Help with Straw Bedding

NathanielJS

Chirping
7 Years
May 4, 2014
38
2
79
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?
Thanks.
 

Hholly

Songster
Jul 3, 2015
1,332
242
206
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.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,524
147,100
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
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 ....to 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.
 

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