i went with sand in my run ........

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicks4MyChicks, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Chicks4MyChicks

    Chicks4MyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Almost 4 weeks in with sand in my covered run. The weather has just changed from sunshine to rain. The wet sand stinks ....... it is offensive. Especially as I scoop out the poop, it releases such an odour. When it was all dry, it was great ...... no smell.

    Is this just part of the deal ? Wet sand means smelly sand?

    Wondering how deep litter differs in this regard when it gets wet ?


    My intention is to have a coop that my two kids can go in, sit down and visit the chickens. They were doing this for 2-3 hours a day, up until the rain hit. My run is fully covered 6' x 16' , but along one side the rain drips off the roof, hits a raised retaining wall (for the fence) and splashes in. The result is about 18" along one side has been wet for a few days now .........the smell is from that side.

    I plan to install an eavestrough along the lower roof edge to take away most of the water ..... and I could probably put up some type of solid wall / siding for the bottom 2 feet or so on the problem side ..........

    Any other suggestions ?

    Switching to deep litter would be a lot of work .......... too much to really consider but I may have to unless you think it won't help

    Thanks
    Dax
     
  2. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of options:

    Install a gutter on the side where water splashes in, since it is the problem side.
    Or
    Put up clear plastic on the wet side, ~2/3 of the way up (the exact height is up to you, but leave a gap at the top which allows for ventilation). The plastic will keep the water from splashing in.
    In a lot of areas, there are two sides (North, East sides, for example), where the rain is more likely to blow in. So you might end up needing plastic on more than one side.
    The nice thing about the plastic is that it keeps the wind off of your chickens too, so they will be more likely to spend time in the run over the winter, and have the space.
    I used left over Greenhouse plastic, but you can get rolls of 6 ml (or higher) plastic at hardware stores. You don't want the really flimsy stuff used for covering floors when painting.
    I secured mine with 4 foot strips of wood lath along the edges, and screws (pre drill the holes in the lath).
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Your idea is good and lynnehd is right too. You may end up having to try different methods before settling on your best option. I used to have a very similar problem in our old run. Covered runs are great at keeping the sun and rain off your chickens, but if the run gets wet, the sun can't reach that area to dry out the water. When we rebuilt this year I left most of the run uncovered and made a smaller area shaded where they could huddle up on nasty days. That might not work for you though. Gutters will help a lot. If you have access to a large fan, blowing air across the top of the wet sand will dry it out quicker. Make sure to point it away from the birds.
    Just converting to DLM is not going to solve the issue alone.
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually it might. Deep litter requires some moisture to work properly. Water aids the decomposition process. Even a thin layer of litter is capable of absorbing a surprisingly large amount of rainfall.

    Every time it rains the front side of my run gets wet. I routinely dump my waterer out right in the run. I spray my litter with the hose during dry spells. That is the beauty of deep litter, instead of trying to keep every bit of moisture out, you want to maintain some.
     
  6. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    some
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup. It sounds like the OP now is experiencing "some" rainy weather whereas in the weeks prior they had none. The pendulum generally swings back though.
     
  8. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love having sand in the run attached to my coop.
    And the plastic is an easy fix and extends the square footage of the area to hang out in in bad weather (wind, rain- we rarely get snow).
    I add some stall dry to my sand, but it is mostly masonry sand.
    On a bad weather day, they take their dust baths in there.

    I do have deep litter out in the larger day time area they have under a tree. Wood chips, leaves, etc. That is in the open, and works very well also- they love scratching in it. But they don't go out there in the rain.

    This works for me and my chickens, anyway.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    A good mix of deep litter materials in run will work even when exposed to ALL the rain.
     
  10. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Absolutely! Very true.

    But I like having the run area attached to the coop protected anyway with the plastic, to give them more room in bad weather.
    That's really my main goal there.
    So the sand works well in that area, and I like some of its other benefits.
     

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