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concrete pavers in combined open coop/run- what do I put over it to protect chicken toes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wahmommy, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. wahmommy

    wahmommy Songster

    Aug 14, 2010
    We live in an area with clay soil and a lot of predators, as well as rats. We are building a new (bigger) open coop/run (8' wide and 7' deep) which will be predator and rat proof so we thought we should do a solid floor but don't want to pour concrete as its so permanent - which is why we have decided on pavers. We will have a six inch high board around the run area, and the roosts will be at a little under four feet and the nest boxes at 3 feet.

    So pros/cons to pavers?

    What should we put down on the concrete pavers? And how deep should whatever we put down over the concrete be? Also one of my pullets has a really severe case of crooked toes on both feet (although so far she seems like the biggest flier, tries to fly out of the brooder whenever opportunity should arise and is able to perch fine) so I want to make sure she's not just coming down hard on the concrete.

    I'm not sure whether we want to do the deep litter method, we already do compost, but not sure about doing it in the coop as if it gets icky my husband would be very aggravated with me as he has to do the mucking out for the most part. And again we have clay soil. If I could guarantee no ick or insect factor I think I would like DLM though as I am a Gardener :)

    We will be doing poop board trays with Sweet PDZ under the roosts.

    So what are my options?

  2. Brookliner

    Brookliner Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Southern New Hampshire
    I use sandy soil in my run. You could put several inches of sand or a mix of sand and soil over the pavers. This would provide a soft landing for your chickens and can be lightly raked. Any poop can be raked up and added to your compost. With the use of poop boards and PDZ there will not be much poop on the run floor as chickens poop most when on the roost at night, I would sprinkle some PDZ over what ever you choose for your run...it will keep the smell down and if you add some DE the flies will be well controlled. :D
  3. I am on Clay and here in the UK. and the topsoil is horrid it turns to mush in an instant and has zero load bearing abilities once saturated
    We are als osuffering the worst rains since men with big hats started keeping records.

    This morning I lifted two 24" square paving slabs infront of my fruit cage as they had over the last four years almost disappeared, they had sunk 4" in to the soil.

    The dot and dab method of laying paving slabs does not work for me.
    Any permanent hard surface needs an excavated level supporting base - compacted aggregate or hardcore is less work than concrete but still work and you really need that as the initial foundations

    To minimise everything slowly sinking put on top of the foundation a layer of heavy duty landscape fabric and spread over that a weak mix of sand cement to set the slabs on
    I tend to use shuttering in order to get it level the moisture in the soil will rises up and set the cement in time this will work fine for light duty work and will also drain.

    if you need to support heavier loads then you really need to dig down to the more solid clay below and put in more hardcore

    For a deep litter I think a dry floor is a must so it absorbs the moisture my puddled clay is not suitable

    I am considering using the compost in the run method but to avoid it getting over wet I will be using a covered run where the compost is kept.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012

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