I can clean the coop but need help with run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hartley, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Hartley

    Hartley Hatching

    Jul 23, 2008
    Brand new to this fabulous site - wish I had time to be witty and entertaining with my first post but for now I just have a quick question about cleaning out our run....The coop cleaning is easy but the outdoor run (12x5) for 5 bantams is proving difficult so far. The run is right out our bedroom window (too late to change that) and the lovely summer breezes are wafting an unpleasant poo smell into the house. Run floor is dirt and I've tried raking it out - impossible to get it all though, flies everywhere and I don't really want to rake everyday but I would really like a cleaner run. Any suggestions? I've spent HOURS reading posts and haven't quite figured out if folks typically add something to their outside dirt floors....

    Thank you in advance for any education you can provide!
  2. Bird Hearder

    Bird Hearder Songster

    Apr 10, 2008
    Salisbury, Md.
  3. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    The run is right out our bedroom window (too late to change that)


  4. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Songster

    May 23, 2008
    you can certainly put bedding (or mulch of the leaf, grass, or hay variety) down outside, although that's going to make a lot of work when it's time to clean up. you're best off, probably, raking the whole area as thoroughly as you can, then putting down DE or agricultural lime. or both. the former will help with insect control, the latter will "sweeten" the ground and kill some of the stink. if i could only choose one, i'd go with the lime. getting rid of the smell will also provide residual protection from insect pests, who won't be as drawn to the area.
  5. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    In the evening, when the birds are settling in for the night, try sprinkling some lime in the yard. After we thawed out from the winter our pen was SHTINKY, and after it dried up some so there was no standing water I sprinkled lime out. Next day the smell was noticably reduced. Rake it often to mix it in, add sand or gravel at times and keep mixing it in. That seems to work for me with 25 chickens in one pen. I'm always looking for more tips, too, so hopefully someone with a little more experience will chime in...[​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  6. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    I have my duck pen on a slope and hose it off each night. That works well. The poop and food go away and then the odor and flys leave.

    Do not put pine shavings outside. When they get wet it smells like slop in a pig's sty. Outside you should only use sand, dirt, grass or gravel but never pine shavings outside exposed to rain.

    So either rake deep sand and gravel daily to keep turning over poop. Or hose off a lawn daily.
    Good luck
  7. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    My run is dirt also and I just use DE or Stall Dry every other day. I rake it and add new dirt from time to time too. The poo just dries up and turns to gravel basically with the Stall Dry so I never have to do much and there is no smell. Inside the coop I have sand so it's like a huge litterbox that I just scoop and add Stall Dry too. The sand turns the poo to gravel as well.
  8. bluie

    bluie Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    I have read of many people using a deep layer of sand in the run to overcome such problems. The sand drains well and it is easy to rake out the poop. This is what I plan to do but I can't tell you from experience if it works or not. I just got my first chicks yesterday.
  9. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    I'd go with a big ol' truck-load of sand.
    My run is grassy and I spray it down, often. But my girls are slowly eating the grass. I anticipate needing sand pretty soon!
  10. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    My run area was pretty much dust when I started, so no worries about grass disappearing. I dumped my (100% organic) grass clipings in there, plus some of their lightly-used brooder wood shavings into the run. I didn't bother to spread them at all. I noticed this morning that the chickens have done a great job of spreading it all out and mixing it up for me.

    When I prune my lilac and plum trees I'm going to strip the leaves off the branches and put those in the run for the girls to have something to do during the day when I'm at work.

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