Dumb question about runs

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LuvinMyPeeps, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    I have a dumb question....I've had chickens since July, but I've always had something that was movable, (or at least a little bit.) Now that I'm fixing up my 10 x 12 shed for the coop, I am thinking about how I want to design the run next to it ....When it hit me....*thunk*:|[​IMG][​IMG]....I know NOTHING about how to make one (I made a 4 x 8 one, but nothing in comparison to those on this board. Wow.

    I've heard a lot about the coop floor, deep litter method, etc....but not much about the run floors. I'm considering the combo method - coop, run & free ranging. I know I'll do the deep litter method iwith DE in the coop and in the run, but I'd also like to design the run so it will be a nice place to visit my babies. The only predators we have are foxes and hawks. So I'm more concerned about them getting into the coop than during the day (except to cover for the hawks.)

    What do y'all do? Can you post some pictures for me to see how you have set it up? Is it just dirt, or are some runs concrete? Brick? Dead grass? Speaking of that, what do you do if the grass turns brown & picked over (that'll take, oh...about a day LOL) do you just leave it? What about the mud when it rains? Do chickens hate mud but love dry dirt piles?

    I want this run to be so nice...what are the key things a good run must have? I can think of a few:

    sun & shade
    cozy corner to lay or snooze
    Do any of y'all put nesting boxes in the run as well as in your coop?
    How do you lay down the DE? How much do you use?

    You can tell I need your expertise on this one! Thanks!
  2. jed1154

    jed1154 Songster

    Jul 10, 2008
    My run is 25x50 and attached to the coop, which is 8x8. It is bare dirt. Nothing more than 6' chicken wire covered with aviary netting. It requires not maintenance except adding dirt on the fence line if it become low and creates a space beneath the wire. Aside from that, thats about it. Im not worried about grass in it...its a chicken run, bare dirt is to be expected.
  3. If the area where you will build your run has poor drainage then I would order some masons sand. Use enough to make it 2-3" deep throughout the run.

    If no such drainage problem exists then I would not use anything but the soil already there.

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  4. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    DOH! I thought for sure that my poo expertise would be required in this thread!

  5. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    Quote:Hee hee....your poo experience is most welcome [​IMG] I need all the help I can get!

    Is there any reason I can't lay down a brick pad, or would that be a bad idea? We had one for a dog run in our old house and it was great. I'm not sure if that would be too hard for the babies - do you think they would prefer dirt over brick? Would they care? It might be a bit easier to hose down for cleaning. There would be a base of sand, then sand in between the brick. It would also look nicer than dirt, but most important of course is what's best for them. I'm thinking how the DE would work....do you just throw it down or put it in a cat box?

    Sorry for hitting you with all my questions at once...
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Quote:Sooner or later it always comes down to that.
    To answer LuvingMyPeeps questions. I'm including pictures of my coop and run and a shaded roost for some ideas. My run is 16x16' [​IMG]
    [/img][​IMG][/img] I would recommend that you bury wire on the outside of the run to prevent predators from burrowing under the fence.
    Occasionally I rake the entire run, remove the debris and fill any holes with sand.
    You will find that your birds will excavate a hole somewhere in the run that they all will use to "dust " in. I sprinkle about a cup of DE in this hole. That way they self treat for mites.
    I don't think I would put nest boxes in the run. Get them used to laying in the coop. Makes collection easier. Hope this helps. Good Luck and enjoy your birds.
  7. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sebastopol, CA
    I did deep litter in the run. Bad mistake. We had our first rain and the pine shaving started to go sour. Now I have a very sick chicken and I don't know if it was may fault for deep stinky sour litter in the run. I raked it all out. I am looking for a new floor for my run as well. A lot of folks suggest pea gravel, grave, and or sand. [​IMG]
  8. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Wow Opa, that is DEE-LUX! I use wood chip on the bottom of my run and the chickens love to scratch around in it. But I have the entire run covered with a clear tarp to keep it dry (It rains 27 hours a day here). A lot of people use sand and seem very happy with that. I don't think bare concrete or brick would be very good for them (and nothing to scratch in!) Also the roosts, like opa has, they looooove them!
  9. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    Wow, thanks, Opa! What a nice set up you have there. That is HUGE - 16 x 16, wow - It's inspiring! I think I was overthinking things just a tad ;-) That's probably what all newbies to chickens do, don't they!

    I love the way you've attached your garden to the run. How nice - built in bug eating machines. I read on another post that chickens love tomatoes. Too bad since they would be perfect for eating the tomato worms.

    Thanks so much for helping me. I'll be sure to post pictures when I get the run built.

    ~ Karen
  10. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Hi there, here are somre pictures of my run.
    I hope pictures will help you a little.

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