do you mix shavings in with dirt in the run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cherylcohen, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    I just switched from straw to pine shavings in the hen house. The girls drag them out with them onto the dirt run and I'm wondering should I just till these in with the dirt or should I try to remove?
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I'd put a board across the door to keep the shavings in, and not worry about what's already been drug out
  3. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    how would they get out then? I guess I could put a little 2" ledge, but I'm not sure will they just jump over it?? Here's a picture of our door
  4. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Quote:They'll jump over it. My door opening is 15" off the floor. I have 12" of shavings leaving a 3" ledge they hop over to get out. They get in and out with no problems.
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Any organic matter added will cause the run to hold more moisture. Let that be your guide. If well drained or covered, then no problem. Regards threshold, they would jump over it if it was a foot tall easily. Mine had no walkboard/ladder inside and always jumped to the lower roost (24") and then the higher one (48") from 12 weeks on. I added two ladders inside around 2 weeks ago (week 18) and they ignore them. However, I did have perches in their box from day one. I had first a 4" perchn then an 8" perch, and they took to them early on and have no trouble jumping 2 feet easily. [​IMG]
  6. paulpig

    paulpig Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2009
    I use the wood pellets on/in the dirt floor area of our coop. Seems to keep the area dry-especially after a rainfall.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    In most cases it's a bad idea to add fine organic matter to your run, as it will make the run muddier/muckier/swampier as time goes on. (In contrast to large organic matter like straw or big wood chips, that can -- and in most cases should -- be raked out and replaced before they have decomposed too much). If your run is on extremely free-draining nearly pure sand, or something like that; or if it is clayey but on a real 'height of land' and never has mud or puddle problems; only then would it be ok to be having shavings in the run long-term.

    If your pophole is cut at floor level, such that adding a respectable height of sill would make it too short for the chickens to easily fit through, you might want to get out the saw and cut it taller, so it maintains its height when a sill is added. I actually prefer 12" or so of sill between the top of the shavings and the pophole bottom; mine have no trouble whatsoever hopping up and over/through, and it keeps essentially ALL the bedding in the coop, no matter how deep and no matter what the wind. They do have a 6" flat area (my walls are 6" thick) in the doorway; if your pophole is just cut through thin plywood, it would be a good idea to screw a piece of 2x4 flush with the top of the plywood on whichever side won't interfere with the operation of the door, so they essentially have a flat 2" 'perch' to hop onto in the doorway there instead of the thin edge of the plywood. (Which they would still use, btw)

    Good luck, have fun,


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