.

    I heard some people put wood chips down, which is fair enough but do you put concrete slabs underneath that or do you just keep them on the wood chip ?

    Thanks for any advice [​IMG]
     
  2. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would worry about he wood chips rotting away and becoming nasty in the weather.
    Sand is what I use
     
  3. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had horrible luck with organic material. I have my chickens in a location with little to no direct sunlight (near trees that cast lots of shadows despite having no leaves) and between the rain, depth of material and lack of baking sun it has been a rotting sodden mess. The remainder of the chick crumbles that they scatter everywhere has also been soaked and rotted and I believe is the primary culprit of the stench. It's obviously bothersome to the chickens since they don't scratch around in it... a small blessing, as the number of red worms I found and the leaves I raked out will be more than sufficient to start my compost pile!

    I just finished raking everything out so it can dry, and I will be tilling coarse sand and possibly pea gravel into the top ~6" of soil. I am on fine silt/clay land, so it is a big problem. Hopefully the size distribution of sand and pea gravel grains will effectively break up the packing and allow more drainage in the area. I will put a sand layer on top of it all and likely will mix a 5lb bag of DE into the top layer.

    I found several great ideas for wet mess, such as digging a cistern at the low point in the run or just outside it. Mine is on a gentle slope from one corner to the opposite, so after tilling the sand into the existing dirt, I will dig out a "creek bed" that runs through the low points and dumps out in a post-hole dug (6-8" diameter) 24" deep cistern filled with broken brick and gravel road debris that I have on hand. This will *hopefully* serve as a drainage channel for rainwater so it doesn't sit indefinitely in the run and soak the bedding.
     
  4. SpotsandStripes

    SpotsandStripes Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the info , I will keep this in mind since I am in quite a similar situation to you. My chickens are going in a shady area on a silt/clay ground, might consider laying paving slabs?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    might consider laying paving slabs?

    Dirt or sand is best for the runs.
    It's cheap and drains well, and the chickens can dig in it.​
     
  6. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will hopefully be tilling in the sand/gravel and putting down the sand layer on top tomorrow. I will bookmark this topic and update as I go.
     
  7. SpotsandStripes

    SpotsandStripes Out Of The Brooder

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    Pictures would be great thanks [​IMG] I would love to see what the chickens think of the sand and gravel. I have never seen anyone use it in my area so would be great ti know! [​IMG]
     
  8. yakfishgirl

    yakfishgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    We put our 5x10 foot run with raised coop on a spot that was formerly occupied by the kids playset. The wooden structure had been there for 15 years so there was almost no grass. We put down several bags of pea gravel and sand. It works great. The 5 chickens pull up any weeds that grow. Once a week we rake it well and hose it well. We use a lightweight plastic rake to rake out feathers and a heavier rake to rake apart dried messes. We then hose it well. It dries pretty quickly. Even in summer heat we don't have a smell.
     

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