Run area bare...?

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,466
2,994
261
Wisconsin
Hmmmm... I thought I would want to keep as much snow out as possible...?
Snow for chickens to eat...? Snow cones!
There is a foot gap from the corrugated plastic sheets that I slide along the run for the winter to the top of the run, the run also has a metal roof. But I also have 1/4" hardware cloth surrounding everything so a lot of snow can't get in unless we have the snow coming in sideways. When I shovel the snow in, they are soooooo happy! When we get fresh fluffy snow, Clarabelle will watch for me to come out of the house and then start squawking, if I don't bring the shovel with, she squawks very loudly 😂
It always makes me think of "Little House in the Big Woods" and how they made maple syrup and put it on the snow to eat.
 

AllenK RGV

Chicken Addict
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2017
5,075
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Deep South Texas Laureles,TX 10A
My run is of no interest to my flock until 1 hour before sunset. They want out of that 3500-4500ft/sq run at sunup. I have to mow mine still in the main pen. I need to mow my back pen soon as well. The grass is about 4 feet high back there so it needs a good scalping this week. The back pen is getting converted to a bachelor pad soon as all of the flock that roosts in that one do not find a 6 foot high fence a challenge. There was a time when the front coop was getting a tad bare(drought ended) but once they learned about the free ranging idea that all stopped. Any shade though does get scratched bare.
 
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Jeanw

Songster
Jul 30, 2020
301
709
113
Montgomery, NY
Yep, they’ll decimate the run in no time. I also only have 3 chickens and they will clear an area like nobody’s business. I throw fallen leaves and grass clippings in the run trying to keep the muddy problem from occurring. Straight wood mulch is good, nothing treated or dyed. I noticed that chickens are very curious about the goings on around them so if you can do any chores or activities with them in view they tend to be very interested unless it’s a loud lawnmower or something. You could put some cut logs or cardboard pieces in there, after a day or so bugs congregate underneath, you can turn them over and the chickens will have a field day exploring what you uncover. Chicken “jungle gyms” are a cute idea too but I’ve not tried. My chooks get to free range and keep themselves busy.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,062
22,341
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I noticed that chickens are very curious about the goings on around them so if you can do any chores or activities with them in view they tend to be very interested unless it’s a loud lawnmower or something. Chicken “jungle gyms” are a cute idea too but I’ve not tried. My chooks get to free range and keep themselves busy.
Mine don't even mind the lawnmower. But yes they get very excited when I'm out raking or clearing out the garden bed near their run, and will stand around and watch.

I do have a chicken jungle gym and it does get used, more by younger birds which are agile and can get up and down easily. Sometimes half the flock is sitting on it and grooming.
 

AllenK RGV

Chicken Addict
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2017
5,075
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Deep South Texas Laureles,TX 10A
Mine don't even mind the lawnmower. But yes they get very excited when I'm out raking or clearing out the garden bed near their run, and will stand around and watch.

I do have a chicken jungle gym and it does get used, more by younger birds which are agile and can get up and down easily. Sometimes half the flock is sitting on it and grooming.
Lol you can try planting a garden in your run that is endless hours of fun for a chicken too! Move the compost bin in there too those make for endless hours of chicken playtime.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,062
22,341
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Lol you can try planting a garden in your run that is endless hours of fun for a chicken too! Move the compost bin in there too those make for endless hours of chicken playtime.
I used to have garden beds in my run, and the chickens did enjoy it - a little too much. Me, not so much, I was trying to grow actual veggies in there and the chickens were tearing it up as if to tell me, "Ha, no vegetables for you!" 🍆 After having had to fence it off and net over it as well, I decided to do a real vegetable garden elsewhere. :)
 

cherylgladys

In the Brooder
May 17, 2020
39
51
46
Sacramento, CA
Lol you can try planting a garden in your run that is endless hours of fun for a chicken too! Move the compost bin in there too those make for endless hours of chicken playtime.
If you saw my garden, it is endless work for me as it is. I do have an enclosed raised bed area that they could hang out in but I have to figure out a way for them to stay out of the beds...my next project. There are lots of weeds around the beds that they can terrorize.
 

lancasterflock

Songster
Sep 10, 2015
194
87
126
Oregon
The chickens will definitely clean out a run to bare ground. Now that the seasons are changing and we have been getting more rain here in mid Oregon the run has kinda turned to mud and yuck. Just today went out there and laid a few bags of pine shavings down and sprinkled with pdz stall refresher. Everything smells nice again and the girls seem happier! I throw them all kinds of green from the yard, from lettuce, to dandelions and tomatoes. Haven’t got the nerve yet to let them free range as we have a lot of predators in this area. As far as entertainment goes, I think they are happy as long as they have goodies to peck at, a spot to roost if they choose and somewhere to dust bathe. However I admit I just was looking into chicken swings myself today lol
 

cherylgladys

In the Brooder
May 17, 2020
39
51
46
Sacramento, CA
The chickens will definitely clean out a run to bare ground. Now that the seasons are changing and we have been getting more rain here in mid Oregon the run has kinda turned to mud and yuck. Just today went out there and laid a few bags of pine shavings down and sprinkled with pdz stall refresher. Everything smells nice again and the girls seem happier! I throw them all kinds of green from the yard, from lettuce, to dandelions and tomatoes. Haven’t got the nerve yet to let them free range as we have a lot of predators in this area. As far as entertainment goes, I think they are happy as long as they have goodies to peck at, a spot to roost if they choose and somewhere to dust bathe. However I admit I just was looking into chicken swings myself today lol
Ha, we are on the same thought pattern! I have a dachshund and he is very curious and I don't let him in the coop area. I don't think he would go after them, he is rather old, but you never know. If I put them in the raised bed enclosed area he couldn't get to them for sure. And I would have to watch them in there. Some day I will get up the nerve to transport them in there. I guess I would have to carry them over there one by one (3). Or put them in a crate if I could get them in there. The weather here is still on the hot side, and no rain as yet. I have not experienced that yet, but getting ready for it with sand to spread over the area so it doesn't get muddy. Not looking forward to it at all. Poor things, they don't know what winter is about yet. Or rain. Well, gotta get to bed! Nice chatting!
 

lancasterflock

Songster
Sep 10, 2015
194
87
126
Oregon
Ha, we are on the same thought pattern! I have a dachshund and he is very curious and I don't let him in the coop area. I don't think he would go after them, he is rather old, but you never know. If I put them in the raised bed enclosed area he couldn't get to them for sure. And I would have to watch them in there. Some day I will get up the nerve to transport them in there. I guess I would have to carry them over there one by one (3). Or put them in a crate if I could get them in there. The weather here is still on the hot side, and no rain as yet. I have not experienced that yet, but getting ready for it with sand to spread over the area so it doesn't get muddy. Not looking forward to it at all. Poor things, they don't know what winter is about yet. Or rain. Well, gotta get to bed! Nice chatting!
Haha!!! 😆 yes we sure were thinking the same kinda way! We had a dachshund years ago who loved the hens, never bothered them BUT she would steal the eggs out of the coop for lunch lol. My father in law took a huge liking to the dog and recently lost his wife so we gave him our Doxie for company. Now we have a pug, she thinks the hens are play toys so she is not allowed in the run lol.
Nice chatting with you too! I’m off to hit the sack as well 😴
 

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