Run - dirt? Sand? Plants?


9 Years
Jan 6, 2013
Indian Lake, Ohio
I have a 4x4 coop in a 10x10 run. Coop is on the cinder blocks. Our yard is a mess so there isn't much grass and it's got really dark, clay like soil (I really don't even see it as soil). I'm from a sandy soil area so this dirt is new to me. It's nothing but a thick muddy mess when wet. I put some patio blocks and til I get more, or even permanent some fire wood that's been cut and lays flat.

Sand is in the coop.

Should I put a bunch of playsand over this mucky stuff? I'm planning on letting them out in the yard some but it's not a lot better. Should I plant a few plants in the run?

Deep sand would certainly be good over a muddy mess. I always have bales of straw in the barn to bring to spread around to knock down mud. You can add scrap plywood and then straw or sand as well. Pine chips also help dry things up. The patio blocks are really great to knock down mud holes at high traffic areas. I lay those at all my gate entrances.

I would stay away from plants or vegetation in the run. Chickens love to eat and scratch!!

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thank you very much. I'm probably going to end up with more blocks! Maybe some plywood slid under the coop. I'd probably need quite a few bags of sand. I was wondering about pine shavings. I almost dumped some out when I was doing the nest boxes yesterday. I will find some straw too probably.

I don't have chickens yet, hopefully next week on those! I actually think my firewood pieces are doing fine too. Plus easy to turn over to get yummy snacks for them. The firewood we get is just edges with one side being flat and they aren't very thick so they work about like blocks.

This dirt here is just so different! I'm in OH and from IN so it shouldn't be much different but it sure is. I'm used to sandy soil that won't hold water, this stuff is totally opposite. My chickens are all going to be feather foot so the less mud, the better for keeping them look nice.
I bet a truck load of sand would make this all nicer. If you had a pickup and a shovel, you could lay a layer of sand about 4 - 6 inches deep to help with the mud.

I think I should do that. We have a pickup, the only downside is that we have the 6' privacy fence and we'd have to be hauling the sand from the truck in buckets or something. It would be doable though. I just don't want my babies covered in nasty muck. I've got so many pieces of wood out there already to cover it.

I know the area that currently has grass will soon be mud as well. Fortunately I'm getting all bantam chickens so they won't be scratching quite as bad I hope.

Thanks for the advice :) I appreciate it.

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