Run Floor Coverage and Enclosing for Winterizing

Keeperoflock

Songster
Mar 10, 2018
161
158
126
Central Indiana
OK, so if you would please clear up my confusion. I have 15 7 month old pullets. I'm preparing to winterize and my concern is about the floor of the run. It's a 12 x 14 covered roof run with a dirt floor.

Every night we go out and scrape up the poo from the floor of the run. I'm thinking about covering the floor with straw for... warmth, boredom busting etc. but I want to provide as clean an area as possible for chicken health and happy neighbors.

In the spring when they were really young I put down a light layer of straw and when it got wet from the rain blowing in they wound up with coccidiosis and the smell was pretty potent. We removed the straw and are now scraping up all the poo from the dirt every night.

My concern is that since we are enclosing the sides (leaving about a foot opening at top for ventilation) won't that create an odor and more moisture with the poo going to the bottom of the straw layer and just staying there all winter? I have read many posts that say they put straw in their runs and leave it for many months.

Also... Is it "healthy" to just drop their treats, scratch etc. in the straw where the poo is? I've read so many posts that say to just throw it on the ground for them to scratch for it.

What's your opinion?
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,157
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Edgewood, KY
I don’t throw treats in run due to lack of sanitary conditions despite keeping very clean. I have hanging feeders and waterers. I also do not do any deep litter method. I leave in till soiled and clean out bedding. I also use zeolite for odor elimination. It needs to be 100g/kg of bedding. I use Manna Pro but you could use DooKashi odor eliminator or any zeolite. It reduces ammonia, moisture, and pH of bedding.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,780
130,850
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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I have a large walk in run(8x50' with 16 to 35 birds) and never 'clean' poops from the run, and there is very rarely any nasty odors. Never had coccidiosis or any other disease and I spread scratch there every morning as well as other scraps and 'treats' on occasion.

The bedding of a good mix of dry plant materials use facilitates this nicely, it's basically no maintenance other than adding more material from time to time. I was able to start with a big load of tree trimmings from the power company that had been aged(6 months) so I avoided the toxic molds that can bloom with fresh chippings. I collect dry leaves in the fall (stored in feed bags in a shed) and add them occasionally, and other garden trimmings. I let my grass grow tall, mow and spread it out with discharge pattern, leave it to dry a few day, then push it into rows with the mower discharge, rake it up and add to run.
Click on pic and use arrows for ore pics.



I use Manna Pro but you could use DooKashi odor eliminator or any zeolite. It reduces ammonia, moisture, and pH of bedding.
Zeolite is mineral that absorbs ammonia, cheapest to buy 25 or 40 lbs bags of Sweet PDZ granules...the little manna pro bottle is crazy expensive( $0.40/lb vs ~$2/lb).
Dookashi is 'wheat bran and probiotic' for $15/lb....not zeolite.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,157
20,262
962
Edgewood, KY
I have a large walk in run(8x50' with 16 to 35 birds) and never 'clean' poops from the run, and there is very rarely any nasty odors. Never had coccidiosis or any other disease and I spread scratch there every morning as well as other scraps and 'treats' on occasion.

The bedding of a good mix of dry plant materials use facilitates this nicely, it's basically no maintenance other than adding more material from time to time. I was able to start with a big load of tree trimmings from the power company that had been aged(6 months) so I avoided the toxic molds that can bloom with fresh chippings. I collect dry leaves in the fall (stored in feed bags in a shed) and add them occasionally, and other garden trimmings. I let my grass grow tall, mow and spread it out with discharge pattern, leave it to dry a few day, then push it into rows with the mower discharge, rake it up and add to run.
Click on pic and use arrows for ore pics.




Zeolite is mineral that absorbs ammonia, cheapest to buy 25 or 40 lbs bags of Sweet PDZ granules...the little manna pro bottle is crazy expensive( $0.40/lb vs ~$2/lb).
Dookashi is 'wheat bran and probiotic' for $15/lb....not zeolite.

PDZ is fine too.
 

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