Quick bedding question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by irmad, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. irmad

    irmad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a chicken run on dirt which has a roof on it...I wanted to put some hay in my run and start a deep litter method... will it start stinking over time or would it stay dry?... I just wanted something for my birds to peck and scratch at. .
    Should I add some saw dust or anything else in their?
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Unless it is completely protected from any rain or moisture getting in on the sides then I would not use hay or straw in a run. If it gets wet it will mold quickly and turn into a sticky, stinky, heavy mess for you to clean out. Sand is often the best for runs because it's easy to keep clean and drains well.
     
  3. irmad

    irmad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had sand in my run before but that got all lumpy and poo just built up on top of the sand. Wouldn't hay just breakdown quickly in dirt? What if I added the dreaded wood shavings?
     
  4. irmad

    irmad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm using orbious in my coop and it's brilliant.... it's like shredded hemp.. I haven't tried that on dirt yet.... it's a bit expensive.
     
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    Different climates decompose things at different rates.

    You can try tossing in some hay and see how that goes.

    I really like grass clippings (from lawns were no pesticides etc. are used). The grass clippings are fun for the birds to scratch through, they will eat some too, and sometimes the clippings have bugs on them. :D Also, because the clippings are short pieces, they don't mat up too much, and they decompose quickly.
     
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  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Oh, also leaves! A large pile of leaves might mat a bit, but a small amount wouldn't.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've just dumped a few bales of straw in the runs to help combat the mud and smell. Don't put a ton at a time, just enough to nicely cover the ground. I don't scatter it, just toss a few flakes in at a time and let the birds scatter it as they will. I think adding smaller amounts more often will prevent the matting and clumping, cause the birds really work it over!

    Wood chips are great, IMO. I just don't have enough $ to nicely cover my runs with them, and no access for a truck to dump a load [​IMG]
     
  8. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    My chicken run has a roof also, it keeps the bedding dry. I started with some topsoil on top of the 1/2" hard wire cloth flooring which is placed over dirt, then just keep adding pine shaving every two weeks taken from inside the coop. Mix it up daily as a deep litter, it stays dry and has no smell. The reason why I did not use straw, hay, wood chip, pine needles or sand is because I plan to clean out the bedding material in the run and compost it every 6 months. Those other material don't decompose that well. Pine shaving is light weight, good with absorbing odor and moisture, plus it is low maintenance for me. If the bedding becomes too dry and dusty, I just spray some water and mix it up again.


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. irmad

    irmad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks allot... I learned so much of this forum.. looking to get some naked neck hens this weekend... I heard they are really good duel purpose birds... and they lay good sized eggs.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    A roof is great, some rain might come thru the sides depending on how big the roof overhang is.

    Is there any run off from higher surrounding ground that flows into the run?
    I have a vertible river that flows thru my run area when it rains hard and during snow melt in the spring.
    Luckily my soil is sandy so it drains pretty quickly and the birds like to drink from it...I only put straw out there during winter and snow melt, I keep it thin and they keep it mixed up so it doesn't get mushy and rotten.
     

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