Hay or Pine shavings on concrete chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hillbillygreen, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. hillbillygreen

    hillbillygreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Central Illinois
    Hi,

    I just moved my chickens to their winter location (the old dog kennel area). I'm not a fan of concrete for the run since I prefer good drainage, dirt to bathe in and plants to peck at :/ but it is also the location of a hatch which leads into the garage for their now toasty warm coop!

    I'll probably put something to "dust bathe" in their for them, but not feeling great about the cold concrete under them.

    Pros of Pine Shavings:
    1. Should scoop out easily... (planning on removing old shavings to compost heap when needs it)
    2. Should compost well

    Cons:
    1. Deep litter could be costly in this 5 x 10 space
    2. Might not be contained well considering the 2x2s and wire enclosure.

    Pros of Hay
    1. ?

    Cons:
    1. Not going to break down in compost as easily as shavings.

    Other ideas?
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I usually use hay/straw in my run during the winter. It protects the birds from the cold ground, and fluffs up nicely when stirred. By the time spring comes, all of the hay has been ground into tiny pieces; you can't even tell that it ever was whole. However, I think shavings would work just as well. The only other benefit I can think of is that straw would probably cost less than a lot of wood shavings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  3. jtakacs

    jtakacs Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2013
    I'm a total newbie and built a run on the side of my house... it has a sidewalk and strips of equally sized dirt on either side (about 20' long by 9')... is it mandatory to put something down?
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I tried bare concrete in the run, and end up with nasty slimy goo. Ugh!!! Now I use shavings there, not real deep, but two to three inches; feed scraps and scratch there so the birds work it up every day. I add more shavings and/or clean it up as needed over the winter. The coop is deep bedded with shavings, works fine. Mary
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Sand is the best material for runs
    Anything organic will just create more work, ans will hold moisture
     
  6. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Quote:Deep litter should not cost you a penny. Rake up some leaves or find some, look for some pine straw, toss in a few bucket fulls of dirt/sand and your done. Add more yard debris as needed. Everything is free. Good compost at the end of the season.
     
  7. hillbillygreen

    hillbillygreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Central Illinois
    How do you clean sand? Do you have to replenish what washes away?
     
  8. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd personally leave it be, buy a pressure sprayer and a brush to sweep the poo and water out of the run and call it good. my run is on rocks,l throw in straw and grass sometimes but really Just to give the girls something to play with. During the summer the flies would get really bad because I couldn't keep the poo under control. concrete would be better than rocks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Wait for a good rain
    Quote: Not if you build your run correctly
     

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