Gravel Run

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KaliMoran, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. KaliMoran

    KaliMoran Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2012
    Kittery, Maine
    Hi All,
    I am a new chicken owner with three beautiful bantams and had a question about run maintenance...
    Our coop is under a new deck -not watertight but definitely sheltered- and the "run" is simply the porch perimeter fenced in. When we were re-building it, my father, in his enthusiasm for chickens, decided to lay gravel in the area. It's about 3" deep, and it is the larger sized pebbles. Driveway type I guess.. So my question is, namely, is this ok run material? They will be mostly roaming in the backyard so it won't be the primary footing. Secondly, how do you best clean this type of footing? I envisioned myself raking a dirt-type floor originally but now am not sure what to use to "pick" the gravel. We do have a strong hose next to the run and the area is slightly built up from the yard so... is a regular, strong, hose-down sufficient? Sprinkle of lime after (I'm used to horse stalls..)?
    And as for winter... should I lay straw down over the gravel for a manure pack-ish system?
    Serious amateur here!! Thanks for all suggestions.

  2. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

    during summer time i say just use a hose and deslove it would be the easy way but not sure about smell. i am just 6 month to chickens and I use sand and love it.
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Our layers have 'redecorated' their run by bringing gravel INTO the run! We had a little gravel patch by one of the barn doors - well, now we have a 6" deep hole in front of the door and the gravel is all over the run! Apparently, the hens use the tiny pieces as grit and so they kick out the big pieces to get to the little pieces at the bottom.

    I've let mother nature keep their run clean. As we've got horses next door, the flies from the horse manure pile have also come over to our run and 'eaten' the chicken manure (if they live long enough!). Our layers love to chase and eat flies! Extra protein. So, the manure in the run lasts about 3 days tops. If it rains, this also helps dissolve the manure. But if I try to use a hose, it simply 'washes' the manure toward a central location that theoretically could rake or shovel up. I've never bothered.

    Even last winter, the manure still dissolved faster than it accumulated. (For comparison - I have 14 Black Java's in an enclosed pen that's roughly 40'x50'.)

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