Cleaning my coop run

MeggieB

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2016
26
0
12
Hi all! I am a new chicken owner! I just put them out in their coop. I have sand down in the coop and the run is just on tip of dirt. I hadnt thought too much about how to clean the run! its starting to smell. Do i rake it? Put something else down ontop of the dirt? Id appreciate hearing what experienced chicken keepers do!

Thanks!
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
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Knowing a bit more about your set up will help us to help you.
Is the run roofed with a solid material?
Is there a lot of rain where you are?
Is the ground damp all the time?
What are you using in the run now?
Does the run get direct sunlight at least part of the day?
Is the run in the low part of the land and prone to flooding or being wet?

Mine does not smell unless it is early spring and the ground is wet for days on end. I have had chickens in this space for 6+ years now. I do use straw to give them something to scratch in but I remove it to the compost once a month (more often in spring). My run gets direct sun at least 1/2 of the day with the shade moving throughout the day. Every part gets some shade as well just not all day long. I do turn the soil in the run more in the spring while things are damp to keep it draining.

That is how I manage mine.

The answers to the questions I listed will help people come up with ideas on how to make yours more pleasant.
 

MeggieB

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2016
26
0
12
d
400
The run is covered by a slanted metal roof. It is under the shade of a big maple tree. The ground is generally dusty in this particular srea of the yard but we live in Seattle and there will be lots of rain. The coop gets some sun in the late afternoon. Thanks for tour advice!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
My Coop
That's a pretty small space, how many birds in there?
Divert any water runoff from surrounding area away from run....use varied mix of dried plant material to 'eat' up the poops.

Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
 

MeggieB

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2016
26
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Thank you for the link! The coop's run isnt huge but they are only going to be confined in there until we get the rest of the yard they will free range in fenced off. This is their first week in the coop. There are 5 chicks in there.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,229
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you for the link! The coop's run isnt huge but they are only going to be confined in there until we get the rest of the yard they will free range in fenced off. This is their first week in the coop. There are 5 chicks in there.
Coop is small (2x3 or 3x4 maybe?) for 5 birds even just to sleep, once they pass chick stage you will see, and it needs some ventilation.
It's a perfect brooder coop/run tho.
 

MeggieB

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2016
26
0
12
Its a 6x8 coop and the chicken guy that makes them said its good for up to 12 birds.
 

MeggieB

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2016
26
0
12
Oh, the coop itself. I guess it will need ventilation. Not sure how to do that. But the guy told me 12 birds ! I spent extra money to buy this coop because it was bigger than my neighbors and friends who have chickens and i felt like theyd have lots of room
1f601.png
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
24,250
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Northern Colorado
Oh my I would agree that is very small for 5 grown hens.

I have a 6x8 with 5 hens but that is the coop alone.



I even feel that this is small for the 5 that live here. You can see how they look in the run and it is 8x9 feet. (there were 6 but one did not survive the moving stress)

For ventilation you can make a little window on the tall side easily enough using a jig saw and some 1x3 boards.




Something like this would help. This was my hospital/ grow out coop.
 

MANNA-PRO

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