Need tips for keeping a clean run


8 Years
Jun 8, 2011
I'm new to chickens this year. I have my 25 13 week old chickens outside with a coop and a 16 x 16' run covered with poultry netting. I'm wondering what everyone does with the chicken poo in the run. I try raking it up, and it just doesn't work well, it's too small to scoop...what do you use? I was thinking maybe straw or hay spread around the run to help catch some of the droppings would make it easier to pick up. I have horses so I have no shortage of chaff hay, but I also don't want to harbor insects.
Thanks for your help.
A few times a day I go out to the coop and scoop the poop out with a litter box scooper. It takes about 2 minutes. It's paid off well. I have zero flies and the run is clean. I visit with my girls while I'm out there.
I too use sand, and a kitty litter scooper, it has worked great for me.
They often get the straw out of the coop in the run, then I use a rake to get that straw out.
But that's the coop right? The OP is asking about the run. I can't imagine how much sand it would take and how long it would take to scoop our run. It's 10 x 24. Right now it still has some grass but it's gross with poop. I may end up adding sand but I read that you need to put gravel or something down first or the sand just mixes in with the ground eventually.
I put sand in my run. It is 5 x 10 and to fill it with 4" of sand it will take about 1/2 to 3/4 tons. I put down hardware cloth underneath to keep digging predators from coming up. If I had it to do over I would have put landscape fabric down to keep the sand and soil from mixing, but it really hasn't been a problem yet.

The sand is cheap, the 4x4s to keep the sand in may cost you a bit more, but in the end it should be worth it.

As far as time goes, the prep work is everything. It might take you 20 minutes to fill the coop with sand discounting drive time to get sand and assuming you can back a truck up to the coop. The prep work took some time though.
Thanks for the replies. The coop and run are sited on hard packed soil. If there was anything remotely green on the ground when we set it up two months ago, it's long gone.
I suppose I'll have to go get some sand.
We free range, but the small fenced run area gets a raking about once a week, hosed down when we aren't in the rainy season and DE as needed. Never really think about it as it hasn't been an issue.

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