Coop and run questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bulldog-girl, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. bulldog-girl

    bulldog-girl Songster

    May 16, 2008
    Estacada, OR
    Just about ready for our chickens and was planning on dividing the chicken run so that I can let one side "rest" while they are in the other. The entire enclosure would be 625 feet so each pen would be 300 plus feet. Anyway, what kind of ground cover should I plant or is it a waste of time as they would pick it to death anyway. Otherwise our choice is straw, mulch and dirt. Is that what the floor is usually in a chicken run? I also plan to free range some of the time.

    Also, read about using foam panels for insulation on the interior of the chicken house. Can you use these without the chickens pecking at it, or do you have to cover it with plywood for "true" home like insulation? Did not want the extra expense of covering all the walls with plywood. The house is pretty big.

    thanks for all your help. [​IMG]
  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    You will have to cover the insulation panels.
    I lost a chicken to it a few weeks ago. She thought it was a great treat and had eaten a bunch during the night after getting out of the brooder. She was a wild 5 week old Barred Rock and I hated losing her.
    If it is just on the inside of a dry coop, just use thin wall board of some sort.

    If you are letting one side of a run rest, you can sow some grass see of some sort in there. We do winter rye in the garden some years and till it under come spring but the chickens can do that in the runs for you, if something will grow in their heavily fertilized yard![​IMG]
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If there's only going to be 2 chickens in a 600+ sq ft run, you have a reasonable shot at keeping SOMEthing resembling sorta grass for a while at least in places [​IMG] so I would say it is worth doing what you can to help it out. (If it were more chickens I'd say don't bother as the collapse into dirt will be fast).

    Your best bet is really whatever vegetation the area currently has (i.e. DO NOT till it all up, just leave it be) because that's got deep established roots. You can overseed with grass seed if you want to go to the expense and trouble, in the half where the chickens will not be yet, in an attempt to thicken things up a bit. But there is no point in putting chickens on relatively newly seeded ground (like within a few months MINIMUM of seeding) because the grass will just have such young shallow roots that the chkckens will kill it right away anyhow.

    And as Nadine says, yes you MUSt cover the insulation panels. Thin plywood, thin cheesy panelling, see what you can find secondhand. Even old signs -- the kind that are printed on that stuff that is like corrugated cardboard but is actually plastic, you know what I mean? -- that would do it too. Just stay away from anything that can be pecked thru or will grow mold.

    Good luck and have fun,

  4. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    I read somewhere that it takes about 100 sq feet to keep a chicken without destroying the vegetation, which makes sense to me. So, with the 300 sq ft run you will not have dirt but rather whatever naturally grows there. That sounds like chicken heaven! But beware, with all that space you're bound to get mroe chickens soon... [​IMG]

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