Disinfecting the Run Grounds

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Red Dog Ranch, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Red Dog Ranch

    Red Dog Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 14, 2011
    Just curious, when chickens are kept in a run, no free ranging, is there a way to disinfect the ground once in awhile without endangering the birds? A spray or something that can be applied to the dirt but that they can continue to be in, I'm not able to free range them and don't have any other run to put them in during the disinfecting. I have about 50 birds in a large run. Any suggestions?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Why do you want to disinfect it? Do you have a specific disease you are battling?

    When you take antibiotics, you mess up the probiotics in your system. Why do you want to mess up the probiotics in their run?

    To answer your question, try boiling water. That's the only thing I know of thaty would meet your criteria. With a large run, that may not be practical.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Unless your birds are carrying something, or you bring in new birds, there shouldn't be any diseases on your grounds with all your chickens. Worms being the exception. Keep your run as clean as possible. You can till it all up once a year to rejuvenate it a bit. But if you really want to disinfect it, you can apply a 15% ammonia solution to the ground once a year. Use a watering can, ammonia mixed in water and drench the entire area down. I did this the first year I kept chickens as I had kept other poultry in that area a few years back and didn't want to infect the new birds with any lingering disease.

    Apply this solution after you get everybody to bed at night so it has time to fume off. By morning it is safe for the chickens.

    Birds become immune to many things in their environment and as long as nothing changes on the grounds, they can avoid most disease. Keep them on a good diet, worm them at least once a year, use ACV in the water once a month, some yogurt occasionally and your birds should be healthy as ever! Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  4. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I would think that the potential risk from the chemicals you would have to use to do the disinfecting would be much greater than the risk from the healthy bacterial flora in the soil. You would also risk the bacteria growing back, as of course bacteria will, which are much more harmful. Our environment is packed full of bacteria and the vast majority are harmless or healthy even. Are you just a bit germphobic? Chickens certainly aren't.
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    A 10% Clorox solution would probably work, but I see no point in using it
  6. Pharm Girl

    Pharm Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    I don't disinfect the run (40' x 11'), but every summer when the weather turns for the better, I rake all the sand a bark chips into a big pile and put some plastic fencing around it so the ladies can't climb on it. Then cover the ground with straw for the summer. The sand and wood chips take a summer vacation. When the fall weather returns, I rake out all the poopy straw into the compost bin and rake all the bark chips and sand back in. Takes a little work, but keeps things a bit fresher.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  7. Red Dog Ranch

    Red Dog Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 14, 2011
    Thanks for all the advice. The only reason I was concerned was so many birds pooping on the same ground for so long, it seems that it should be cleaned other than just a racking once in awhile. No deseases that I'm aware of.
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I have never disinfected my run but if it's something you want to do look into Oxine AH. It can be used safely around birds and is safe for the environement. Just be sure that if you use it you do NOT use the activating crystals. Use it by itself. It can also be used in the coop and can be used in a fogger for birds with respiratory issues, as well as in the waterer for algea prevention among other things.
  9. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Hi... My solution is to dig out the runs as soon as things dry out in the spring after the thaw... I take off the top 2-3 inches and dump it in the compost pile then we put down a little bit of barn/landscape lime to freshen the soil and then I put 3-4 inches of fresh sand down. I never have issues with smell, flies or any problems with disease. It is a pain but I cannot stand stinky runs... I only have occasional problems if we have an extremely wet stretch of weather... then there is not too much you can do but keep turning it and letting the sun dry it out. [​IMG]
  10. Karien

    Karien Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 14, 2014
    Hi, I realise this is an old post, but still, I thought I'd chip in.

    I am also thinking about disinfecting the run ground. Reason is I recently lost several hens to something, an infection that literally killed them in days. On the one survivor I did a stool test, it showed no worms or coccidiosis, but presence of 'motile bacteria'. Which were pathogenic according to the vet,

    I gave it antibiotic (metrogyl), actually I gave that to all of them, but did not work. Already before the stool test. Vet is now suggesting trying another antibiotic, but not sure yet as this hen does not have symptoms, apart from a low appetite. I don't want to screw up its immunity, but on the other hand I want it to be heathy for the reason I mention below:

    My main concern is that I have three 5 week old chicks that I want to put in the run, and I don't want them to catch whatever it is that killed most of my hens...

    I saw ammonia suggested earlier, would that be an idea? I used bleach in the henhouse.
    The outside run is around 3x5 meters, so fairly large. I don't feel digging it out is an option, ground is hard here and would not know where to get new, clean soil.

    Any other thoughts?

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