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Help me decide...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickiebaby6, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. chickiebaby6

    chickiebaby6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2016
    The ground my run is on has a lot of clay in it and after rain/snow it's a sticky, yucky mess. I've seen one run on here where they put down gravel, covered it with weed barrier (?) then covered it with sand. I was planning on doing that but then I started reading about the deep litter method and I like the idea of it. Can I do the deep litter on the ground or do you think it would make a worse mess? I plan on putting a roof over the run but it might not happen until fall.
     
  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd do wood chips as the base ground covering. When they break down/decompose it could be worked into the clay which would likely improve your ground covering/soil. A lot of people use it in gardening (back to eden gardening, wood chip gardening) and have success in changing the composition of their soil.
     
  3. chickiebaby6

    chickiebaby6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Good idea. I hadn't thought of that. Do you think I could deep litter on top of the wood chips?
     
  4. 2MooreChicks

    2MooreChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have any prior experience with this problem but I know your pain. My coop and run are on the north side of my woodshed and our property is FLAT so rainwater just stands until it dries up. I have been looking into the same type of setup and right now my plan is to cover the bottom of the run with hardware cloth, fill the bottom frame of the run, made of 1x6' pressure treated lumber, with a few inches of gravel, and add in enough topsoil to make a nice, semi-compacted "floor" before covering it with cardboard and then hay and attempting the deep litter method. I thought about putting down a weed barrier, but I believe it would be too easy to dislodge while raking out the composted hay and waste. Instead I'm going to use old cardboard because I've had good results using it in my garden. Last fall I covered my raised beds in cardboard, laid a light layer of mulch over them now the cardboard has completely disintegrated, and my beds are largely weed-free. So, I'm going to use them as a base for the deep litter, and by the time I need to deep-clean the coop they will most likely have degraded and been incorporated into the compost. Basically, I'm hoping to get the raised-floor effect while still being able to do the deep litter. I want BOTH the things! Hopefully there is someone here who has done this successfully!
     
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  6. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep - google "french drain"
     
  7. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can. I use DLM in my coop and run and am using a wood chip base (to improve soil quality - over compacted earth however, not clay). I use shavings as my coop bedding (mixed in with some dried herbs and flowers - sometimes a small amount of straw from nesting boxes) and when it comes time to clean the coop I take it to a compost bin if it's broken down a bit, or if it needs more work I just empty the coop into the run, where I use a DLM to compost in the run (wood chips, grass clippings, garden scraps, herbs, flowers, dried leaves, dried pine needles, etc) which eventually gets moved to a garden, tree, etc.

    You can occasionally run a rake over the run to smooth out the wood chips and mix things up a bit if you want, but normally the chickens do all the work by digging and scratching around in it.
     
  8. chickiebaby6

    chickiebaby6 Out Of The Brooder

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    That was a neat interview Hokum Coco. Thank you for sharing!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop

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