help!!!!!! with chicken grounds

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Half-a-dozen, May 26, 2007.

  1. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2007
    NJ
    Hi- For anyone that can help. We are new to having chickens. We built a (non-movable) coop for our 12 chicks now one month old. We are in the process of planning the run. I have been reading about the chickens and thier ground destruction over time. Is it ok to use pure mulch (shredded trees etc.. with no additives) to the ground of the run instead of them just using the ground itself?
    We are unable to move thier coop and run and so am worried about the possiblility of parasites over time. So I am thinking if I can put down a layer of mulch and simply turn and change it over time this will keep the ground in thier run area cleaner and prevent complications?????[​IMG] Would this be good to do or is it a bad idea??[​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2007
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Mulch might help, only because they LOVE to dig through mulch looking for bugs, just ask my gardens...
    Have you thought about a way to move the run part? so that you might be able to grow grass on one part and let them graze on another?
    Unless you've had a mite/flea problem before, then I wouldn't be too worried about that. As they like to hang out more in the roosting areas and suck the birds' blood at night. Gapeworms live in an earthworm as part of their lifecycle, but if you haven't had chickens before, you should be okay there also.
    You'd also need to have an area for them to dust bathe.
     
  3. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2007
    NJ
    Hi- Thanks so much for your reply and advice! Much appreciated.
    I've never had chicken or chicken problems before, just being a neurotic
    first time mommy-lol

    If you move the run, how long do you have to leave an area "Rest" for?
    I was also thinking about fencing a large portion of the yard so they can be "semi- free range" and using the closed run for days when we can't be around to keep an eye on them. If they are able to roam will they pick that option over grazing around in the run?
     
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Mulch is ok, we have an area behind our coop that has become an enclosed run. Last summer I threw grass clippings, leaves and straw in there and let the hens pick through it. By this spring it was all composted down and I just rototilled it into the soil. The area used to be compacted and full of clay and didn't drain very well, but with all the stuff I've tilled in it is well drained and friable now. I don't throw much in there any more and have built a compost pile elsewhere.

    Mother nature will take of the area, rain and sun do wonders to clean things up. Unless you have areas that continuously stay muddy or are heavily shaded and always damp, I wouldn't worry too much about nasty things.

    Here is a picture of our coop. We used to let our dozen hens run the entire back yard and locked them up in the coop at night. They would occasionaly fly over the privacy fence into the neighbors yards, so when I was deployed to Southwest Asia this past winter my wife built an enclosed run behind the coop to keep them when she couldn't be around. That is the area that is completely bare along with a small area around the coop. She would still let them run the backyard when she was home. This spring she wanted to put in flower beds in the back so I put up a 4 foot poultry fence around a 25'x 60' area. It is holding up fairly well, but it's a large area for 12 birds. The area under the mesquite tree was always bare anyways and they dust bathe there.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2007
    NJ
    Thanks for the pic, just looking at it helps answer some of the many tons of questions I do have.
    I see you have an open wall and a fan- which strikes a question about ventilation.
    What do they mean by "good" ventilation?
    We are going to have two functioning windows on our coop and I am not sure but should we be putting in like gable vents???
    We live in NJ so winter gets cold enough that I would not want a gable vent in my house if I were a chicken-lol but do they need that.
    Exactly what type of proper ventilation and how are we suppose to go about providing this????
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Proper ventilation means trying to keep the coop cool in the summer (especially here in Texas) and just enough to let moisture escape in the winter. The easiest way for me to keep it cool is to open it up and use the fan. You can put in gable vents, a ridge vent, or a roof turbine for non-powered ventilation. They can always be sealed in the winter.
     
  7. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh! Mac! A C-130!!!! Out of Dyess, I presume???

    I was hunting in Cisco once and had a C-130 (my 3rd favorite airplane, after the F-4U Corsair and the F-4 Phantom) fly DIRECTLY over my stand, which was 14' in the air. I swear, I thought that thing was going to knock down the stand, it was so low!

    It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had! I also got to see C-130's do JATO on the main road at Camp Pendleton once....awesome!!!
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Yes, I'm a C-130 Flight Engineer at Dyess. Best seat in the plane...
     

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