keeping their run clean (droppings)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by buckrut, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. buckrut

    buckrut Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    New Kent County, Va.
    We are officially 5 days into having backyard chickens and loving it. Question, their run is 8'x16' and the floor is dirt and gravel. Although it is covered with sun shade material it is exposed to the elements. What is the best way to keep their run clean? I've heard using straw or pine shavings then just raking them up weekly or so. If I just rake up their droppings I'll be raking up gravel...thoughts?
     
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I have a similar set up.

    I put down something for them to scratch in; leaves, pine needles, straw. What ever is available and/or cheep. And I usually lump it in a big pile in their run and spike it with BOSS and let them kick it all over.

    I'll rake it up every 4-6 weeks when it's looking tired and put it all into the compost bin.

    But each morning I quickly go through the house (which has sand on the floor) with a kitty litter scoop and scoop up the droppings and toss them into the compost bin. I also walk around their run and scoop up the larger droppings and put those into the composter too. I think my run stay's pretty clean that way. And if you do it daily or every other day, it only takes a few minutes. I should also confess, I only have three hens so we're not talking about a huge amount of droppings.

    Not sure that routine would scale if you had say 20 hens or more.
     
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could go straight sand if it bothers you or rake what comes off easy and hose the rest down thru the gravel and into the dirt
     
  4. NYC feather fam

    NYC feather fam Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2011
    Staten Island, NY
    Quote:Sounds like a good approach. I had a lot of issues with mud mixed with yucky poop in the run over the winter with all the melted snow. Not pretty....but also only have 4 hens. We are building a new coop and was wondering what we should do for the run as the coop itself is pretty much weather tight but the run could potentially get wet
     
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Quote:Sounds like a good approach. I had a lot of issues with mud mixed with yucky poop in the run over the winter with all the melted snow. Not pretty....but also only have 4 hens. We are building a new coop and was wondering what we should do for the run as the coop itself is pretty much weather tight but the run could potentially get wet

    Yea, that's a tough one. Snow is not an issue for me but rain is. My run is long and narrow, rectangular shaped. Half is covered with corrugated sheets and stays dry. The other half gets wet. But we usually just get rain in the winter and there's plenty of leaves around that time too. I'll even bag up some extras save them and then cycle through them faster as they get mucky in their run. But if you go through each day or every other day and pick up the bigger turds, then it keeps it from getting too disgusting in there when it really pours.
     

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