Help with Straw Bedding

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NathanielJS, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. NathanielJS

    NathanielJS Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2014
    Hello. I have a medium sized coop with six lovely hens. Recently, however, I've been having some trouble with their bedding. I'm using straw, but the problem is that the hens keep (intentionally or unintentionally) kicking it out of the coop into their run, which is dirt. Herein lies the rub: straw left on dirt will within a few weeks form a matrix as hard as concrete, which I normally have to break up with an icepick to allow the hens to dig dustbaths and allow water to drain. Has anyone else encountered this problem?
  2. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2015
    Amo, IN
    I actually put straw in my run where the chickens have killed the grass, to keep it from being muddy. Haven't had any problems with it making cement though. Maybe yours is pure clay soil? You could get a load of river sand from a quarry, to put in your run. It's cheap and the chickens love dust bathing in it. I have the river sand in my coop.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I put some straw down in the run on occasion too,
    they usually scratch it up to get at the dirt and keep everything pretty scratched up and 'loose'.

    But keep coop bedding in the coop, the bottom of the pop door should be about 8" above the floor of the coop.
    Then you can have ~4" of bedding that won't get dragged out of the coop.
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I rake up the hay from the run every week. Keeps it from turning into the mud mat.

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