Need Suggestions on what to use for the run/base of my coop on top of concrete?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hillbillyred, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Hillbillyred

    Hillbillyred Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2013
    Hi there.. I am new to this but having a good time with our new chickens we hatched 2 months ago... I built a coop (photo below) and have a decent run area that is all concrete right now... I am undecided about what to use for the base for the chickens to scratch/poop etc.... sand has been suggested but I have seen mixed reviews, decomposed granite maybe, dirt with sand/DG on top?
    I live in San Diego, CA and there is one place that mixes sand and decomposed granite and calls it a hoof/zoo mix I am leaning towards that....

    If anyone has suggestions please let me know what you would do. Thanks in advance!


  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I see no advantage in a "mix"
    I'd just get whatever is the cheapest
  3. teamfluffybutt

    teamfluffybutt Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 1, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    New to chickens too and we have a large concrete run (our old dog run for escape artist dogs). We have a lot of woods and trees around us and it's worked well to shovel dropped leaves/pine needles in and let the chickies spread it around. Tried just the concrete and washing it off regularly (we kept leaf litter/sand on the bottom level of their 2 level coop and use Sweet PDZ in the upper house/roosting area). Bare concrete got icky with poo and I notice it less with a nice cover of leaf litter/pine needles, and the girls like it much better since it's softer and there's lots of good stuff to scratch around in. We do have good drainage so water runs off well, and the leaf litter seems to compost itself. I'll probably take some out eventually and use it in the flower garden, but I don't clean it out regularly any more, which has been nice--I just dump more leaf litter/pine needles in. We only have 2 bantams, though, so I don't know if the run would get too messy with more/larger chickens. So far, no smell at all--just nice woodsy smell. The run is uncovered, I may consider covering part of the chain link on top with polycarbonate panels if it gets too wet in winter.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Is the run have a solid roof?
    Does the concrete drain well?

    You'd need to build something around the perimeter of the run to contain the sand from washing away.

    Good Luck!
  5. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2011
    East coast
    If you can put leaves in it, the chickens scratch looking for bugs and other tidbits. Or, a small pile of grass clippings (un-treated), for them to hunt and peck for bugs. They need the greens and the protein (bugs), and something to keep them busy (scratching through leaf litter).

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