1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Cleaning Out The Chicken Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Awestruck, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Awestruck

    Awestruck Songster

    99
    7
    101
    May 15, 2012
    This might sound like a stupid question but how do I clean out the run? I am sure that the manure will start building up at some point, but am concerned that it will become part of the ground (dirt).
    What do others do?
     

  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Songster

    2,152
    376
    196
    Feb 15, 2017
    Texas
    Shovel and wheelbarrow will do a good job. Then add new bedding.
     
  3. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Songster

    1,044
    235
    161
    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio

    Same here except we load it into a trailer to haul to the garden (too far for a wheelbarrow '-) )
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    11,241
    7,828
    616
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Ours goes into the manure spreader for the pasture, or to the garden. It's good stuff! Mary
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    45,281
    21,503
    1,012
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I don't clean mine out...lots of dry plant materials just break down with the poops.
    Lots of bugs for chooks to scratch for.
    If anything I will add more dry plant materials.
    But I have 500sqft of run for ~20 confined birds.
     
    greggooo likes this.
  6. greggooo

    greggooo Happy Chickens!

    168
    180
    121
    Aug 29, 2017
    Woodstock, NY
    My Coop
    Can I ask, what kind of plant materials? My run is 11x14 with a dirt floor. The straw I had in there got too moist and wow, it smelled and about killed me with a coughing fit. I raked and cleared it all out so the soil could dry, but I wonder where to go from here. Considered sand.
     
  7. WthrLady

    WthrLady Songster

    1,200
    338
    191
    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    I use pine shavings in the run. Mixed with their poo, you have green + brown compost happiness. Its called deep litter method. I remove black gold dirt in april and October and add more pine shavings. I toss in anything i would toss into a compost heap and let the girls have at it.

    I spill water, and chuck in treats and the girls turn the compost. Done. Easy. No smell.
     
    Boonie Stomper likes this.

  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    45,281
    21,503
    1,012
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You don't want sand. First make sure you have no standing water and/or run off collection areas in the run.

    A mix of dry 'browns' in different sizes and shapes and sources is best.
    Too much of any one thing can cause nasty problems.
    The bedding of a good mix of dry plant materials use facilitates this nicely, it's basically no maintenance other than adding more material from time to time. I was able to start with a big load of tree trimmings from the power company that had been aged(6 months) so I avoided the toxic molds that can bloom with fresh chippings. I collect dry leaves in the fall (stored in feed bags in a shed) and add them occasionally, and other garden trimmings. I let my grass grow tall, mow and spread it out with discharge pattern, leave it to dry a few day, then push it into rows with the mower discharge, rake it up and add to run.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    WthrLady likes this.
  9. WthrLady

    WthrLady Songster

    1,200
    338
    191
    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    I forgot I add grass trimmings too, when I have them.

    I'm not a fan of sand, hay, or straw. The mold that grow on them make me quite ill, and the smell of wet hay....blarque. Gag.

    I don't use shaving in the coop for the same reason. Here they never dry. They just absorb the wetness and stink.
     
  10. boatagor

    boatagor In the Brooder

    33
    40
    49
    Apr 4, 2017
    Southwest Virginia
    We bagged up the leaves last fall and I've used them all winter in my coop and run. Unfortunately my last 5 or so bags got wet so I'm out of bedding material until the grass is tall enough to mow. But I really liked the leaves.
     
    greggooo likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by