Covered run floor material? - sand is a big commitment

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Steve398, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Steve398

    Steve398 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2014
    New Haven, CT
    Hi - my wife and I are torn as to what to use in our 10' x 6' x 6' covered run in the city. We have 6 laying chickens. Our main concerns are waste management and smell ... the health of our flock and the health of our relationship with our neighbors. To cover the bottom of the run would require about 720 lbs. of sand. People have posted here that sand is difficult to contain and if you decide to abandon it is difficult to remove and dispose of. Should we be worrying about it at all? What about just leaving it bare earth, sprinkling Sweet PDZ several times a week and scooping poop? Or can we use some form of the deep litter method in the run to manage this? We built a coop-less variation of the Garden Coop for the run and our inherited coop serves as their coop. Thanks!

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  2. We have a bare hard-packed dirt floor in our simalar-sized run, and I have not had a ton of trouble with smell, but it does get very muddy from time to time, so I add wood shavings to it. I don't usually have to clean it out--the manure and shavings just blend in with the dirt and decompose. But I'd try other options as well--we don't have close neighbors, so I have never had to worry about smell much.
     
  3. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I do deep litter in my run just like I do in my coop. If it rains, gets muddy, etc., I add more organic matter. If I notice smell = add more organic matter. I use straw as it lasts longer in the run since it's subjected to rain, sun, etc. Also use as many leaves as I can get in the fall, sawdust, wood chips, shredded newspaper. Anything organic. The dirt seems to eat it up and the end result is that I can shovel out some of the most beautiful compost from the run for my garden. It really is win-win!
     
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  4. Steve398

    Steve398 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2014
    New Haven, CT
    Thanks so much earlybird10842! Are you in a northern or southern clime? We inherited the flock 2 weeks ago and not much is decomposing in CT at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  5. Steve398

    Steve398 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2014
    New Haven, CT
    Thanks Mtn Laurel! I think that we'll go with that approach. We have plenty of grass clippings when the summer comes. It's also a good excuse to finish raking the lawn!
     
  6. Pretty far northern! Yeah, during the winter, I have never had smell problems in the run, because it was all frozen.
     
  7. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use pine straw. It's free. Works as a natural odor cover. It's free. I can always add more as the layers break down. It's free. It looks good like a manicured flower bed. But really a big reason is it's free.
     
  8. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    East Tennessee.
    so do I, for the same reasons. It smells good too.
     
  9. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. Steve398

    Steve398 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2014
    New Haven, CT
    I never thought of that. I've got pine trees nearby and a rake. I'll try that. Thanks!
     

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