Run cleanliness

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by karmical, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. karmical

    karmical Songster

    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    The run I built for my girls is 8 X 8 and although once grassy, it's of course just dirt now....and wet, packed down dirt at that this time of year.

    Should I be trying to clean out the poo on a semi-regular basis? I haven't so far because it just seems impossible with how quickly it gets flattened and ground right in. Not really sure how I would go about cleaning it out. Are you supposed to put some kind of litter out there to keep things dry? Seems like a losing battle with the wet times of year.

    Curious what other people out there do with their runs....
  2. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    Well my run that mine stay in when the weather is bad was this way too and I bought a garden claw and used it in there to break up the packed dirt. It helped with drainage also as the water soaked in better and didnt stand, also they found all kinds of bugs and they started digging too which helped too. I clean the coop area but not the run as i just do this to mine if I see its getting packed again...also it helps the upper arms with exercise too...hope this helps some and they do make some knockoffs like the garden claw too that are cheaper , that is what mine is ...
  3. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    We have a cover over the perches and we use sand on the floor of the pen. Our chickens free-range year round so they use the pen mostly in the mornings and evenings. The sand for us make it very eay to keep clean.
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I use food grade DE under our outside roost, several times a week to help dry the pooh. The DE also helps keep the odor down and flies at bay. I also try and rake the run weekly/bi-weekly and add the "rakings" to the compost pile.

    Our main run has a tarp over the west end, which keeps that half of the run nice and dry.

  5. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:We use DE inside the hen house, to keep the flies at bay we use Sweet PDZ.
  6. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    We put a drain trench in our run. We took a length of sewer PVc and drilled holes along the upper half, then we put it in a trench that goes from the middle of the run to the fenceline, in the lowest spot in the pen. We filled it in with pea gravel, laid landscape cloth over the whole run and laid down about an inch and a half of pea gravel over the whole thing. The landscape cloth keeps the pea gravel from being lost in the mud. Then we just hose the gravel off and rake it around with a broom rake, so the poop gets washed toward the trench pipe area. We refresh the gravel yearly as needed.
  7. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    Wow terrielacy, that is a great idea. When we move and my girls lose their yard, that is what I'll be doing in my run... Thanks!
  8. Mac

    Mac Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    South Central PA
    If you can fill the outside run with sand it is great. I have a mixture of 2/3 sand, 1/3 soil. It drains well, I turn it over once a week and sprinkle on DE when its dry. Turning it over I have noticed that just about everything that can decompose does, or just grinds up in the sand. No odor. Only a fly or two. Takes me about 15 minutes to do the job. They love the turned over sand. I use a 10 tine pitchfork, turn it over and let them at it to scratch up the occasional chunk, which makes them happy. I'm convinced if I keep at it (except when it is frozen) it will keep working for us.
  9. karmical

    karmical Songster

    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    So many good ideas! I hadn't thought of bringing in some sand....OR about taking a garden claw to the packed dirt (I sprinkle DE in the run once a week or so when it's dry...turning the ground over should make THAT much more effective too). I think I'm going to try a combo of those two things first. I also like the idea of a tarp over part of the run....they can always get inside the coop to stay dry, but nice to have a spot OUTSIDE that's always dry too.

    As always, GREAT suggestions from everyone!

    Many thanks [​IMG]
  10. chickengirlnm

    chickengirlnm Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    clovis, new mexico
    I have a really silly question what is DE and where do I get it? right now with the weather being so warm - we still have a problem with flies no matter how clean I keep the run and my dogs yard the little buggers are still here.
    Could I use this DE in my dogs yard and the dog house?
    Sorry for jumping off topic alittle.

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