Do I need to clean out the run..?

Songbird Farms

In the Brooder
Jan 7, 2018
25
12
39
I have had my run for 22 years, give or take. It's 25 by 16 & I usually have 12 chickens at a time & I have never "cleaned" my run per say. I don't usually see chicken poop after a day or two. I do till it every 2 years or so. The inner run is sand (7 by13) & the rest is dirt. No smell unless we have monsoons, which doesn't happen very often. I guess it depends on the density of your stocking, but I am always amazed at how much "work" is suggested on here. If I had to do all that is mentioned all the time, I wouldn't have chickens. I clean the coop twice a year, don't use "poop boards etc. Seems like folks like to micro manage everything, but that's JMHO. I think putting any kind of bedding in the run would just make a huge mess.

I have an uncovered 10X21 run. all mud right now here in CT. what do you recommend ? Me adding sand?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,529
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I have a large walk in run and never 'clean' poops from the run,
and there is rarely any nasty odors. The bedding of a good mix of dry plant materials use facilitates this nicely, it's basically no maintenance other than adding more material from time to time. I was able to start with a big load of tree trimmings from the power company that had been aged(6 months) so I avoided the toxic molds that can bloom with fresh chippings. I collect dry leaves in the fall (stored in feed bags in a shed) and add them occasionally, and other garden trimmings. I let my grass grow tall, mow and spread it out with discharge pattern, leave it to dry a few day, then push it into rows with the mower discharge, rake it up and add to run.




 

Cindy in PA

Crowing
13 Years
Jul 8, 2008
2,777
1,200
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Fleetwood, PA
I have tried the deep litter in the run for the last 10 months & it hasn't helped with the rain we have had the last few weeks. I do have mud now & 3-4 inches of matted stuff. Seems no matter how much I add, it is never enough. There is no real way to combat a really rainy time here or so it seems! My run does dry fast except when we have rain for a week straight. was almost dry Monday & then it rained again all day Tuesday. We are expecting rain Saturday, Sunday & tropical moisture Monday, so I am praying for a drought!
 

snow5164

Crowing
May 16, 2015
2,547
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Never pray for a drought , farmers don’t like that ☹️. I get what you’re saying though , we have a dirt run but we clean the barn and pour wheel barrows of old straw in it . They go crazy digging threw it and working it into the ground . I like half my run covered half open , makes everyone happy .
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,182
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1,062
WA, Pac NW
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I have tried the deep litter in the run for the last 10 months & it hasn't helped with the rain we have had the last few weeks. I do have mud now & 3-4 inches of matted stuff. Seems no matter how much I add, it is never enough. There is no real way to combat a really rainy time here or so it seems! My run does dry fast except when we have rain for a week straight. was almost dry Monday & then it rained again all day Tuesday. We are expecting rain Saturday, Sunday & tropical moisture Monday, so I am praying for a drought!

If you're getting an absolute deluge no amount of litter is going to be enough, as the ground can't absorb anymore and so it's going to flood upwards. At times like that (while I watch our creek flood towards the house) I'm happy that the chickens have a few patches to stand on that aren't under water. As long as it drains adequately afterwards then I figure the litter is doing its job.
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
4,363
2,011
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The only time I clean runs is if food has gotten caught up somewhere and is molding.Other than that I throw hay in the run and it keeps it fairly dry.Revently had a huge a rain where the winds blow and the rains manage to fly in my run and it builds up and flood s the entire yard,including my chicken run,so I just stuff puddles with either dirt or hay.
 
Nov 26, 2021
1
0
1
I keep my 6 chickens in two coops connected by a 3x12 chicken run over pasture grass. This coop is too heavy to move over fresh grass so I started hiding the ground down believing it would modify or dilute the acidity and help their poop decompose and possibly attract worms. I live in a temperate Mediterranean climate here in Hawaii at 3,000 feet elevation so having perfect weather nearly every day seems to help my microbe cultivation as well. It’s been 3 months and no smell, and 6 very happy turkneck chickens one being a rooster.
Besides egg layer I give them two packages of “chicken” flavored top ramen cooked fresh daily. One chicken lays “a double yoker “ that looks like a giant goose egg every month! Hosing down the dirt seems to be working well and the chickens seem to like the little bath.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,529
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SW Michigan
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My Coop
Besides egg layer I give them two packages of “chicken” flavored top ramen cooked fresh daily.
That seems like a lot for 6 birds.
It's really diluting the daily nutrition they get from the layer feed,
plus the sodium in the seasoning is not good for them.

here in Hawaii
Welcome to BYC! @Haleakalachickens
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U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
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North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
So, Top Ramen is between 1600 and 1800 mg of sodium per package. or 3200 to 3800 for two packs. Rounding for convenience, and dividing by six birds, that's 600mg "extra" sodium, each.

Purina's Flock Raiser is pretty typical, and has a guaranteed nutrition of 0.3% to 0.8% salt. We'll assume that's a reasonable number for the desired range for our birds. Using 100g of feed, average, per day, that's a range of 300mg to 800mg daily from their feed, averaging about 550 mg of salt. Half that is sodium, NaCl - 225mg

Their "Top Ramen" treat effectively triples their daily dosage, and gives an average combined diet roughly 100% higher than (Purina, at least) suggests is desired.

and yes, if definitely dilutes the other needed nutrition, Protein particularly, which layer feeds are traditionally low in to start with.

Hopefully, your birds forage for bugs extremely well in your mountain paradise.

/edit corrected my math, as Purina discloses SALT, not Sodium. Nutrena's Nature Wise Layer uses Sodium for its labels, with a range of 0.15% - 0.23% (150-230mg). Apologies for my prior error
 
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