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Floor of chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dirtyhip, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Dirtyhip

    Dirtyhip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    The Cascades
    Our chicken run will be anout 200 sq. ft.. It's a long corridor that is the space behind our brand new garage...... 5' x 37'. If any of you are familiar with new construction, the ground has been slightly compacted. There are no weeds back there yet, but the new garage was built less than 4 months ago. I guess in time the ground will get better.

    Any suggestions on what to do with this hard clay compacted soil? Is it a big deal? The birds will get all their nutrients from eating good food. I do hope to spoil them. [​IMG]

    Am I stressing about nothing?
     
  2. Lovey's chickens

    Lovey's chickens New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2011
    In our chicken run, which my husband just built, we laid down a couple of bags of sand from the hardware store. It is soft and diggable for the chickens and absorbs water. Hope this helps.[​IMG]
     
  3. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reno, Nevada
    You shouldn't have any issues with the dirt floor as long as you secure the chicken run so predators don't dig into it. The chickens will have it scratched up in no time at all.
     
  4. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Lovey's chickens :

    In our chicken run, which my husband just built, we laid down a couple of bags of sand from the hardware store. It is soft and diggable for the chickens and absorbs water. Hope this helps.[​IMG]

    It actually DOESN'T absorb water. That's why it's so great! The water drains out. [​IMG]
     
  5. Dirtyhip

    Dirtyhip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    The Cascades
    I was thnking sand.

    [​IMG] These four chickens are sucking me dry, financially. haha
     
  6. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    I am going with straw for the winter and change to sand in the spring.
     
  7. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I am going with straw for the winter and change to sand in the spring.

    Unless the run is completely waterproof, I would nix the straw. Straw collects and holds moisture and thereby leads to mold and disease causing fungi. Also the poop glues the straw together and is the very heck to clean out. Most go with sand, and I have never heard a complaint about that.

    Am I stressing about nothing?

    Yep.​
     
  8. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    Quote:Unless the run is completely waterproof, I would nix the straw. Straw collects and holds moisture and thereby leads to mold and disease causing fungi. Also the poop glues the straw together and is the very heck to clean out. Most go with sand, and I have never heard a complaint about that.

    Am I stressing about nothing?

    Yep.​

    Its an 8x8 with a 12 inch over hang this is on the north side with the coop its self cover 8 foot across the front. Poured for 48 hrs stright and the tools are dry (work in progress should be done this weekend) I will keep an eye on it but the run will get plastic in about a mouth aswell with good upper ventlation up top. Its a shingle roof. Total foot print 8x12.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  9. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, I would do a layer of sand over the clay. They love to scratch in it and cool for them to lay in.
    Erik
     
  10. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I haven't tried straw - so I don't have an opinion on that. But in my coop I have pine shavings and the poop sticks to the shavings sometimes making it a mess to clean up. I also have construction sand leftover from our pool install that I placed in my manure box under the roost - and that is so easy to just scoop out the poop which I dump in my compost pile.

    For the run, it started out being grass/dirt which seemed like a great idea. Then we had some rain and I noticed the balding spots were muddy - that was after just a few weeks of having the run in use. I figured with winter coming it would only get worse as the chickens dug up the remaining grass - so I used the kids old sandbox sand to spread a layer around some of the run where it was starting to get muddy - they are too old to want to play in the sand anymore - so it was a perfect way to recycle the sand. It worked so nicely that I've since put a couple of inches of it on the whole run and I love it. I just scoop up any large pieces of poop when I feel like it. Or I can rake it into the sand and it disappears. My next modification will be to put construction sand over all the play sand once I run out of play sand. The play sand compacts alot, but the construction sand doesn't - so I think it will make a better top layer.
     

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