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Chicken run question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by harmon3, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. harmon3

    harmon3 Hatching

    Nov 10, 2008
    My wife and I are going to start our chickens next spring. I want to put the run behind the shed, and convert part of our shed into the coop. but behind the shed is a big cement slab which is an extention of the foundation for the shed. My question is:

    Can I just add two inches or dirt or so on top of the cement to make the run?

  2. belibutn

    belibutn Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    You can, but they will dig down to the cement. I have some chickens that dig a good 6 inch deep hole to dust bathe in. You could put a 1x6 frame around the bottom of the run area, and basically make them a sand box style thing and fill it with dirt. Then with the pine shavings and other stuff, they should be fine.
  3. danamillette

    danamillette Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    I think they will dig/scratch down to it.
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    There are some folks that believe concrete footing is best, as it's easy to disinfect/clean.

    Could you extend your run out past the concrete slab onto the ground? That would be best of both worlds.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I wouldn't put dirt over slab (at least not unless it is DEEP dirt, like a foot or more)... after rains, it will be muddy, until it washes off altogether which won't be all that long [​IMG]

    If you want to use the slab for the run and want to cover it with something -- which personally I definitely would -- I'd suggest either a sand/gravel mix ('roadbase', fairly cheap when delivered in large loads) or if for some reason you prefer an organic footing then a substantial quantity of bark or wood chippings (NOT shavings, you want something fairly coarse and preferably more bark than wood). The latter is not as much of an eventual mud generator on concrete as it is on dirt which is the way most people use it. Sand/gravel will still last longer, be easier to clean, and stay drier, less smelly and less fly-ey.

    Have fun,

  6. jubylives

    jubylives Songster

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    I agree that the dirt will eventually wash off from rain. Maybe save the shed space and build the coop on the slab? Then extend the run on ground? Just a thought.


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