Run management - how do you keep it clean?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SheltonDHW, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. SheltonDHW

    SheltonDHW Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2009
    Shelton, WA

    I have 6 hens. They have a run that is 8ft x 8.5ft. The floor of the run is gravel over sand over dirt. Plus they have kicked some of the pine shavings from their house into the run.

    I have had no problems keeping the hen house clean and smell free - the DLM is ingenious!

    How do you guys keep your runs clean?

    I have noticed quite a few flies (more on some days than others) and it smells - not all the time, but most of the time.

    What I have been doing lately, is scooping the obvious poop daily, and weekly raking the run and sprinkling a light dusting of DE.

    Any other suggestions?

  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    You can put sand or a wood chip/bark mixture in the run to keep the smell down. Check out patandchicken's page on keeping the run clean.
  3. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    I dumped a truck load of sand into mine...when I mist my girls...the run gets slighly wet, so this keeps it soft and fluffy....then daily I go out during the day when its dry and I get a Hoe, and I hoe it up and move the dirt around, my chickens run around like crazy, digging further, and eating bugs, and also kicking more dirt up with there feet...they love it...

    since the sand and me turning it over daily Ive noticed its alot cleaner and doest smell. and it keeps them cooler also. and they love there dust baths.
  4. SheltonDHW

    SheltonDHW Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2009
    Shelton, WA
    So you don't scoop out the poop? It just gets mixed in and degrades?
  5. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    We don't scoop the poop in the run. Ours is 10' x 24'. Only four chickens, which probably helps. Dirt covered with oak leaves.

    Climate is probably a factor, as well. We aren't real "buggy" in coast southern California, so haven't noticed too many flies so far. It does get a bit dusty, though, so DH did a major hose-down of the area the other day to knock down the dust a bit. Everything seemed sparkly clean after that.
  6. granmahen

    granmahen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    Bakersfield, CA
    We rake, add pine shavings now and then, some de weekly and let the girls go to work on it (their scratching and walking around break up the poop nicely along with our raking) and then twice a year (spring and fall) shovel out the homemade compost) If it smells in the run, add more de and some pine shavings or some other (leaves, grass clippings, etc) and rake rake rake. All this helps with the decomposing.
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I see you are in Shelton, fairly close to me. So you have that nice rainy weather that seems to have started up this past week. I would suggest covering as much of your run as possible, to keep it dry, and so your chickens have a place to hang out all winter. Make sure your run drains well, if necessary build up the sides with timbers or 2 by material and raise the bottom. I use woodchip for litter--it is the free material you get from tree trimming companies--and I have been very happy with it. The hens don't look dirty at all, there are no flies, no smell, and the poo seems to dry right up because I never see it. My hens also love to scratch around in it. I change it out about 3 times a year and use it on the garden. Some people have been very happy with sand. You could try an area with one of those and see what you think.

    ETA--I don't scoop poop in the run, or use DE (only in hen house).
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  8. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    no to scooping the poop in the run....I break the sand down, and turn it over with a Hoe...getting it deep...this breaks down the poop...doesnt stink either... I have a 10x10 run with a coop attached...u can see it if you click on MY BEAUTIFUL BABIES...I had 18 chickens in it, now only 11 for now...but never had a problem with poop in run.
  9. Squirtchy2009

    Squirtchy2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    I rake it down every now and again, add some extra gravel, sand or what ever i can get my hands on and generaly use my head and whats around me, i added some rocks and plants for them!
  10. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I have dirt floors, dry weather and they are completely covered. the poop and feathers stays on top, mostly. They scratch around, moult some more, dust bathe in the corner, spill some feed. I just lightly rake the surface every now and then... not so much "now" as usually "later" lol. It is at these times I wish I had doors to some of the runs I could get a wheelbarrow through... The ones with the easiest access stay the cleanest.

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