On Bedding and Cleaning

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
122
121
137
Central Michigan, USA
Hmm... ok, no shavings in the yard. The house stays dry, under the roosts, the laying areas, all indoors... BIG space. The run... muddy now... what would you do. We have tarps up so it's not raining ON them, but the ground is soaked from all the rains and storms with no signs of letting up for quite a while. SPRING is quite wet in SE oKLAHOMA
Assuming there's no drainage issues with the run have you considered deep litter for the run? By using a mix of wood chips, dried leaves, garden trimmings, etc it allows water to drain through while giving the chickens a dry surface to walk on.
I agree with @rosemarythyme. My run gets pretty nasty in the spring too with the thaw and all and when it rains. I keep adding layers of the litter from cleaning out the coop, or some straw, to cover the ground, mixed with veggie scraps and lawn debris. Not only does this work to give them a nice area to walk around on, but in 6 months, that stuff will be turned into beautiful compost you can put on your garden. Win win.
 

gsim

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
1,997
36
196
East Tennessee
Hi, Jintz,
I've kept chickens for 10 yrs and I still use grass clippings for litter. (free, and they smell great) I do use the 'deep litter' method, keeping 6" thickness year-round. In October, I gather up around 6 garbage drums of grass clippings and make the litter about 10" - 12" deep. This will last until April or May when I do a complete change-out, replacing the old litter with fresh clippings.

Cleaning: The coop I built has roost poles 12" from outer walls, about 4 ft above the floor. I put droppings board about 2 ft above floor. (old, salvaged kitchen counter tops work great for poop boards) Mine are smooth formica, and are 24" deep, running full length beneath all roosts. Chooks jump up on to droppings board first, then jump up to the roost. I clean the droppings board daily each AM.

Additional cleaning: I do pick up any manure I see on the floor, but that is very seldom. Sometimes I go 3 weeks without seeing any on the floor! One thing that helps me is that I built my coop on a sloping grade, and I turned the elevated end into a rainy-day hangout complete with a roost. VERY IMPORTANT for maintaining a clean coop with a minimum of effort. You can build a sheltered spot outside in the run with a perch maybe 1 ft above ground, and a roof maybe 3 ft above ground. Should be at least the size of a sheet of plywood or bigger. My rainy day area is no more than 50 sq ft, and they all hang out there on rainy days rather than stay indoors. That is why I think my coop is so easy to keep clean, and why my litter seldom has any poop in it.
 

denise8762

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 15, 2012
7
4
62
Denver
Your doing great! Working way way to hard! Everyone else has given you great advice. I change my cool floor material twice a year, deep liter in the winter and handgun the summer. If nesting boxes get bare, add some shavings.
 

junkman56

Songster
Sep 7, 2016
561
655
207
Northwestern PA. ( Tionesta )
My Coop
My Coop
I sorta have the same question as everyone else. I am wondering how you keep a large run dry, My (covered/enclosed) run is 16'x6' I use deep liter, no problems there. My outside run is 56'x25' what should I put down on the ground to help keep it dry? It was grass but now it is looking like the moon.
would sawdust work? I'm look for an inexpensive way, what is best
thank you
 

DianaMallory

Songster
7 Years
Jul 20, 2012
729
144
196
Lancaster Ohio
I agree with @rosemarythyme. My run gets pretty nasty in the spring too with the thaw and all and when it rains. I keep adding layers of the litter from cleaning out the coop, or some straw, to cover the ground, mixed with veggie scraps and lawn debris. Not only does this work to give them a nice area to walk around on, but in 6 months, that stuff will be turned into beautiful compost you can put on your garden. Win win.
And in the winter time that compost will supply a heat source for your chickens!
 

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
122
121
137
Central Michigan, USA
I sorta have the same question as everyone else. I am wondering how you keep a large run dry, My (covered/enclosed) run is 16'x6' I use deep liter, no problems there. My outside run is 56'x25' what should I put down on the ground to help keep it dry? It was grass but now it is looking like the moon.
would sawdust work? I'm look for an inexpensive way, what is best
thank you
You're not going to keep it dry really. But the best you can do is what has been suggested above, add lawn waste, the litter from the coop as you clean, and other types of organic material to cover the ground as needed. It will help keep it from being a complete disaster, and the chickens will turn that into black gold for you in time. :)
 

junkman56

Songster
Sep 7, 2016
561
655
207
Northwestern PA. ( Tionesta )
My Coop
My Coop
You're not going to keep it dry really. But the best you can do is what has been suggested above, add lawn waste, the litter from the coop as you clean, and other types of organic material to cover the ground as needed. It will help keep it from being a complete disaster, and the chickens will turn that into black gold for you in time. :)
do you think hay from barn bedding would be ok to put in the run? or will it stay to wet?
thank you
 

Eilsel

Songster
Dec 15, 2017
130
261
137
NE Kansas
I sorta have the same question as everyone else. I am wondering how you keep a large run dry, My (covered/enclosed) run is 16'x6' I use deep liter, no problems there. My outside run is 56'x25' what should I put down on the ground to help keep it dry? It was grass but now it is looking like the moon.
would sawdust work? I'm look for an inexpensive way, what is best
thank you
Your best bet for an uncovered area is to make sure it drains really well... absorbent materials will just hold water. You want the ground level to be slightly higher than the ground around it, or sloped slightly so water drains off, and generally just out of the way of other types of runoff. You could add in some quick-draining footing (coarse sand) to help the dirt dry out faster, but it will not help if the area is low and collecting water anyway.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom