Questions about the "run" and free ranging

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mrs.Hoover, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Mrs.Hoover

    Mrs.Hoover Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Eaton Rapids, Michigan
    Right now I have 5 chickens, and have had about double in my "run" (fenced in area where the coop sits in the middle) and grass is growing in most areas, along wih high weeds that was hard to keep up with this summer. I have been reading about the deep litter method, and wanted some thoughts.
    1) Is it better to keep the "run" natural with grass and occasional high weeds and poop everywhere
    2) Or would it be okay to try the deep litter method? It would be alot of litter, but I like the thought of keeping the poop under control

    Problems-My chickens are not allowed to free range-Our dirt road is to busy for that, not worth the risk in my opinion- My ground is uneven and sometimes gets a bit muddy in a hard rain-Right now it is not covered, would that rule out the deep litter method?

    Thank you chicken pro's for your help in advance!
     
  2. Mrs.Hoover

    Mrs.Hoover Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Eaton Rapids, Michigan
    I should mention, next summer I would love to expand my hobby chickens to about a dozen, so they may tramp down the grass even more.
     
  3. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    athens, wv
    i'm new to keeping chickens but only my chicken house has the deep litter in it my run is just grass.
     
  4. Mrs.Hoover

    Mrs.Hoover Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Eaton Rapids, Michigan
    Woops, other part of my question was if my chickens had a litter/sand/dirt floor in their run, would they suffer nutrionally from not being able to free range?
     
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pacific North West
    I have the wood chips in the coop, straw and old wood chips around the coop and in the run straw. $6. a bale cheap.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. powaychicks

    powaychicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2011
    I always understood the deep little method to be talking about inside the coop. I would never put shavings in the run. Some people like sand in the run. Help to keep it dry and keeps down the mud. Chickens love the grass and dirt to scratch. Really they should be allowed to free range but that is not always possible. Free ranged chickens are much healthy in my opinion. They can eat all the bugs, creepy things and greens they want. Your eggs will be healthier too [​IMG]
     
  7. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would just add to the wet muddy mess in the run. Alot of people swear by sand in the runs. It drains well and is easier to clean.
     
  8. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    I only put sand in my run but only keep it under the covered part.

    The rest is all dirt with dead leaves in it. I rake up all the leaves once a week and put it under the trees in the run, the hens pull it all back out again and I hardly ever see any poop after they've turned it out. If you keep them scratching in the run you probably won't see too many poop problems because they'll be covering it and helping it to rot down faster.

    Twice a year I dig abut 10cm of the dirt out of my run floor and "swap' it for some from somewhere else in the garden. Fertiliser for the plants, and fresh bug laiden dirt for the girls! Everybody's happy!
     
  9. powaychicks

    powaychicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2011
    Quote:Love that idea of digging out some and replacing it with new bug filled dirt. I bet the girls go wild.
     
  10. ALRwild

    ALRwild Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't put shavings in the run... I suggest sand. Your chickens shouldn't suffer from malnutrition, but I would give them some leftover lawn clipping for them to "chew" on along with some treats.
     

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