1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

run bedding advice please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BelleInBoots, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

    60
    0
    46
    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    Hey guys! I was recently forced to pen up my remaining 16 pullets due to a nasty unexpected hawk massacre and now am tryin to figure out how to make it as sanitary and pleasant as possible. We threw together a temporary shelter out of metal siding (3 sides and a roof and a good sized run that someone gave us) while we build our barn which at this rate may take a decade or two. LOL. so the ground is dirt and while they have roosts to get out of the rain in their shelter theres no guarantee that the ground is gonna be 100% dry. but i feel like I need something to go on the ground under it and in the rest of the run area. which should probably be the same thing sense i cant necessarily keep all the water off the ground "inside". Sand is not gonna work for me in this circumstance sense it is a very large area and temporary only. The only other thing I can think of is pine needles. has anyone used these with success or does anyone else have another affordable option to suggest? thanks in advance!
     
  2. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    148
    14
    61
    Nov 21, 2014
    Western Massachussetts
    You probably can use hay to spread a layer around, at least in the cover area. I use pine shavings/flakes for the coops themselves, but I don't cover the run with it, as my chickens free range, and they go in the run whenever they are running away, because they see a hawk. My run has wire covering on top.

    I am not sure how easily would be for your to find hay bales as it would probably be cheaper that way. You want something that is organic and dry/drain quickly and it is also biodegradable. Good luck! Sorry to hear about the unexpected hawk attack.
     
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

    4,342
    1,308
    311
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I have been tossing hay out on the run ground as well. It seems to really be working out for the gals.
    It also gives them something to do since they have to work harder to find all the scratch.
     
  4. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    610
    78
    144
    May 2, 2012
    this was my second fall where I scored a truck load of straw bales right after holloween, many places use them for decorations for holloween time and love to have some one take them away so they don't have to dispose of them. This won't help you this year, but could be something to think about for future.

    I put about half a bale in my run and when they've broken it all up or it becomes a soggy mess I just rake it and a lot of poop up and throw it in the compost then add new to the run. I get enough in the fall to last me alll year.
     
  5. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can use leaves, needles, grass clippings, hay. straw, wood chips, garden stalks and really any other, preferably carbon, organic material that will break down. Be creative with what is in your area. I do not use wood chips, shavings, or dust because little chipped tree pieces are not naturally lying around on the ground, and I do not support the lumber industry.
     
  6. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

    60
    0
    46
    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    Thanks guys they seem to Hebe eaten all the rood chips that I put in the nesting box so that was wierd. And I'd be worried about doing more. Would it not be a problem for the hay/straw to be getting wet when it rains?
     
  7. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    It dries out. I have never had issues with mold or anything. Are you sure they ate the chips and did not just kick them out? I have never had hens that liked shavings in the nest.
     
  8. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

    60
    0
    46
    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    I used them before with the same been and no prob. Not sure where else they would have gone as I didn't see them underneath. Wierd if they did though. ...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by