Dirt floor in the run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by stitch81, May 24, 2011.

  1. stitch81

    stitch81 Chirping

    May 23, 2011
    We've got the footings done for the new coop. I looked at all the wonderful coop designs here and picked one I liked. My question is, can you have a dirt floor for the run? It seems most of what I have seen is sand or wood shavings.... Is it okay to just leave it dirt? The coop will be raised from the ground 2 feet, and I'm still trying to decide if I should have sand in there or wood shavings...I've read most of the posts about the pros and cons of those, just haven't made a decision yet.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Mine's dirt. If I have trouble with muddy spots I sprinkle sand.

    Wood shavings are awful if they get wet.
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  3. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    We have just dirt. When we first build the run we did put down a load of fill dirt, which is mostly sand. It keeps it from getting muddy.
  4. autsie

    autsie In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2008
    Our coop is an old green house. It is a full dirt floor that the girls love! Dust baths are fab and it stays dry. We add a new layer of shavings once a year and do a thorough cleaning in the spring. They also have an area that is sawdust that they love. We don't have a solid floor at all and it works great! We do, however, have a concrete cinder block perimeter, so we don't have problems with entry under the coop. Good luck with your new plans! Post pics as everyone always loves to ooh and ahh!
  5. stitch81

    stitch81 Chirping

    May 23, 2011
    Thanks guys! I've been taking in progress shots. The kids helped me dig out the footings last night. My husband is putting up a building and the concrete guys came to pour the footings for the machine shed. They had extra concrete leftover, so they poured the footings for the coop too! We're looking at a 7ft. x 14 ft coop/run. The coop portion will be 5 x 7 and will be up off the ground so the chickens will have the full 7 x 14 area for the run.
  6. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Songster

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    My coop has a wire floor, my run has dirt. It does get muddy, especially with all the rain we've been having, but it bothers me more than it bothers the hens. I do try to move the run boundaries every once in a while to give the hens fresh dirt, and give the old dirt a chance to rest and grow new grass. Good luck!
  7. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    My chicken run is dirt. My chickens seem perfectly happy with it, but it bothers me. When it rains it's a muddy mess. I have plans to do the front section in sand this year.
  8. motherhenmindy

    motherhenmindy In the Brooder

    May 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    We have a dirt run, but our run is covered. I am going to save wood shavings for the nest box only.
  9. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dirt is fine. I mix in sand and gravel to serperate it out a bit.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Dirt is fine, it's just that there is often a fine line between dirt and boot-sucking stench-making MUD [​IMG] If you are on the right soils and in the right climates to avoid mud, dirt is great. It just doesn't work for everyone is all.

    Shavings BTW are a *terrible* outdoor run footing. FOr pros and cons of different options, and discussion of how to minimize the chances of your dirt run becoming muddy, take a look at my 'fixing a muddy run' page (link in .sig below) which lays out your options.

    Good luck, have fun,


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