Ground cover for duck/chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ErockRPh, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. ErockRPh

    ErockRPh Chirping

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    My new flock has been out in their coop area for about a month and a half now, and we have reached the point that the lawn that was once there is completely gone and nothing but mud remains. I have 8 hens, 1 roo, and 4 ducks, and the ducks are especially hard on it. They get water everywhere, and have created many holes in the mud from dabbling in the water they spill.

    We have spread our lawn clippings around the run to cover the dirt/mud, and that was working for a while, but the run area is just too big for that to last the full time between mowings. The smell is getting good and ripe as well with the rain and summer heat as of late.

    I am taking suggestions for what to put down in the run to keep the mud erosion in check, and also help with the smell and slick ground. I was thinking hay or straw, but I figured I'd check in with the folks here for ideas before I made the commitment to that idea. I think I also need to get the water containers and duck pool onto a bed of gravel or river pebbles to help drain and minimize dabble damage. This is on a bit of a slope, so I need something that will stay in place. Poop does roll downhill, as they say :)

    The picture below is from before the cuddly poop-machines totally wrecked the place. The main area of the run is a 10' x 10' kennel. The chickens sleep in the coop, which has about 8' x 3' of run that I've connected to the kennel. The ducks sleep in the dog house with their pet Ameraucana. The kennel area is what sees most of the damage.

    Coop-side.jpg
     
  2. Kerio

    Kerio In the Brooder

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    I use bark/wood chippings in my run. The chickens love it, it gives them something to scratch around in.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  3. LeGardenChicken

    LeGardenChicken Chirping

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    I use Sugar Cane mulch in my run as it absorbs the poo and removes the smell
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  4. ErockRPh

    ErockRPh Chirping

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    That sounds like a great option, but I don't think I can get that in my part of the world. Is the testure closer to wood mulch or straw/hay?
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  5. LeGardenChicken

    LeGardenChicken Chirping

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    I also use a mix of straw with the mulch. Straw doesn't give a smell that removes the poo smell. You can find Sugar Cane mulch at most Animal Supplies stores, not the pet stores like Pet Barn. You can also buy sugar cane mulch at a lot of Hardware and gardening stores.
     
  6. LeGardenChicken

    LeGardenChicken Chirping

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    You can also you certain wood multches. Cheak online that the mulch is safe for your chickens before you buy.
     
  7. User395221

    User395221 Crowing

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    My Coop
    Yes, me too. jarrah chips.
     
  8. CarleeAnn

    CarleeAnn Songster

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    I don't really know what this is but I always wanted to try it. My grandmother has it in her gardens and the wild ducks love to "trim" it. It's some sort of succulent and if it's stepped on it just pops back up! Almost seems rubbery, and if pooped on it hoses right off! She uses it for ground cover and calls is "lemon heads" because it develops tiny yellow flowers, but she makes up names. Really durable, so if you decide to do it, even partially, let me know how it works! Or perhaps if someone knows the true name and can make sure it's safe for duckies and chickies first....
     

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  9. VintageDutchGirl

    VintageDutchGirl In the Brooder

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    It is a kind of succulent called Sedum. It is a ground cover. I have it in a few pots and even if parts of it breaks off and fall into the dirt on the ground it starts growing there! Very hardy plant. I've purchased mine at Home Depot etc.
     
    CarleeAnn likes this.
  10. John W 59

    John W 59 In the Brooder

    Gravel should help with drainage and lime with smell. Remember to use gravel to drain outside run .
     

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