Coop Run - What to put down?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AllChookUp, May 19, 2008.

  1. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Hi, All - I'm new to this. I just finished building a nice coop inside of a 3-sided horse loafing barn. I am now finishing the run area in front - It measures about 20'x'14'.

    The ground is a combination of concrete chunks running down the middle and dirt toward the outsides. The concrete chunks were from a broken up driveway and they were put there years ago, so I didn't feel the need (or energy) to remove them. There's some loose dirt over the chunks (they're set together so there's a fairly flat surface).

    My question is, do I need to bring in a load of anything to put over the concrete and dirt? Or is it fine the way it is? I think I had heard about pea gravel, but I want to make sure I do it right the first time.

    The run extends to just within the roofline of the barn, so I don't think I need a roof on the run, just some wire to keep predators out.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If it's mostly concrete with just some dirt, I'd either top the concrete with dirt, sand or gravel, or remove it (and refill with dirt, sand or gravel so I didn't create a big pond after rains [​IMG]).

    If it is nearly all dirt, with just some bits of concrete protruding here and there, personally I would not fuss about it. (I assume the edges aren't real sharp.) Just think of them as rocks and ignore 'em [​IMG]

    OTOH if you wanted to remove the chunks of rubble, they can be useful in creating an anti-dig zone around the run fence to discourage dogs, foxes etc. They can be useful in various gardening applications, too, if you garden. Or can be used in place of flagstones or large pavers, to make a footpath in areas that get muddy.

    Have fun,

    Pat, with a considerable surplus of broken up concrete in all sorts of annoying places on the property, and always trying to find more useful things to do with them [​IMG]
     
  3. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Thanks, Pat. At this point, I don't think it's a huge deal, and it would be a LOT of work to dig them out. They make a fairly smooth floor, with no real rough edges.

    Plus, like you, I have a lot of other chunks laying around that I can use in front of the run to discourage digging. ; - )

    Thanks!
     
  4. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    I would bring in some dirt and sow in some grass and if you can find it sunflowers. This will keep your chickens cleaner and give them something to pick at and eat while the are moving around the run. Are you going to let them out into a pasture or are they staying in the run all day?

    So if i read your post right. You built the run infront of the open side of the barn? That is a great idea. Just remember what goes into the chicken goes into the eggs [​IMG]
     
  5. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    That's a good idea on the dirt/grass mix. The ground level of the run is lower than the coops, so I can bring some in and it will work. It all faces south, so they catch the afternoon sun, and are shielded from the brunt of the cold Minnesota winter wind.

    Front of barn before starting to work on coop (right-hand side):
    [​IMG]

    Front of finished coop in the run area:
    [​IMG]

    Front of the run area before putting up hardware cloth:
    [​IMG]

    ...and 3 out of 4 of the gang waiting semi-patiently for the run area to be done so they can get outside:
    [​IMG]


    As you can see, a work in progress.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  6. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    Nice pics. So the chicken run is to the wall with the door and the hardware cloth? and that it is covered?

    If it is going to stay dry i would just use pine shavings bc i don't think grass will grow that deep in the shade. And being so far north in the winter time the chickens will kill most of the grass and leave just bare dirt. Pine shavings are light and easy to clean up.

    Oh and make sure you put up some chicken wire along the bottom of the coop so the chickens won't crawl underneath it.

    Very nice job on the coop. It looks like the one i built. Good luck with it all.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2008

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