Keeping the run clean

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dtchick, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. dtchick

    dtchick Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    22
    Jul 6, 2009
    I read a lot of the old posts but can't find exactly what I'm looking for so forgive me if I'm bringing up an old topic. I have a good sized run attached to my coop which I rake up weekly and leave as just a dirt floor with some hay scattered on it, mostly for the interest factor for the girls. It isn't a full layer of hay. The coop stays fine; I scrape it out and it is dry and clean but I'm having a problem with the floor of the run. It gets a layer of compacted food, poop, dirt, hay etc. which smells horrible. I have to dig it out periodically, like chunks of sod. What am I doing wrong? It gets especially disgusting around their food and water dispensers and now that we've been getting a little rain here in Arizona and the humidity has gone way up, it's worse than ever. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    We keep the feeder(hanging) inside the coop proper and have no problem with spillage. Our run has a tarp stretched over it for sun shading. The run is dirt-floored and we just rake up the poo a couple of times a week and put it in the compost pile. It's not given us much trouble that way.

    Larry
     
  3. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    343
    6
    131
    Apr 4, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    I would ditch the hay, spread lime all over the area and till it all up. then add about 3" of sand I'm one of those "sand" people.
     
  4. dtchick

    dtchick Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    22
    Jul 6, 2009
    The lime won't hurt the chickens? Will the feed store sell lime or should I get it elsewhere? And I do need to hang the feeder, you're right about that. Thanks for the replies.
     
  5. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    343
    6
    131
    Apr 4, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    garden stores home depot and such sell lime. its for sweetening the soil. no it won't hurt them. not the lime for making concrete. yes you need to get the water and food so it is not making such a mess.
     
  6. dtchick

    dtchick Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    22
    Jul 6, 2009
    Thank you! I'll get to work on it all today.
     
  7. Hecate

    Hecate Out Of The Brooder

    99
    0
    39
    Jan 27, 2009
    Ohio
    I used to add straw or grass clippings to our run and had the same problems you described. I abandoned that when we relocated out coop, and kept it bare earth, which has helped a lot. Someone on another thread mentioned using a product called Sweet PDZ awhile back. We've been using it in the coop and run for the last month and it does a nice job of deodorizing. Our run is a little smelly when we have wet, rainy weather, but a little sprinkling of the Sweet PDZ helps immensely! Tractor Supply now carries it in their stores, and it's rather inexpensive.
     
  8. Suburban Sprouts

    Suburban Sprouts Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    1
    111
    Apr 29, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I second Sweet PDZ! Works great for me...
     
  9. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

    270
    1
    121
    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    I also have a dirt run, to which I added the shredded remains of a tree. It works well to be able to run a rake over it and cover things up. I have added bags of topsoil which they just LOVE to scratch and bathe in.
    I second the food being in the coop, I use a 10lb wall-mounted feeder and there is minimal to no billing out.
    I have a nipple waterer inside and outside the coop.

    I tossed in a flake of straw yesterday because the earwigs and crickets use it for breeding and the girls had a field day! I plan to remove the straw today and replace it with another flake for their amusement. But I don't leave it in there as their floor/bedding.

    My plan is to get some bulk topsoil and maybe compost and put it in their run so there is a 3 inch layer of loose dirt for them to play in.

    The smell is not as bad as I expected it to be. But I do also make an effort, like you, to keep it clean. I may try the Sweet PDZ in the run.
     
  10. ChickieMickie

    ChickieMickie New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Oct 18, 2015
    Can Sweet PDZ be later used in compost for spring garden soil?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by