run flooring

Kimberly4403

Chirping
May 18, 2015
218
7
53
I currently use a mix of organic sugar cane mulch and free mulch we pick up from our local dump on our vegie patches and other garden beds.. The free mulch is made from the local communities garden and grass clippings, cut down trees and other garden materials.. Once our run turns to dirt could we use the free mulch and sugar cane mulch in the run too??. Kitchen scrapes could go out on this for the chickens to compost and mix around like cold composting and then put out onto the garden?? Therefore adding even more benefits to our very hard soil..
 

Kimberly4403

Chirping
May 18, 2015
218
7
53
Yeah thats a good point...

The run will only have shade cloth over it for starters so we need a flooring material was contemplating just dirt floor but thought it would look unsightly and compact too much..
Preferably something that doesnt require weeklychanges
 
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ChickenMammX4

Songster
Mar 17, 2015
1,044
243
161
SW Ohio
Our run 'flooring' is dirt, grass clippings (from our yard) and straw. The run is covered because our soil is "boot sucking" mud when it rains. So everything is dry and has no odor.
 

Kimberly4403

Chirping
May 18, 2015
218
7
53
Maybe when the grass is gone ill just give a dirt run a trial and add grass clippings and any leaves we have well drainning dirt and its in full sun most of the day and the year so stays really dry on that side of house were we plan to build run
 

MamaAJsChicks

Hatching
May 24, 2015
2
0
6
Northeast, Ohio
I am a first timer with backyard chickens. We have a small flock of 6. My husband built a large run since we won't be free ranging our chicks. After reading several posts we decided to put hardware cloth on the bottom of the run. We did not dig down due to a lot of clay/rock in our yard. For now the grass is peaking through the 1/2 inch hardware cloth and give some cushion for the chicks feet. But now noticing the build up of the droppings. They are not falling through the wire, and when I tried to scrape them out it made a mess. Should I put sand or wood chips over the wire? How will we be able to clean the run? Any ideas would be appreciated. We are in northeast Ohio and get a lot of rain and good winters. Thanks for your input. :D
 

ChickenMammX4

Songster
Mar 17, 2015
1,044
243
161
SW Ohio
I am a first timer with backyard chickens. We have a small flock of 6. My husband built a large run since we won't be free ranging our chicks. After reading several posts we decided to put hardware cloth on the bottom of the run. We did not dig down due to a lot of clay/rock in our yard. For now the grass is peaking through the 1/2 inch hardware cloth and give some cushion for the chicks feet. But now noticing the build up of the droppings. They are not falling through the wire, and when I tried to scrape them out it made a mess. Should I put sand or wood chips over the wire? How will we be able to clean the run? Any ideas would be appreciated. We are in northeast Ohio and get a lot of rain and good winters. Thanks for your input. :D


Is your run covered? Ours is so I'm speaking from that assumption. I would bring in some topsoil, add grass clippings, straw, pine shavings, dried leaves or any other yard debris you have to get some deep ltter going. The chickens keep the 'flooring' turned over and the poop goes to the bottom and decomposes. We have 6 chickens as well, the run is 8' x 16'. There is no odor or visible droppings.

People with uncovered runs may do things different.
 

MamaAJsChicks

Hatching
May 24, 2015
2
0
6
Northeast, Ohio
We have it half covered. I wanted the girls to be able to sun if wanted. But now there are droppings all over and I don't want them sitting in it. Do you ever have to clean out the run then, Or does it all compost and all is well? Do you have wire on the bottom of your run? Wondering how this will work out long term. Thanks for your input.
 

timbowsr

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 7, 2014
79
12
51
Southwest Louisiana
My run is completely covered and I still dealt with muddy floors when it would rain, it would just soak/run right in. Created all kind of problems ... well, really it was just dirty chickens, and it looked bad!! After reading several posts of people using sand I gave it a try. What a difference it made. I probably put about 4 to 6 inches of sand directly on top of the ground. No more mud and the chickens loved it!! They will scratch and dig and roll and give themselves dust baths. The rooster goes so far as to dig holes just for the girls ... and they love that attention!! My chickens are no longer dirty, the chickens seem happier, and no more mud!! After about six months the sand has turned a slightly tan color and I can tell that in about a year, I'll have some of the richest dirt around to add to my garden! I HIGHLY recommend it!
 

cmak

In the Brooder
May 4, 2015
16
2
24
Western ND
How does sand help control the poop build up? Do you have to rake or till the sand periodically or does the poop just go away? I've got 28 pullets in a decent-sized run (12x16 covered, 16x24 uncovered) that is mostly going to be their winter yard since there will be nothing to forage in the tractor (if it's not covered in snow, it will be too miserably cold and windy to be out). The run is on a slight slope and hard rains blow right in and get it fairly muddy. I'm thinking sand is a good way to go, especially when the spring thaw rolls around. I'm just curious as to how much maintenance it requires.
 

MANNA-PRO

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