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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Steven L, Nov 10, 2019.
Should I clean my chicken run? If so how often and what is the best way to clean it?
What is in your chicken run that needs cleaning? I dump grass clippings, pulled grasses & weeds, and leaves in my run for my chickens to scratch in. I clean out the run whenever I feel that there is too much material in it. I don’t clean it down to bare dirt, but I will remove most of the organic material that the chickens mixed up.
I mean cleaning in general like chicken waste like when cleaning a chicken coop.
It depends on what type of litter is in the run. Sand, yes you should sift out poop. Deep litter, no need, just keep adding materials as things break down (though I use a dog poop scoop to get any big obvious poops so no one steps on them).
Post a pic of your run.... and tell us how many birds you have....
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, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
- 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.
But my runs are 500 sqft for 15-30 birds
If your run gets nasty, either you have too many birds for the size of run or you don’t have enough carbon material (wood shavings, straw, hay, yard clippings, fallen leaves, pine litter, etc.) in the run. If the run litter gets too deep, you can remove as much as you like and use it for mulch.
If you like a dirt/sand run, then you’ll need to clean it when it gets poopy—quite often, I’d think, especially if you have the birds inside the run much of the time. I’ve never used anything but deep litter, so I’m not really up on the kinds of run that need cleaning. The bird droppings can be dried/aged/composted and used to fertilize your garden. If you’re not into gardening, you likely have acquaintances who do garden and would love to take any unwanted “garden gold” off your hands.
I guess I have a deep litter run. I never take anything out at all, but I add a whole bale of straw as needed. My 12 chickens have about 4000 sq ft so I shouldn't even have to do that, but because of all the rain here, I find high traffic pathways can get muddy and I don't like that.
One bale of straw over 4000 sqft must be a pretty thin layer?
No, not on 4000 sq ft, just on some well worn pathways where the greenery doesn't grow anymore. A bale covers it well. Most of the run has green ground cover, even through the winter.
Well, then when we get snow I will actually create additional pathways and bring in more straw.
My point was, I don't rake anything out.
The straw breaks down into dirt fairly quickly.