Keeping Mud down in winter--Woodchips, sand?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Alagrace, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. Alagrace

    Alagrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2015
    Hi everyone, I've been debating on getting course sand for our run from what I have read through some forums. However, I don't have a trailer yet to buy it. In the meantime, I had woodchips delivered from a tree company for free for our garden. Do you think this would work? It's a mixture of pine and cedar chips with some needles. I'm not sure if my flock would like it or not, or if it would be too hard to clean. I might just hold off for the sand, as my run is not muddy yet, and we are adding on to it. Our coop is 8x6 and our run at the moment is 150 sq ft. We will be adding another 200 sq ft this week. We let them out to free range a couple hours per day. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Make sure any drainage problems are fixed, as that's most important. A roof over all or part of the run is great if you have lots of snow too. I thing bagged shavings, wood chips, or anything the chickens can scratch around in, will work best. People who use sand seem to be doing a lot of poo scooping, and deep litter takes much less effort to maintain. I'm about easy care, myself. Mary
     
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't do the sand. I had sand and HATED it. I had all sorts of issues. Put down the chips. They make a great substrate and will provide the carbon that will act with the nitrogen from the poop to compost everything down to lovely soil. You won't have to clean poop from them at all. Mother Nature takes care of that. Spread a new load every spring. Toss in grass clippings when you have them or and any other yard waste and you'll be all set. Your run will be odor free and your birds will be happy.
     
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  4. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Staw
     
  5. Alagrace

    Alagrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! Awesome.
     
  6. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Use what was delivered from the tree company.

    Go deep, as in 8-10 inches deep.

    Top will stay dry, bottom will slowly decompose, like in 2 years slow.

    Just add as necessary to keep the depth.

    No mud, stink, or flies.
     
  7. Alagrace

    Alagrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all! I just started adding the chips to the run today! The girls loved it. It was fun to watch as they tried tasting the chips, but letting them drop out of their beaks. They loved all the bugs in the chips too. I think this will give entertainment for hours. Looking forward to not seeing flies anymore!
     
  8. Alagrace

    Alagrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2015
    So I added the chips to the run and its been warm here between 70 and 80. My run stinks! Should I be raking it daily? to turn the poop in to the wood chips? I'm thinking I might be doing something wrong. I am not to concerned about it for us, but we live close to our neighbors and one of them isn't too happy we have chickens. The coop does not stink. That I just cleaned and put fresh shavings, but the run is what I'm concerned about. It's dry. We haven't had rain in a while.
     
  9. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dry manure will not stink.

    How deep are the chips?
     
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed. In an appropriately sized run, a deep enough layer of chips (even if placed over stinky soil) should still smell like chips two weeks later. I'm inclined to think you need to go deeper. There should be no need to turn the chips yourself. If there are areas the birds aren't turning, toss some scratch there and they should take care of it for you.
     

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