Need advice, Very worried

MissRaychel91

Chirping
Jul 15, 2018
66
73
71
I love my chickens more than anything. I raised them from a day old, was there for all their firsts, and watched them grow into beautiful little birds. They are my babies, my family.
Now my dad got them so we could have eggs, that's pretty much it. He doesn't have any sort of emotional attachment to them like I do. So when he built this run he didn't think about any risk factors. I helped plan it as much as he would allow but this is the ONLY location I had to work with. Don't get me wrong it's a beautiful run, looks safe and predator proof, the only problem is that the dirt it's on is very 'dirty'. There's all kinds of old strange materials in the ground in this run. TINY pieces of dry wall, glass, pottery, plastic, insulation foam, rope, carpet.... and that's just to name a few of what I found. I have been picking pieces up for days and I haven't even made a dent in how much there is.
What I'm trying to get at is what could I do to make it safe?
I thought about putting a tarp over it but I don't like the idea of not having any drainage.
Or what about a layer of rocks or gravel, then maybe some sand and good dirt and then the bedding?
Maybe I'm over reacting, maybe it's not even a big deal? I really don't know much since these are my first chickens
Any and all ideas are welcome.
I just don't want them to get sick and hurt, or die!

Here's some pics of the run just to show.
20181101_165159.jpg
20181101_164853.jpg
20181101_165037.jpg
 

TCCL

Songster
Sep 4, 2017
159
270
177
Eastern Tennessee
I’m not comfortable either with all sorts of foreign debris on the floor that they could step on and eat. I’m thinking anchor some thick burlap over the floor, then lay some gravel or sand or whatever you want your floor material to be over the burlap. I agree a tarp would be problematic in terms of drainage. Of course removing all the contaminated soil is an option but how far down it goes no one knows. Removing what I could then stapling down some heavy burlap or geotextile material is what I’d do.
 

chicken1234

Crowing
9 Years
Nov 11, 2011
208
662
251
Ontario Canada
Its a beautiful run though! Could you get a piece of fine hardware cloth, make a frame, grab a shovel and sift the sand? Maybe cover the part you haven't sifted yet then as you go along uncover it once you know its ok??
 

MissRaychel91

Chirping
Jul 15, 2018
66
73
71
I just talked to my dad about it and I think we may have came up with a plan!

What if we dig out about 3 or 4 inches of the contaminated dirt and then get a big truckload of sand and fill it in. Then of course put hay, pine shavings, grass clippings, and whatever else over the top. That way when they do start digging through the sand, they can only go so far down. Since sand fills its self back in as you dig.
Would that be good enough?
 

MissRaychel91

Chirping
Jul 15, 2018
66
73
71
Oh yeah I'd def monitor them and how it's working.
Thank you all for all your ideas they really helped!
 

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
5,547
19,910
707
Caliente Nevada
You need to roll up your sleeves and pick up all that stuff. You could rake piles and shovel the dirty dirt into a wheelbarrow and haul it away. I continue to find stuff all the time. I had dirt hauled in to fill my garden boxes and Lordy...the weird stuff in it never ends!! Best wishes
 

MissRaychel91

Chirping
Jul 15, 2018
66
73
71
You need to roll up your sleeves and pick up all that stuff. You could rake piles and shovel the dirty dirt into a wheelbarrow and haul it away. I continue to find stuff all the time. I had dirt hauled in to fill my garden boxes and Lordy...the weird stuff in it never ends!! Best wishes

If it could actually be cleaned by picking it up, I would. I have been picking stuff up for 3 days now and haven't even made a dent in it there's thousands of pieces!
Which is the reason I had to think of something else to do. And I have dug down and it seemed like it would never end. Like a graveyard for old broken stuff. Lol
But I will start removing as much as I can and then put a thick layer of sand over top. I'm hoping that will prevent them from digging down and reaching bad dirt
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,867
30,468
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Yeah I think scraping as much of it out and replacing it with either clean dirt or sand, and then additional litter on top, would be the best option. You probably can't get all of it out but minimizing it would be the goal. Very nice run build though, your dad did a good job.
 

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