Newbie with so many questions!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DraftXJumper, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. DraftXJumper

    DraftXJumper Chillin' With My Peeps

    82
    41
    66
    May 27, 2017
    Wisconsin
    My husband (and little boys) will be building our girls' run this weekend. I have been doing a lot of reading, as well as looking at the good information on the forums at BYC. What I am still wondering is, can we just put our run on grass? Do we need to put some sort of bedding/material down while there's still grass for them? My *hope* is to shift the coop and run periodically to keep a decent amount of grass still alive. That really depends on how heavy the run ends up being. My husband plans on using corrugated plastic for a roof, so hopefully it's won't get too muddy. If the girls do destroy all of the grass, what should I put down for them?
    I'm also wondering, if I send the girls out to their new digs at about 5ish weeks old (it's 80ºs here daytime and 60º at night), should I put their Ecoglow in the coop for awhile?
    TIA for any help :)
     
  2. Abriana

    Abriana Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,714
    1,416
    236
    Apr 26, 2017
    From my blue coop
    Welcome to BYC! What is ecoglow? Is that a heatlamp? if so, you don't need it. Chickens start to suffer at twenty degrees, so if it gets cold in the winter where you live, you will need one but you don't right now. I shift my coop all over my seven acres and the girls destroy the grass mostly unless you move it every two weeks or so.It will grow back, but they will ruin it a bit. I don't think there is anything you can put down.
     
  3. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

    185
    459
    141
    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    image.jpg Welcome to BYC! I now have a big chicken tractor & run but it's difficult to move every day. I move them every 4 days & after moving I water the grass everyday to help it recover. I also give them time outside the run when I'm outside & can supervise. However, I use to have a smaller tractor that I moved everyday & watered well after each move. My grass stayed beautiful but the tractor was in a fenced back yard & the girls were only inside the tractor at night. I think it comes down to the amount of time left on a spot of grass & the number of chickens you have.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,123
    3,323
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They do not need any supplemental heat at those ages and temperatures.

    There is nothing wrong with putting the run on grass. How fast they destroy it will depend on their age, how many chickens, and how big it is. Your weather and time of year can also affect that. When given the choice to free range, they live on grass and dirt.

    The big issue with any coop and run placement is drainage. If water drains away from it you seldom have problems. If it stays wet, especially if water drains to it and stays, you are practically guaranteed problems or you are going to have to work really hard managing it.

    I don't know what you have built for a coop or how you are building your run. It sounds like what you are talking is a tractor. I had one of those one summer for a very few weeks. The way they wiped out the vegetation under it and the poop built up I had to move it every two or three days. It was worse right after it rained, it just turned to mud. Many people use tractors quite successfully, there are lots of different ways to go about it. If I tried it again I'd go about it quite differently.

    A lot of us don't use any bedding whatsoever in the run, it's just dirt. Others use all kinds of things, sand, wood chips, wood shavings, dried leaves, straw, or hay to name just a few. Some people turn their runs into compost piles, throwing in kitchen and garden wastes with grass clipping, dried leaves, or who knows what else. There is no one set way to do any of this that works for each and every one of us.

    The more you can tell us about your conditions the more we may be able to offer realistic suggestions for you. How many chickens, how big a run, weather and climate, urban or rural, your goals for the chickens, things like that.
     
    Abriana likes this.
  5. Abriana

    Abriana Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,714
    1,416
    236
    Apr 26, 2017
    From my blue coop
    lots of info here!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by