my run is dirt but seems more like concrete!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Beau coop, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Beau coop

    Beau coop Songster

    May 19, 2008
    After a soaking wet first half of july, my run was muddy. Now the temps have climbed and the run has turned into rock hard dirt.

    How do you all deal with this? Till, sand?
  2. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Songster

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Tis better to have rock hard dirt than to have a swamp and muddy feet.

    Really, they'll just scratch about and dig holes to dust in as they see fit. Not an issue having hard pack.

    Mud on the other hand... Sand or rocks.. A nice french drain around the run is good too. Depends on the circumstances.
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    In my experience the rock hard dirt is just the top layer of mud/poo/goo from the rainy season that has dried into a hard crust. If you dig a pitchfork under it it will flake off in sections and there is normal dirt underneath. The good thing is, the chickens can't dig holes all over through the hard stuff. The bad news is... once it gets wet again, you have extra inches of goo that are going to mix in with the new goo and make a deeper mess next time wet weather hits, stink twice as much and take three times as long to dry out...
  4. Hard pan is a good surface as it will not get so muddy after it bakes in the sun could put down some kid sand and that would make a great surface clean and easy to clean.
  5. Beau coop

    Beau coop Songster

    May 19, 2008
    onthespot, I think it is hard pack poo too, that will smell the next time it rains. [​IMG]

    They don't even try to dig in it for dust bath. They wait until the are let out to range then dig holes around the foundation of the house. The hubby is not too fond of that.

    So I don't know if I should remove this top layer and then put in some sand. Just put the sand over it?
  6. georgih

    georgih Chirping

    Apr 23, 2009
    I live in NH and it has been raining here almost every day! My run is one stinky, soggy mess! My husband suggested putting straw down, but I like the idea of sand.
    It has also been suggested that my run is too small for my 17 birds. It is 7'x10' So we are looking into chain link panels (dog kennels) and hardware cloth, as the chickenwire is looking saggy.
    Any ideas?
  7. Beau coop

    Beau coop Songster

    May 19, 2008
    I have an 8 x 10 run for 5 birds. Will be adding a few more though. I think I am going to try some sand and see how that goes.
  8. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Songster

    Jul 11, 2009
    Quote:I agree. Mine dig and dust. I also have concrete like dirt.
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    In this heat, it's like rock hard.

    They have two spots where they dig and dust bath, but that's it.

    I can't wait till October... I'm gonna be throwing some sand in there.
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    It would be better to put down a layer of gravel underneath the sand. The gravel will help it to drain.

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