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Run material

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lauren212, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. lauren212

    lauren212 Out Of The Brooder

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    A portion of my run is open to the weather while most of it is covered. I have sand in the bottom and I scoop it daily. When it rains it still smells pretty bad. I found putting woodstove ashes helps but is there a better material to have in the run. I've been reading about organic materials...leaves, needles, basically composting in the run but I can't find anywhere about how it smells? Any suggestions ?
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's call deep litter...organic material as you mentioned. Leaves, pine needles/straw, wood chips, some grass clippings, yard trimmings, garden debris, etc.,. It helps greatly with bad smells....cuts down no mud...and if done properly you will create a healthy micro-ecosystem for your chickens.

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have a run, but do have an outside area where my birds often hang out. What I'm using is grass hay. NOT grain straw or legume hay (alfalfa, clover, etc) but grass hay. I think this happens to be brome. Straw would mat down and stay wet and likely would smell. Legumes would rot down too fast. They have a higher protein content, so already have the N they need to compost. Grass hay is more Carbon, so takes longer to rot.

    Simply cover the area to the depth of a flake of the grass hay. A standard hay bale will have about 12 to 14 flakes in it and just bust the bale up and lay the flakes flat on the ground. Or let them spread it. No smell at all.

    [​IMG]

    My daughter has a small run and uses the same process. As long as they keep the hay in there (the birds will scratch it around and toss it out), it works well. No flies and no smell. When it comes time to replace it, the old soiled stuff goes to the garden and gets composted in place.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
  5. turtlemh

    turtlemh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2016
    Get some sweet Pdz horse stall refresher for the smell. Used it in my basement where the brooder was no smell now. Also in my coop and believe me it stunk.
     
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    ...and remember that with deep litter that it needs to be DEEP. Two or three inches want cut it, though will get you started. The deeper the better....within reason, of course! :)

    Ed
     
  7. lauren212

    lauren212 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2016
    Ontario
    I started raking the pine needles and leaves and putting it inside my run. Have maybe an inch but I will keep raking as the leaves fall and add some more. They really seem to love digging around in it. Thanks for the tips.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    2-3 inches will help break down poops, reduce odors, and alleviate mud.....
    .....but deeper will begin to provide environment for micro and macro organisms.
     
  9. lauren212

    lauren212 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2016
    Ontario
    I have excellent drainage so mud isn't an issue. Just gets smelly when it rains...and I don't feel like sifting poop through sand everyday to clean the run. Hoping the deep litter works!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
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    My Coop
    Exact same situation here......it doesn't take much to alleviate the odors.
    But the less you use the faster it breaks down and you have to add more.
     

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