How do you keep a clean run?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JaneJohnReed, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. JaneJohnReed

    JaneJohnReed In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2013
    South-central Iowa
    We are new to a permanent run. In the past we had a tractor which we moved around to give them a fresh ground to graze on. Now we have turned a building into a coop with an attached large run. I'm thinking we need to use straw and hubby thinks we should use sand. Something needs to happen soon. Poop everywhere!! Seems very unhealthy for them. Need suggestions please!!
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    mine is a 'dirt 'floor' mostly sand. I cover it with old waste hay. I put waste hay on the floor of the coup too, every so often, I sweep it up and compost it for the garden, or use as mulch in my garden. In the winter before a bad storm, (if I know) I pile it up high, and then after the snow, I flip the hay on top of the snow. Then my chickens will come out of the coup.

    Works for me. MrsK
  3. redstar14

    redstar14 Chirping

    Aug 13, 2013
    Id use sand and rake out excrements once a week
  4. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I use about 6 inches of sand in the run, and let the chickens turn it over the normal course of their scratching. The buried poop decomposes.

  5. romualdas

    romualdas In the Brooder

    May 15, 2013
    Pineville MO
    I have a 6in edging around my pen & coop . All my grass clippings and dry leaves go in the pen .Let the chicken have fun scratching and picking out bugs . In late fall , I take all loose matter and leaves mixing them in the coop ,creating a compost pile that mixed with chicken droppings heats up enough to invite worms and beetles to live there . Twice a week I take a rake leveling the compost , if I don't have enough brown matter I can add sawdust to the pile . This keeps my hens exercising and the pen don't smell . If odor appears ad more brown matter . OH in the spring use the byproduct in your garden .
  6. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Songster

    Jul 9, 2013
    southern Oregon coast
    I just did the same thing you are talking about JaneJohnReed. We made our tractor permanent too My run that we added is part dirt and part grass. I rake the dirt every day and swift out the poo and rake the grass a couple times a week to break up the poo. Not sure what will happen this winter when the rain hits as we live on the a oregon coast. Open for suggestions. Thanks for the thread.
  7. Sophia5

    Sophia5 Chirping

    Aug 5, 2013
    Ideally you should have 2 runs that you can switch every year, so you can give each pen a rest and it also helps to prevent worms.
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I use grass clippings in the bottom of my 8 x 8 hoop coop with a 4 x 4 loft. When fall leaves are available, I'll stock pile them for winter use. The run completely surrounds the hoop coop, 164' of electric poultry netting that can be easily moved about to give them access to more grass to the right, left or behind their coop. Unfortunately, I can't use the poultry netting in the winter, so I plan to extend the hoop coop, covering it with clear poly to create a covered green house run. I hope to be able to grow some fodder crops in their sun space to keep them busy through the winter.
  9. JaneJohnReed

    JaneJohnReed In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2013
    South-central Iowa
    After seeing so many posts about the wonderful merits of using sand, yesterday we bought 10 50# bags. That was a good start. We will need lots more bags but we can already see how good it is going to work. We also sprinkled in DE. Think we have the problem solved! Thanks for all your help!
  10. quailtrail

    quailtrail Songster

    Mar 28, 2013
    Poland Maine
    Great info!!!! Thanks I was wondering the same ;)

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