Partial open air run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Wxguru, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chirping

    Sep 2, 2014
    Alright...there are just too many threads to dig thru, so forgive me for making my own on this subject...that I know has been beat to death.
    I just got done framing up a 8'W x 12'L run. It isn't the most beautiful thing, but I don't care, cause it is for the chickens!
    So here is what I am doing....where it meets the coop, it is 56" tall and it comes out 4' from the coop...that part is going to be roofed, so when we have inclement weather, the 6 girls have cover...but still have about 30sq ft to run around in if they so choose.
    The run drops to 36" high from there for the remainder of the 8' and it will NOT be roofed (the entire thing will have chicken wire over the girls remain safe from predators).
    So I am wanting feedback about the materials for the run floor.....especially since it is open to elements. I live in C Arkansas, so we do get the healthy doses of rain. This run is built on sloped ground that runs away from the water will go down and away from the coop.
    I would like to do a deep litter method, and had planned on about 6" of pine shavings mixed with mulch and some brown oak leaves that are laying around from this fall. I don't want to have to do heavy maintenance on any of it, but realize I will have to do some.
    So, how do I keep this from becoming an all out mess? Will that plan work ok? I guess I am mainly concerned about it drying out and in the late spring/early summer when we get a rain and temps hit 90F+....mold and mildew.


    Thanks in advance!!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You may not have to do anything if it drains well. Pine shavings won't do well in places open to the rain. Dried leaves and grass clippings would be much better. Deep litter is an indoor item, not meant to be rained on.

    If you use something like hay, you will likely have to replace it weekly.

    Or, if you just don't want dirt, you might consider purchased smooth landscaping rocks, too big to swallow, with a raised edge so they don't wash away. More initial expense, but with planning, they should rarely need replenishing and never actually need replacing. Or simply sand. It can be scooped like kitty litter when needed. Again, be sure there is a lip so it doesn't wash away. The big disadvantage to sand is it can get too hot for their feet, which can be managed with shade.
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Try using sand, it drains well and does not inhibit mold because not organic. Also you said it is sloped. You may want to use landscape timbers or something similar to prevent washout of your sand. Every situation is different and I'm not standing right where it is to evaluate it . HOPE THIS GIVES YOU IDEAS, AND OPTIONS.
  4. hennible

    hennible Crowing

    Pea gravel. You could hose it out to clean it if you built a frame to contain the Pea gravel, and fill the frame till it was level with Pea gravel on your slope just thought
    A doodle
  5. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chirping

    Sep 2, 2014
    Some GREAT ideas....thank you very much!!! [​IMG]
  6. I have a 20 x 20 pen that I'm using deep litter on. I have about 5' covered, to keep rain from coming inside the coop, the rest is covered with hardware cloth. When the chickens had eaten all the grass, I put leaves and pine straw all over the run floor. So far it's working great!

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