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Landscape cloth or hardware cloth under sand run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hannalice, May 9, 2011.

  1. hannalice

    hannalice Out Of The Brooder

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    My question is pretty well stated in the subject. [​IMG]

    I'm "remodeling" my coop and run, and being the relatively inexperienced builder-type that I am, I didn't think about the fact that the rocks I covered with sand in my pen would find their way up to the surface. Well, wow did they ever. I'm planning to rake out the majority of stones on the surface, and cover what's left with either hardware or landscape cloth. Landscape cloth being the easier (MUCH easier [​IMG]) choice, but I have visions of chickens scratching through the three inches of sand I'll put over it and yanking it up. Totally defeats the purpose and makes more work for me later on. I'm pretty much limited to just 3" of sand at this point, I already wasted 3" worth of sand the first time I laid it down, and the retaining boards are only so high. I loathe the idea of dealing with enough hardware cloth (13' x17') to cover the whole floor, and the expense of that much hardware cloth may be prohibitive, anyway. I'm not worried about burrowing critters, there's enough gravel in that spot to keep just about *anything* out of there.

    So, any suggestions? Are my nightmares about puckered landscape cloth and the huge mess it will create unrealistic?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I wouldn't put anything under the sand. Rocks coming up would not be a problem. I think hardware cloth would get rusty, and landscape cloth would get stinky.....
     
  3. hannalice

    hannalice Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Alas, it's already been a problem. The girls would dig dusting holes and kick up stones, they'd dig along the perimeter and kick stones all over the place, etc. It got totally out of hand while I was away for two weeks and someone was looking after them for me. I wish it were that easy! [​IMG]
     
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you put the rocks there or are they there naturally? I live in Fl...we don't have too many rocks. I put my pen under an arbor where landscape fabric was under pavers. I just lifted the pavers and threw the sand in. Now I have bits and pieces of fabric poking up through the sand and catching on the rake on the occasional times I actually rake it. I can't imagine HC there either though....
    sharon
     
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    What about putting a thick layer of topsoil or fill dirt down, and THEN the sand on top?
     
  6. hannalice

    hannalice Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:The rocks were put there by someone a long time ago. It's basically big gravel, been there for quite some time. And that's what I was afraid of with the landscape cloth, drat.
     
  7. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sigh....I don't know how determined/stubborn you are but I think I would just keep chunking out the rocks as they bring them to the top and keep topping off with sand....eventually they'll run out. LOL Sorry! I imagine that is not the answer you were looking for.
     
  8. hannalice

    hannalice Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:LOL! I'm prepared to accept that. [​IMG] I just need to make a mental note the next time I'm gone for two weeks (highly unlikely anytime soon) to be prepared for STONES! when I get back.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If it is only 3" of sand, they will rip your landscape cloth to shreds almost right away. They will also immediately dig down to the hardwarecloth and be frustrated by it, also potentially get their toes stuck in it.

    Let them dig the rocks up for you. You can remove them periodically if you want. Just do a good apron or something like that for digproofing.

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. mlpollard

    mlpollard New Egg

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    I do NOT recommend landscape cloth under the run. Here is my story:

    I had landscape cloth and sand under my run. The first year it was fine but, during this very wet winter and stormy spring the whole are smelled HORRIBLE! I had to give free eggs to all my neighbors to apologize for the smell.So, I added more sand and some lime, but even that did not work because the landscape cloth, although it was allegedly liquid permeable, it did not let the water drain fast enough, so my run became a mucky, smelly mess. I pulled the cloth up......a very difficult and stinky, messy back breaking job. The smell is finally diminishing.

    I have 8 chickens who stay in the run most of the time, so the poop does build up. I live in a downtown area and I can't let them free-range as much as they would like. When I let them have free range, they killed all my grass in the backyard and they escape my picket fence....thus creating a traffic jam.

    This is my first year raising Chickens and I am learning along the way. I do enjoy them, despite the extra work I have due to my learning curve.

    I hope this helped!
     

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