Do you use bedding in your run or leave it bare dirt?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flyin-lowe, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I also use plant material and shavings in the run rather than plain dirt. Make sure that you have good drainage for your coop and run, and cover the run if at all possible. Chickens don't do snow! Mary
     
  2. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies and information. My house is in the country surrounded by farms and I have an apple orchard across the street. Plus with my 5 acres I have access to all kinds of mulch, grass, leaves, etc. Sounds like I will just keep that stuff shoveled into the run and hopefully can keep the smell down and keep the hens happy.
     
  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For those of you that keep your chicks confined most of the time, what percentage of you keep a solid cover over your run? I notice a lot of people say to do it but I have noticed the majority of coop designs I see do not have the runs covered. I am talking about a solid roof type covering not just chicken wire/hardware cloth. I had originally planned to only have chicken wire over the run but I don't want to have to do it over again, I don't want to just throw a tarp over it. So if some type of solid cover is definitely the way to go then I might was well do it correctly from the beginning. The few coops I have spotted in my area do not have a roof, just some type of netting over the run.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I wish I had a solid roof over part of the run......for dry area during rain and snow and for shade in the summer.
    Luckily I have a pretty large coop, so rain, snow, cold they are covered(haha), but I have to rig a shade cloth in summer.
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    Roofing a run is costly as well as dangerous if you live in high wind zone.

    It would be a shame to go to the effort of making a nice roof to have a heavy wind take it and the run walls with it.

    My run is large so has a wire roof/lid if you will. To give them shade they have some left over metal roofing secured in the run at a very steep angle so when the snow hits it can slide off and land outside the run through the chain link.
    I also use shade cloth in the summer but take it down in the winter to prevent snow building up and ruining the run.
     
  6. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Indiana. Not the windiest state but we do get some of the Midwest storms. I kind of figured with all the sides being "open" that there would not be a huge risk of wind ripping it apart. For those of you with roofs over your run did you take any extra precautions that you don't take on a regular roof? I think for now I am going to build the run without rafters and close it in completely with hardware cloth. If I decide to add a roof this spring I can just add the rafters and roofing and the run will already be predator proof.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If the roof is solidly built and well attached to the ground via posts or good solid walls, it should be fine.
    Scabbing some sheet metal onto a mesh run is another story altogether.
     
  8. WVForestGirl

    WVForestGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We used clear corrugated polycarbonate to cover the part of the run beside the side of the coop where my hatch to collect eggs is. That stuff is really sturdy, we use it all over the place and haven't had any problems. Now we're installing eyes around the other end so we can hook up tarps around and over for when the chicks come. Found a really cool 4x20 tarp for the walls.
    During the first winter storm I realized the girls would appreciate a windbreak so I added one of those so they can shelter under the coop when things get breezy - easily removable for summer.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. WVForestGirl

    WVForestGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Absolutely, @aart, definitely properly installed with the little adapters and proper posts and rafters.
     
  10. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Too Many Chickens Premium Member

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    I keep my run bare, but it is very big so I pretty much have a natural deep litter system going. Lots of leaf litter, etc in it so it does not compact.
     

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