Ideas for Run

adwil21

Chirping
May 15, 2020
41
62
79
North Bangor, NY
My ladies are 5 weeks and getting ready to go in the coop this weekend. We built a nice run off the coop as they will spend most of their time in there. I work 4 days a week (12 hr days) and i have 3 cats whom I won't trust with free range until the chicks are full grown. The floor is currently dirt with a little grass, what is everyone putting on the floor. I live in upstate NY. I was looking for wood chips but have been unable to find any that aren't cedar and don't have dye.
Also looking for ideas inside the run for entertainment as they will be in there every day, branches, roosts, etc?
 

David61

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
692
1,511
196
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Call a tree service. They chip and should dump for free. Anything to break up line of sight. I use old plastic bins. If they can't see each other they bullying of the picking order is not as bad. They weak can hind and get a break. Less stress more eggs.
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adwil21

Chirping
May 15, 2020
41
62
79
North Bangor, NY
Is it wise to use fresh wood chips? Thought I read that they needed to "age" before using them in a coop/run.
I saw that too, so I was wondering about that. Unless they maybe have a store of them that have been sitting around. I live in a really small town without access to alot of things, unfortunately.
 

drinkoj

Chicken Chaser
May 24, 2020
675
1,459
206
Upstate South Carolina
Wife just dumped the brooder pine shavings into our chicken run that we'll use when we put them in the coop. I was planning on letting them just scratch the dirt in the run and not adding any sort of bedding, but have you read that we need to add some shavings/bark to the run ?

We plan on doing cold composting in the coop also.
 

adwil21

Chirping
May 15, 2020
41
62
79
North Bangor, NY
Wife just dumped the brooder pine shavings into our chicken run that we'll use when we put them in the coop. I was planning on letting them just scratch the dirt in the run and not adding any sort of bedding, but have you read that we need to add some shavings/bark to the run ?

We plan on doing cold composting in the coop also.
I thought about shavings but figured the would get wet, we do have a roof but rain will come in from sides.
 

drinkoj

Chicken Chaser
May 24, 2020
675
1,459
206
Upstate South Carolina
You will need to add other things to get the bio mass started but fresh/new chips are a good start.
Thanks! Biomass was the concept/word I needed to know.

Was just watching a video at carolinacoops.com about what to add to a run and they said the same thing. Bark mulch, table scraps (guessing no meat products), grass clippings, and etc. so the chickens can scratch for bugs and get the biomass stirred up.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
5,608
12,218
846
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Chickens love meat scraps. Just not too much salt or fat.

I used to throw roast bones, ham bones, the picked over mess from making chicken or turkey soup, etc. into the run (usually in a foil pan). I'd let the little velociraptors have their fun stripping the bones bare then raked the bones back out -- not worrying about what was too small or buried to pick up easily because bones will eventually compost or I could sift them out when I used the compost.
 

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