Run maintenance questions?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rubysmom, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. rubysmom

    rubysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2008
    Oregon
    We're finally getting our girls outside! We have an enclosed run and I'm wondering about keeping it clean?

    We're in the suburbs so smell is a huge issue. We only have 5 hens. The run right now is half dirt and half grass (which I know won't last [​IMG])
    What does everyone put in there runs? gravel, sand, chips, straw, sawdust? What would be the cleanest and easiest to maintain.

    The run is also half covered with a roof and we are in the northwest, so we do get quite a bit of rain in the winter and spring. Would I use different thing for different seasons?

    One more question. Does anybody use straw and shavings inside their coop? My chickens seem to really like the straw but it seems like the shavings would be easier to maintain?

    We are soooo new to this and can't thank everybody on this site enough for all their great advice.

    Claudia
     
  2. abChicken

    abChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Gaston County N.C.
    I have small runs and coops for diff kinds of chicks i keep sand in my runs its easy for me to rake out. I also keep shavings in all my coops. [​IMG]
     
  3. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    I use premium large flake pine shavings (Suncrest) in my coop and run. I purchased a child's rake and hoe from WalMart which I use daily to remove droppings from the coop and the run. I have 6 chickens (at the moment [​IMG] ) and my run isn't protected from the rain.....yet. In the FAQ section on the forum you can read about the deep litter method in the coop which is what I am doing other than the fact that I do remove most large droppings daily. The bantams' droppings are harder to remove as they are so small, so they basically get stirred to the bottom. I think from my own experience that it is advisable in rainy areas to have your run protected with a slanted roof to keep it as dry as possible. Wet shavings are better than bare wet dirt, but I believe a drier environment is neater, less smelly, and healthier for you and your chickens.
     
  4. rubysmom

    rubysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2008
    Oregon
    Thanks you two.

    How often do you rake the sand? Does the poop rake up into a pile fairly easily. I'm noticing when they poop on the dirt it reaklly gets mashed down and impossible to scoop? Is that the reasoning behind the sand?shavings idea? Is it similar to scooping the cat box?

    How do you rake the shavings? My run is pretty big, how thick alayer of shavings would I need?
    I can also omly get small flake at the moment, will that work?

    How is the smell with the deep litter method?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2008
  5. abChicken

    abChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Gaston County N.C.
    Claudia- I live out in the sticks. Here is how i keep my chickens all bantams at present have 8 permant coops with runs, have 6 moveable coops & runs not all used at same time when i move from one to the other they get cleaned and raked. I know none of this makes any sense at all [​IMG] Im new to computer just got it in jan. anyway have a nice day AB The moveable pens are on grass
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008

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