Question about Run Floor Material

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RVAChicken87, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. RVAChicken87

    RVAChicken87 New Egg

    Apr 11, 2016
    Hi folks.

    I just want to say that this website has been absolutely vital to my family starting our own backyard flock. Great to see so many people coming together to help each other.

    My question has probably been asked 1,000 times, but I want to put it out there. We just finished building our first coop today for our two Black Australorps. It's completely covered 4' x 8'. The run and coop have great protection from the elements - rain and moisture should not be an issue. My question is what do people recommend for a run floor? I have read about using construction sand (I have also read about droppings being mistake for food when covered with sand...really?), wood chips, pine shavings, and leaving it bare earth.

    Currently we live in the suburbs with very accepting neighbors that have done nothing but encourage our project. I grew up with chickens that were free range on my family's land so space confinement and the inevitable smell was never in question. Squeezing chickens into a backyard is a new concept and I would like to keep my neighbors happy as well make this a very successful and a fun family endeavor. Our two birds will remain in the run during the weekdays while we are at work and then released to range for the remaining 2-3 hours of the day.

    So, what type of flooring would you recommend for ease of cleaning, flock health, and minimal smell?
  2. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    Welcome to BYC! I know exactly how you feel about this website being vital to starting out raising chickens. I was in the same place a year ago and have learned so much from all the wonderful people here.

    For your run floor, let me recommend the Deep Litter Method. If you do a search you will find many threads on it, In the short form, it's a deep "carpet" of natural materials added to the floor of the run. The poo drops through it to the ground below and decomposes. There is no odor and no flies if you keep it deep enough.

    We have anywhere from 4 - 8 inches of grass clippings, hay, straw, leaves, landscaping/garden debris (weeds) in there. We just keep adding as it all breaks down. We clean it out once a year and that beautiful compost goes in the garden.

    Here's what it usually looks like...


    Here's what we have after a year...


    Even though the run is covered it may be damp after a rain/snow storm so we fluff it with a stall rake but usually the chickens keep it turned. The chickens love picking through it for seeds and bugs, we love the low maintainance, and the compost to provides.

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