my chickens are digging holes in their run.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bookworm chick, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    227
    0
    109
    May 27, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    The ground hasn't been frozen for the past week or so and my chickens have scratched a few holes in their run. They're both looking for bugs and making dust holes. I've filled the holes in twice and they just dig in another spot. [​IMG]

    Any suggestions on how to prevent this? I know that they will have a few watering holes if we get a good rain. I'm hoping that it will get cold again and the ground will freeze.
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,375
    103
    236
    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Uh, they're chickens and they're gonna do what chickens do. The only way to really stop'em would be to make it where they can't get to the dirt. [​IMG]

    If you don't already have something set up for them, you might want to rig up a dusting area for them....mini kiddie pool, wooden box, Rubbermaid container, etc, filled with dirt, ash, a little de, whatever, for them to dust in. A little scratch thrown on the coop litter might keep them occupied and maybe tone down the bug hunting a bit.

    Maybe they're just getting over coop fever (kinda like cabin fever) and feeling frisky and glad to be outside...???

    Just some thoughts, good luck. [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  3. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    0
    139
    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    mine have been digging away as well. now that the rain returned they have small ponds in their run. i think they were just excited about the warmer temps and maybe it was throwing them off or something.
     
  4. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    They will always do this, love to snuggle down in warm dry dirt in a sunny spot when it's cold, and cool damp dirt when it's hot. Why do you perceive this as a problem? It's normal chicken behavior, would be very difficult to prevent and not sure why you would want to, really - it's natural and functional. I have a "sandbox" for my chickens, with sand and a little DE in it, which they really like, but they still dig holes. I think you will need to resign yourself to it, or better yet, learn to revel in it. You could put a wire floor or something in the run, but it seems unkind when they love the dirt so much.
     
  5. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    343
    6
    131
    Apr 4, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    when I built my run I did it with the thought of nothing being able to dig in. I never imagined it would be to keep my chickens from digging out! You could keep filling it in and driving your self nuts in the process or enjoy their "redecorating".
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    86
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It is not going to hurt for them to have a few puddles (i.e. water-filled dustbathing holes) in the run. So, I'd suggest letting the chickens have their fun. It's what chickens do [​IMG]

    If the chickens are digging too near the run fence for your peace of mind you can put some bricks or concrete rubble or pavers or whatever there; but really whatever digproofing you have (I hope?) to keep predators *out* will also do a decent job of keeping chickens *in*.

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. Turkenlover

    Turkenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    1
    111
    Jan 14, 2010
    Colorado
    My Turkens do this all the time. The only problem I have ever had with this is when they kick straw over the hole and I fall into one by accident in the morning because I don't see it. I don't know why, but they seem to like their holes, so I leave them. [​IMG]
     
  8. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    playing in the dirt is fun.... [​IMG]
     
  9. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Ummmm....their chickens!
    Tha is what they do best. Dig. And, in digging, they are find lots of good nutrition. They are searching for, and eating minerals and such in the dirt.
    I make sure our chickens free range, so their diet is natural and diverse, and, I love what they do for my garden in the fall [​IMG]
     
  10. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,253
    10
    153
    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Also keep in mind that if the ground is frozen or has been for a while that they may be searching for grit. If they can't get to any you will need to provide them with some. My run stayed frozen for about 2wks.(yes in N.C.) and my girls gobbled down the grit during that time. I offered it to them with their scratch in their snack pan. If they needed it they ate it, if they didn't they left it in the pan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by