Pea Gravel for Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jettgirl24, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Hi All,

    I've been looking to put new winter-friendly footing in my run and I scored big on Craigslist today.... Got some really nice pea gravel for free! I was originally planning to do sand , and may still do that on top of the pea gravel. However, if I can get away with just the gravel that would make me very happy.

    I do have a couple of questions for people who use it though:

    - Is it easy to clean? What do you use to clean it?
    - Should I make a dirt box or something similar for them to scratch around/dustbathe in? They have a favorite dirt spot in the yard when I let them free range but they only get out there on some evenings and on weekends when we're home. They spend the majority of ther time in the coop and run area.
    - Will it be ok to put the gravel down on top of the dirt run while it's soft? It's been fairly dry lately so it's not so much muddy as it is soft. I think the amount of gravel we're getting will allow for a depth of 3" to 4".

  2. churchx3

    churchx3 Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    I have read several posts on BYC re: the use of gravel in the coop / run...all have been negative. Sorry.
  3. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    I've seen posts from several people using it for their ducks and liking it so I can't imagine it would be a problem with chickens. In my experiences ducks are WAY messier than chickens. I guess my main interest is how people clean it because I haven't found info on that. Like I said, I may end up putting sand on top of it so regardless it will go to good use. I'd just like to try it out on it's own first and save the money on sand if it works.
  4. easton coop

    easton coop Songster

    Feb 5, 2010
    Winchester UK
    I use pea gravel for outside run, i find it very good. to clean it i hose it down and rake it! I have a membrane weed base which stops the dirt from coming through but allows it to drain away. It never smells as the poo just washes away. I would put a dust bath in as my hens really enjoyed it. The best system in my opinion as never flood and stays clean. Hope this helps.
    1 person likes this.
  5. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Thank you Easton Coop, that is helpful. I imagine you probably have very similar weather in the UK to what we have here in the Pacific Northwest so hopefully the gravel will work as well for me as it has for you! In regards to the membrane weed base, is it that fabric type material that you can buy in rolls?

  6. easton coop

    easton coop Songster

    Feb 5, 2010
    Winchester UK
    Quote:Hi Jettgirl24, yes that's the stuff! it is very useful, I have about 9 inches deep, that means they can scratch down without reaching the membrane. It also keeps their feet clean, I do have a grassed area that I let them free range on, which makes them dirty, however, some time in the gravel run and they are all clean.
  7. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    not easy to clean....
  8. ELShens

    ELShens In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2010
    My 2 cents:
    I have it, but I'm second guessing it due to the cleaning. The summer wasn't bad because I could go out and spray it everyday, but it still felt like it was a little dirtier than i'd like for the scratching. I'm trying to throw some hay in over the top with some DE and see if when I rake it out most of the poo comes with it. Otherwise I'm thinking about digging down a bit and adding sand over the top. I've also toyed with adding a linoleum or other base with some holes in it that could be scraped and then hosed. I think Gravel is still a great base from a drainage perspective. I've also started to let them range in the yard so that should take some of the buildup off.

    Good Luck

    BTW I have three hens and the gravel run is 4x8
  9. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Bad idea, harder to clean and if you let it go, it would get packed down. Better to use sand.

    Pea gravel is very good for our dogs's runs and it never gave us any problems except it does get kicked out of the run once in a while. So use that pea gravel on your walkways and outside premeter of your runs.

  10. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I have pea gravel about 6 inches deep and I love it. Let me preface this by saying I have 5 hens in a 9'x10' run. It is easy to clean, there is no odor. I feel it is very comfy on their feet. I do have a couple of bales of straw in one corner for them to jump on and use as a wind break -- I've noticed that most of the time they are on the gravel rather than the straw.

    Initially I was going to put sand on top, but I think sand would simply filter down through the gravel. What I do intend to do is make a sandbox for them to play in.

    I can't think of a single negative thing to say about the gravel -- I am thinking it is working out because we didn't skimp by getting too little.


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