Ideas for run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sarahnl, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Sarahnl

    Sarahnl In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    We recently expanded the run for our 3 girls with the idea of keeping them in there more often than not. (we love having them roam around our yard, but poop all over our patio...not so much). So now their run is roughly 6 x 8 (using an estimated guess here). It's all dirt. I'm wondering if there are any suggestions for plants or anything else to put in the run? I know they enjoy the dirt for dirt bathing and scratching, but is there anything I can try to plant in there to mix up the scenery for them a little bit? We do plan on letting them out into the yard to scratch around in the grass every now and then, just not every day like we have been. I don't want them to think they're in jail! I want their run to be (almost) as much fun to be in as the rest of our yard. They were shooting very puzzled glances at us from the run the first couple days we didn't let them out [​IMG]

    What, if anything, have you added to your run to enhance it for your beloved flock?

  2. sunnyvera

    sunnyvera Songster

    Sep 4, 2010
    NE Ohio
    We have put up three (3) large patio umbrellas for shade in their run. Also a fun maze with hay bales and boards. They love to climb and sit on the outdoor roosts we have. Also, there is a ladder in there from a coop project that we have not removed, they love to jump and sit on the rungs. There are also 3 large tree stumps to jump and sit on. With 21 chickens in the run we do not want them to get bored. They enjoy the hiding places and shade. The run is very large, so it is not as crowded as it sounds.
  3. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I tried planting things and they just ate, scratched and destroyed it. So I gave up on the plantings. I did see a photo of a run once and they had a min palm tree in the run. I think it was 1.5 or 2 feet tall. So something they really couldn't destroy. That might be worth trying.

    Something I do is I have a big pot and I'll plant things in there for them. I've done wheat grass. And then put that in there. Unfortunately, they can destroy the wheat grass in half a day. Currently, I have nasturtiums growing in there. Takes longer to grow but something different for them to nibble at.

    I'll also put a big bag of leaves in there when I can get them and spike it with seeds and let them go scratch happy with that.
  4. Sarahnl

    Sarahnl In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    thanks! all of those are very good ideas.

  5. Kathleen1115

    Kathleen1115 In the Brooder

    Jan 21, 2011
    We use a lot of cypress mulch in their yard and they enjoy picking it apart. We have an outdoor roost with some lattice that they can climb and several tree stumps for them to get up on. When we've given them plants to work on, we've put them in a big wash tub so that after they finish destroying the plants - which they will - they play in the dirt for a week or two just as happily. Ours were never free range because we have too many hawks and I'm too nervous, so this is what they've always known, but I do think they're happier when they have stuff to do.
  6. spotstealer

    spotstealer Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Poynette, WI
    Sand would be nice. My girls love it and so do I. Its easy to clean and not so smelly. A 6X8 run would take about a 1/2 ton, three or so inches deep. I also used a modified pvc green house arch to civer it for both shade and predator protection.

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