1. Micklemoose

    Micklemoose Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    I have no grass in my backyard since it is a pretty steep slope. The only flat piece of land I have is a concrete pad that the previous owners were using as a patio attached directly to the back of the house. I was wondering what considerations I need to make for the run. Would it be better to fence in the concrete slab and put down some gravel or sand for their run, or should I try and fence in part of the slope (about 45 degrees) and let them potentially create a landslide with their digging. I know some people have sand runs, but does anyone have sand directly on concrete?
  2. sawmane1

    sawmane1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2011
    Mcminnville, Oregon
    I think you should put a lip on the edge of the concrete so you can put real dirt/grass.
    but to warn you, grass will not last long in a chicken coop!
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Some of my runs are on (preexisting) concrete slabs. They're also roofed, if that matters. I just make sure they're kept filled with at least 4-6" of straw/weeds/leaves/whatever and it's all fine. Sand would work too. You just want a substantial depth of it, and will require retaining boards (that stilll allow some drainage!). So while concrete under the run is certainly not ideal, you *can* make it work.

    OTOH you might be able to terrace the slope (not to make flat terraces, just to prevent erosion) using railroad ties or whatever, and use that. I dunno which'd be better, it would depend on the particular situation I guess.

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. KaylaBird

    KaylaBird Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 25, 2010
    Sunny SoCal
    I would say if you can, try and build up a lip around it and fill it with dirt and the floor. Chickens love to dig and scratch and bathe in the dirt. The concrete will be good at keeping digging predators out but the chickens wont enjoy it much. The chicken run at my school used to have a gravel bottom to it and the chickens did fine, but we just recently redid their area pulling all that gravel and rock out and the were much much happier. It was like Christmas morning for those chickens, rolling around and digging. We removed the gravel in sections and once there was even a small patch of dirt all of the chickens fought to dig in it. So you would be fine as long as you have some sort of padding of litter for the floor but if you can get them some dirt to be on.
  5. Big Dreamer

    Big Dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2010
    Central, FL
    If you really wanted to make the run on the slope you could put terraces in the run. Pretty much big stairs. So that its just levels of flat area but dosent create a "Landslide" Me and my dad built them around the fence for my ducks pen because the sandy dirt kept coming in and the ducks would be able to go under the fence. So when we put that in, no more loose ducks! In the Philippines they make terraces on sides of mountains by hand so they can farm there. We built ours out of Pallet boards. We just took off the little planks and hammerd some stakes into the ground and then screwed the planks to the stakes. Im visiting family right now but i will tale pictures when i get back if you would like.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Would it work to build the coop and start the run on the slab and extend the run down hill or to the side and terrace the inside floor against erosion?
  7. Micklemoose

    Micklemoose Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    I have considered terracing, but we get ALOT of rain here and my house is at the top of the slope. Right now the slope is stable (house has been there since the 60s), but I am reluctant to mess about with it and terracing would necessitate cutting down the trees that I suspect are stablizing the slope. A 45 degree slope in a rainy environment is not something to mess around with. Even foot thick concrete retaining walls 3 feet high often fail around here. The only retaining walls I have seen that work use 2 foot square concrete blocks with rebar reinforcing and I am unwilling to spend that kind of money. Maybe in the long run I will consider tinkering with it, but not until I have the money to hire a professional.

    Thanks for your advice. We just bought this place last month so I am still deciding where things should go, but right now the concrete slab is looking good. It is also the most private part of the property and that is important considering we will not be wanting the town to find out about them if you catch my drift.
  8. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree that the trees are holding the grade. Just lay the terrace lumber on top of the ground aand stake them. The chickens scratching and the rain water wash will backfill the terrace.

    Another Idea would be to build a staircase type framework out of all weather wood, overlay the grade and backfill with a mulch material that will breakdown into dirt and either seed it or cover it with peagravel / sand and build it up instead of disturbing the existing grade
  9. Micklemoose

    Micklemoose Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    That is a good idea. I will definitely think about building up instead of down on the terracing. I really don't want to use wood, though. It rots really quickly around here, even the pressure treated stuff. I have thought about using recycled plastic timbers, but I am not sure about their elastic strength. I suspect they would just deform when a load is placed on them for extended periods. I only thought building down was necessary to get below the frost level (approx. 2.5 feet), but I suppose if they are designed to sit on top of the grade, then that shouldn't be an issue. Anyone know if roots will die if they are buried too deeply?

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