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does a run ever get toxic?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Roosteroops, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Roosteroops

    Roosteroops In the Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2008
    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 [​IMG] . Thanks.
     

  2. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    I don't know but you could try using sand and/or gravel.
     
  3. 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...[​IMG]
     
  4. granmahen

    granmahen Songster

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    Jun 11, 2008
    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.
     
  5. JessaLynn

    JessaLynn Songster

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    Aug 7, 2008
    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.[​IMG] 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!
     
  6. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

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    Aug 26, 2008
    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
     
  7. Roosteroops

    Roosteroops In the Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2008
    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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