Outside floor covering?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ken&Emma, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Ken&Emma

    Ken&Emma New Egg

    Dec 6, 2011
    HI all - first time in here. We were members of a more local forum, but less members = less advice. This looks like a healthy forum indeed.

    Anyway, we have 5 chooks who have a coop with built in covered run. Outside of this, they have an area to run around in (maybe 20ft square ish and bare earth). We use soft wood shavings in the nest boxes/coop and a deep layer of soft wood chips in the covered run. For the outside area, we put straw down, which was great for them to scrat around in, but once the rain came and they turned it all into one big textured mudbath, we gave up on the idea as it seemed to just cause more mess than anything.

    So at the moment it's bare earth again and they have dug holes that are now actually deep puddles of rain water, and where there are no puddles its just mud. Can anyone recommend a suitable material to spread around on the earth?

    Thaks in advance

    Ken & Emma
  2. Tressa27884

    Tressa27884 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2011
    Cooper, Texas
    lots and lots and lots of sand....
  3. littleflocker

    littleflocker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2011
    Island County WA
    go to your local topsoil supplier they will fill up your truck with sand for around 10 bucks. give them some ashes and sand to dust in and put it somewhere dry.
  4. pintail39

    pintail39 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2011
    not sure if this would work for a completely uncovered run, but it is what I use in my semi covered run.
    Starting at the deepest layer working more superficial (surface): dirt (dug done to hard earth), layer of pea gravel, 12"x12" cement garden stones, sand, then topped off with straw. The water seems to moisten the sand but for the most part drains off. If we have had a lot of rain, I add more straw on top, then as needed, pitch fork the straw off, let the sand dry and then add more sand (as needed) and straw. My girls always love fresh straw day, sometimes I just put a together flake in and let them go at it. It was a lot of work to set up, but so far real simple maintance.
    (BTW, I have a layer of hardware cloth between the earth and gravel to prevent preditors from digging up)

    Let me know if you try it and it works.
  5. rirbrahma

    rirbrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2011
    I usually use sand! It's the BEST!
  6. kichohana

    kichohana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Johnston County, NC
    Quote:Sand sand and more sand. I put sand in right on top of dirt in my covered run. Rakes clean, drains water quickly and is easy to maintain. I don't know where you're located, but locally Lowes sells 1 ton bag of sand for $30-40. It's a lot more cost effective than buying individual bags of playsand at 3-4$ a bag.
  7. Ken&Emma

    Ken&Emma New Egg

    Dec 6, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies. OK, so it seems sand is the order of the day.

    But should it be the soft builders sand or sharp sand?

    We have a local builders merchant (UK) who will deliver a large bag (tonne I think). I'll get in touch to ask price.

  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    But should it be the soft builders sand or sharp sand?

    Sand is sand
    The cheapest is the best​

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