Run Floor

Colberon

Songster
Jul 2, 2019
108
122
111
Northern Maine
We live in Northern Maine and have five 18 week old pullets. We have a 5x5 coop with an attached 5 Ft. X 15 Ft. run. We don't allow them to free range due to loosing MANY chickens to predators. When we first put built the run it was built on grass but now it's dead grass which turns to mud when it rains, but dries out quickly. As the long winter approaches my plan is to tarp the run and put a Corrugated PVC clear roof on for them to enjoy during the winter. I had purchased sand to put down for the floor, but now I'm second guessing that decision. I had made that decision because in the past when we've had chickens the ground would freeze at night and then thaw some when the chickens walked on it which caused the floor to get muddy and wet, which led to their feet getting muddy and wet in freezing cold temps. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 
Apr 9, 2019
351
974
172
Maryland
We live in Northern Maine and have five 18 week old pullets. We have a 5x5 coop with an attached 5 Ft. X 15 Ft. run. We don't allow them to free range due to loosing MANY chickens to predators. When we first put built the run it was built on grass but now it's dead grass which turns to mud when it rains, but dries out quickly. As the long winter approaches my plan is to tarp the run and put a Corrugated PVC clear roof on for them to enjoy during the winter. I had purchased sand to put down for the floor, but now I'm second guessing that decision. I had made that decision because in the past when we've had chickens the ground would freeze at night and then thaw some when the chickens walked on it which caused the floor to get muddy and wet, which led to their feet getting muddy and wet in freezing cold temps. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
I've heard of people putting bedding in the run to sop up the mud and poop. But honestly chickens are cold hardy so I don't think they mind the cold mud.

I think the roof is a good idea. My run has a metal roof and it's stayed dry and cool in there from it.

As for not letting them free range, you could just let them out under your supervision for maybe 15 mins to a half hour. Say, if you're doing yard work. Predators generally stay away if a human is around.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
maybe mixture of sand and gravel or wood pellet would work better if you want them to keep cleaner when weather does that, My chickens go out even in -30 winter conditions the cold temps tend to bother us more than it does them
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,999
6,517
676
Contra Costa county, Ca.
I use a mix of bark mulch, leaves and sometimes pine shavings from cleaning out the coop. With fall coming, now is a great time to throw all the raked leaves right into the run, in a big pile. It's great enrichment for the chickens, they'll have such fun scratching around and spreading them for you. It will compost over time, just add more on top. Deep litter method.
 

Colberon

Songster
Jul 2, 2019
108
122
111
Northern Maine
I've heard of people putting bedding in the run to sop up the mud and poop. But honestly chickens are cold hardy so I don't think they mind the cold mud.

I think the roof is a good idea. My run has a metal roof and it's stayed dry and cool in there from it.

As for not letting them free range, you could just let them out under your supervision for maybe 15 mins to a half hour. Say, if you're doing yard work. Predators generally stay away if a human is around.
Thank you for your response, we don't really dare let them free range at all because we live in the country with river frontage, therefore we have eagles, hawks, coyotes, raccoons, bear, pretty much you name it, we have it. These animals can be seen both day and night and we fear that they will go into the woods that surrounds our house and be snatched.
 

Colberon

Songster
Jul 2, 2019
108
122
111
Northern Maine
I use a mix of bark mulch, leaves and sometimes pine shavings from cleaning out the coop. With fall coming, now is a great time to throw all the raked leaves right into the run, in a big pile. It's great enrichment for the chickens, they'll have such fun scratching around and spreading them for you. It will compost over time, just add more on top. Deep litter method.
Thank you, the leaves sounds like great idea, I think that would have fun spreading them around. I wonder about putting some of the sand down and then putting leaves on top of that for some drainage... hmmm, something to think about I guess. :)
 

Colberon

Songster
Jul 2, 2019
108
122
111
Northern Maine
maybe mixture of sand and gravel or wood pellet would work better if you want them to keep cleaner when weather does that, My chickens go out even in -30 winter conditions the cold temps tend to bother us more than it does them
I think I might try a layer of sand with leaves on top, my mom always has a TON of leaves to be raked at her house. I know that they say that chickens don't mind cold but I absolutely hate it, therefore I think it bothers me just thinking about them being out in it, I'm sure that they could care less. Since we only have 5 chickens they are pretty spoiled, lol.
 
Apr 9, 2019
351
974
172
Maryland
I think I might try a layer of sand with leaves on top, my mom always has a TON of leaves to be raked at her house. I know that they say that chickens don't mind cold but I absolutely hate it, therefore I think it bothers me just thinking about them being out in it, I'm sure that they could care less. Since we only have 5 chickens they are pretty spoiled, lol.
Honestly knowing chickens, they’ll eat the leaves xD
 

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