does a run ever get toxic?

Roosteroops

In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
81
1
39
Cary, NC
We have 10 hens and a rooster. They mostly go ranging during the day and get shut in the coop at night. However, there is an 7 X 4 ft run covered in heavy duty 1" squared metal chicken wire. The run is a little over a year old and so it has no grass and has been packed down hard.
Does a run ever get old - go bad - or become toxic to the birds? Is it okay that every morning they walk around on packed dirt and feces? We clean the coop out a lot - but not the run. My DH fenced it all in with no door
. Thanks.
 

LynneP

Songster
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
4,746
58
231
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
It depends on things like drainage and backwash. For example, road salt is toxic to chickens so keeping it away from water that could drain over the run is important. A powder called Stable Boy can be used to neutralize the soil and keep odors down indoors and out. In dry weather you can s[rinkle small amounts of food-grade diatomaceous earth around the perimeter to deter insects like lice and mites or to destroy any eggs that might be lingering in your run. A good raking occasionally is not a bad thing either, or adding some sand to dry out the surface...
 

granmahen

Songster
11 Years
Jun 11, 2008
380
5
131
Bakersfield, CA
I agree with LynnP. I only shovel out coop twice a year (no door) and I pretty much have ready to go compost. Weekly I stir everything up with a rake, sprinkle around food grade d.e. and leave a pile of pine shavings in the middle for the ladies to scatter. Now and then I add a pile of grass clippings or leaves for them to mess with. They pretty much keep things incorporated and voila, compost without any work from me.
 

JessaLynn

Songster
11 Years
Aug 7, 2008
619
1
141
Sandusky County,Ohio
Quote:Same here, no door.I have my boys squeeze threw the chicken doorway to scrap all the pine cones that fall in outa the run.
Poor kids LOL
My oldest can't even fit anymore.Told hubby time for a door so we can walk in the run.Next project!
 

crazyhen

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 26, 2008
3,196
96
264
mtns of ,NC.
I would think after awhile the ammonia would build up and the natural cocci would increase too. If a run can be rested it would be ideal to lime it throughly and wet it in good. Then turn and rest it for a month. The lime helps to kill the cocci in the soil. It would be generally healthier. Jean
 

Roosteroops

In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
81
1
39
Cary, NC
Oooo - good stuff. Thank you all. I'm going to scatter sand tomorrow and D.Earth - then have the husband make a door very soon so I can work the area with a rake more often. It drains great - I just know how much yuck is in that hard packed spot!
Thanks everyone.
 

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