How do you maintain your run? (sand, shavings, straw, mud..)

hannuh_montana

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
25
12
23
What is the best method for flooring in the run area? I was originally going to do the landscape fabric with rocks, but seemed like that didn't allow enough drainage. Then had decided we would do hardware cloth on the bottom so they could forage in the run all day, but that sounds like it's going to be a muddy mess very quickly and wouldn't have grass for very long. Once all the grass is gone and they've muddied it up, it seems like there's no real reason for the run to be on the ground since there's no goodies, so I feel like that would only be a good idea for a short time. I've read about people using sand, straw, wood chips, some sort of layering method, or deep littering? At this point I'm tempted to just use linoleum or composite decking and only letting them free range while I'm outside with them, but I'm not sure that's the answer either. If we can't find a fairly "clean" (I use that word very loosely) method to maintain the run being directly on the ground, we'll go a different route. So my question is this: Do we build the run on the ground and let them forage until it's a mess, and if so, how do we maintain the ground after that? Or do we just give them a nice house to sleep in with a nice "run" and pool on linoleum with straw for easy cleaning?

(also quick sidebar question; I've seen people harvesting rain water to water their ducks. Seems like a stupid question now that I'm asking it, but is rain water safe for them to drink on a regular basis without purifying it?)
 

Flockincrazy

Crowing
May 23, 2020
2,373
5,091
356
Elyria, Ohio
What is the best method for flooring in the run area? I was originally going to do the landscape fabric with rocks, but seemed like that didn't allow enough drainage. Then had decided we would do hardware cloth on the bottom so they could forage in the run all day, but that sounds like it's going to be a muddy mess very quickly and wouldn't have grass for very long. Once all the grass is gone and they've muddied it up, it seems like there's no real reason for the run to be on the ground since there's no goodies, so I feel like that would only be a good idea for a short time. I've read about people using sand, straw, wood chips, some sort of layering method, or deep littering? At this point I'm tempted to just use linoleum or composite decking and only letting them free range while I'm outside with them, but I'm not sure that's the answer either. If we can't find a fairly "clean" (I use that word very loosely) method to maintain the run being directly on the ground, we'll go a different route. So my question is this: Do we build the run on the ground and let them forage until it's a mess, and if so, how do we maintain the ground after that? Or do we just give them a nice house to sleep in with a nice "run" and pool on linoleum with straw for easy cleaning?

(also quick sidebar question; I've seen people harvesting rain water to water their ducks. Seems like a stupid question now that I'm asking it, but is rain water safe for them to drink on a regular basis without purifying it?)
I have sand then uncolored mulch in my run. Rain water is all my bird's drink I have a 5gallon bucket on my coop with a screen on it and a spicket at the bottom a hose connected 2 a piece of pvc pipe with the bowl clickers on the pvc pipe and the bucket collects the rain water and they drink it then when I'm finished revamping the run i have a 2 tear pond and it will be the same way rain water solar power pumps i have chickens, ducks, turkeys, and soon geese and quail
 
3

333113

Guest
I raise the level of the run above the surrounding ground, so that the water that gets into the coop from the occasional sideways rain will run out.

Alternatively, you could trench around the coop. I have several runs set up like that. They have wire floors so that no predator can dig under to get in.
 

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