How to maintain my run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MidnightGyps, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. MidnightGyps

    MidnightGyps Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I am very very VERY new to the whole chicken world but have lots of chickens and ducks.

    MY STORY: I started with a couple of Muscovy Ducks and a couple of Silkies. My Muscovies bred and I ended up with quite alot. I ended up selling the babies as I couldn't handle that many and that was it. My silkies, I loved. After them, even at the age of 8, I knew I was going to be involved with chickens for a long time. I had a grey, white and black, all hens and they were my loves. I then had to move as my mum wanted to live on a farm. We took the horse, dog, chickens and ducks and made a life on a farm in New South Wales, Australia.

    On that 33 acre farm, there was a small one room cottage and two sheds on a hill. The people living there before were very smart as we figured out the hard way that the hill was an island when it flooded...No way in or out except via a little tinny. My mum and I set a project of making one of the sheds into a chicken run which we did and I am very embarrassed to say I have done nothing except shovel out all the poo, unneeded dirt etc. out of it to clean it. The grass was quickly killed and I have no room/time/strength to build another run. So how do I grow grass in it again? The chickens are let out during the day but put in at night as we have a fox problem.

    I had a fox climb in (didn't think foxes could climb so I didn't bother putting a roof on) and take chickens every night a couple of months ago. I didn't know what to do and I thought it was my cat, who I locked up but it still kept happening. All my silkies got taken and a sitting duck got attacked and wounded. Many of my other darling chickens got taken and eaten or wounded and left to die overnight in the run. We put a roof on it and went fox hunting, finding the den but no fox.

    Anyway, I don't think grass can grow over the course of a day so does anyone know how I am supposed to clean up my run? It is merely a shed with a huge area surrounded by chicken wire with a couple of roosts/boxes inside. I could set to work and build another one but it could never be of the size I want. Please help me! Thanks <3
     
  2. TTracy

    TTracy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We lock up our girls at night because of predators. Its a pain in the butt,but the only way I know they are safe. As for grass, the only thing I can think of would be for you to have 2 pens that you could rotate. My outdoor run has no grass left, they cleared that within a month. To clean it, I just rake it. About once a month or 2 I will rota-till it as they can really pack down the dirt.
     
  3. TTracy

    TTracy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh and I forgot....welcome to backyard chickens!!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    the only way i know to keep grass growing in a coop is to divide the run and rotate the chickens as soon as the have it ate down but not gone allso a small sand box may help for their dust bath . im sorry for your loss
     
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Even with rotation, unless you have a very small number of chickens, and a very large area, it is really difficult to keep the grass green.

    You can have one sacrifice area that you fill with lots of sand, and rake a bit to clean. That one sacrifice area can have small pop doors to two or four or even more different grass filled areas. Of course, it can also have one pop door to the great outdoors for free ranging.
     
  6. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    re: rodent migration, hahahhahaha, getting cold here too, low 40s
     
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    Thank you thank you!
     
  8. WaterfowlWierdo

    WaterfowlWierdo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been fighting my goose and duck with the whole grass issue for 2 years and I just gave in and quit trying :/
     
  9. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 silkies and my chicken yard is roughly 25 ft x 10 ft. They have access to it about 3 days a week (they are only allowed out when I'm home). And I don't have any grass either. It is a bit shady so that may be part of it. I keep a lot of mulch/wood chips out there to keep the mud to a minimum.
     
  10. WaterfowlWierdo

    WaterfowlWierdo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah. . . its a battle. I think unless you put in sod every year but that isnt very cost efficient
     

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