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need help on cleaning the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cityfarmer12, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

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    One of my runs is pretty small (12x12) and during the winter everything was fine cause the ground was frozen, but a few weeks ago everything thawed and now the ground is a poop, wet, muddy, smelly mess. Due to lots of outdoor projects because of having warm weather, i let the birds out to free range a lot right now, but i would like to not gag when i go near the run and to not object the idea of letting the birds in there. so, now to my question...how do i clean it? will liming it take away the smell or not? can i lie it then have the birds right on it? thanks :)
     
  2. WCHomestead

    WCHomestead In the Brooder

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    Our run got really nasty once all the ice and snow melted too. We simply raked it out and put the mess in the compost pile for later use in the garden. We then put down peat moss and straw on top to help absorb the moisture that was left and are so glad that the sun is out and it's warming up! Whenever it gets too muddy/poopy due to rain we throw some straw on top to help keep it a little drier. Of course our girls do love the straw so they end of eating a lot of it, but once it warms or at least the sun comes out it helps. Also the straw breaks down into the run. This may not be the best way of doing things, but it works pretty well for us!
     
  3. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

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    thanks for the advice!! i may try this :) Man, i love spring and the chicks that come with it!!
     
  4. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Crowing

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    wood chips will work also, they'll break down and decompose and actually help build up the level of the run somewhat. Over time you won't be able to tell it was even wood chips.

    I made sure I made the gate wide enough to get my yard cart in to be able to clean out when I need to work in the run. Raking it out, adding that to your compost pile and adding to the garden is wonderful! Although, a few years back, my DW threw her "fall decorations' pumpkins in the compost (we didn't have chickens at that time) and the next spring when I composted all my azealas, it took me weeks to figure out what it was growing everywhere, LOL we had pumpkins EVERY WHERE!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

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    Missouri
    thanks!! lol, did you get to eat any? I was wondering...my run is on a hill, and so when i put anything down the birds scratch around and it all piles up at the back (the lowest part) and then yet again half of the run is bare...new problem lol...any ideas? I was thinking maybe pile it high enough that it is even. Thanks!
     
  6. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    My deep litter run has between 10 and 24" of wood chips in various staged of decomposition.

    It smells like a forest floor after a rainfall...
     
  7. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

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    nice...i this forest floor sounds lovely compared to chicken poop, lol :D
     
  8. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    [​IMG]

    You can see the litter half way up the 2 foot hardware cloth surround.

    It's much deeper in the middle.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    nice! thanks for the pic! i bet they love scratching around in it!!!
     
  10. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Copied from another query:

    "deep litter", is just "cold composting"

    Every location will differ, but the process remains the same.

    Slight variations are necessary to achieve the same fantastic results.

    Too much info already available with a quick search on cold composting to get into it, but when done properly, well worth the effort.

    [​IMG][​IMG]



    In these pictures you can see the results. The birds process the deep litter inside the run into fine compost sifted out through 1/2 hardware cloth fencing, where I gather and share with my master gardening friends.


    I throw almost anything biodegradable into the run, the birds do all the processing, I collect the rewards, black gold to many...

    In this next picture you will see last fall's gathering of this years future "black gold".
    That finely shredded pile of leaves is about 30' x30'x3' high.

    [​IMG]

    and last week, first day of spring [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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