Run Bedding and Ventilation


Sep 1, 2017
Hey everyone! I am wondering what should I put as the bedding for our chicken run? A few months ago we put mulch and it worked well but want to see if anyone has other recommendations or specific types of mulch. About 1/3 of the run is covered and rest is open and I live in Australia if that give you an idea of the climate. The coop is a shed and I’m worried for when in summer it will become too hot for them, we’re going to build roosts outside so in summer they can sleep outside in the run. Thank you in advance!
Just a side note, my chickens sleep in a metal shed and I am worried in summer it will be too hot for them, there is some ventilation but I don’t know if it’s enough, any ideas? Should I do anything to the shed? I am worried.
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I use wood chips.
I think it gets pretty hot in Australia, yes? I would definatly make lots more ventilation. Minimum standard is 1sqft per chicken, but more is better I'm guessing you have about 2sqft or less. Being made of metal I would imagine that coop is going to be like an oven. Of course I'm in NJ USA and worry more about cold, but ventilation is needed no matter the climate.
Is that a ridge vent on the coop? If it is, that helps a lot. Not sure how cold it actually gets in your part of Australia, probably not cold enough to be dangerous. I'd cut another hole like your pop door at ground level on the shady side of the coop and cover that with hardware cloth for predator protection. Hot air rises but only if cooler air is there to replace it. The coolest air you can get in summer is on the shady side down low. On the sunny side it can get hotter than inside the coop. That might be enough if you have a ridge vent.

I can't see how much overhang you have. I like to open the top of the walls under the overhang and over it with hardware cloth for predators. That let air in and keeps rain out.

Since you consider your run secure I'd let them decide where they want to sleep. They won't go to bed until dark and that metal building will probably cool off pretty fast. Where are your nests? I'd want them on a cooler side so the sun doesn't turn them into an oven. I'd worry about that more than where they roost.
If it gets really hot.... I would be tempted to completely remove the shed wall that is against the run...

So make the shed with 3 walls... 4th wall wire, or if you are confident in the security of your run...just open to the run.

I would put a window on the opposite side of the newly open wall... so that YES wind can blow right through and directly over the perches.

My sister in Texas has her coop set up so the entire top half of the coop walls are wire.... so yes the wind blows over the perches. She very rarely has snow, so it does get cold, but heat is her big issue. The open coops fix that.

My sister though has deep eves, that shed does not.... so the window that I suggest putting across from the new open side.... would have to be closed in storms or set up with an awning or some kind of rain protection since wet birds are bad... need to keep the rain out.

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