Rookie run questions


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
We are almost done building our first chicken run for our two Rhode Island Reds, and I have a couple of questions for the experts on the board:

1) Right now, the fenced-in run area has a dirt floor. Should we leave it all dirt, or cover it with mulch or hay? The chickens will be in the run all day most days since we can't let them free range while we are at work, so the floor will get pooped on a lot. Do most people just rake the dirt to clean the run? Or is it better to have something like hay or mulch than can be raked up and refreshed from time to time?

2) I am thinking of planting a bougainvilla vine on one side of the run so that it can grow up and over the fencing to provide shade, privacy and protection. Does anyone know where I can make sure bougainvilla isn't toxic to chickens? I wouldn't want them to eat a blossom and get sick.

Thanks for your help!
Have you considered sand in your run?

Bougainvillea is generally considered pretty darn safe for mammals. I would betcha anything that a) nobody has specifically tested its toxicity to chickens and b) it is probably just fine for them.


I'd stay away from they hay as parasites love hay. The only suggestion about the Bougainvillea is be careful watering it. Bougainvillea's don't like lots of water.

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