Run Questions ALSO wood chips question!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Morgan7782, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    2,013
    48
    201
    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Alright, I have been reading a lot about run bedding/flooring and have a few questions for anybody with runs with their coops.

    I have tried planting grass in my chicken's run, because the floor is dirt with one or two iris's (they don't eat them). My chickens are free ranged in the backyard, but I am worried that their run floor is so boring.. lol! The grass I planted didn't grow of course [​IMG] but I feel like they are.. neglected somehow because they don't have lush vegetation in their run. The run isn't bad at all, but the floor is dirt, and they spend about 4 or so hours throughout the day in the run. They have plenty of space, but is there anything I should try planting? Or is it alright for them to just be on dirt? Are there bugs in dirt the same as grass? Should I feel bad? LOL thanks [​IMG]


    One more question:

    We had a tree stump ground up in the front of the house. The tree is definately NOT eucalyptas, cedar, or anything with bad fumes. But we have a TON of wood chips from the stump grinding and I was wondering if I could use some of that on the ground of the chicken's run? I think it was some sort of gum tree. The tree guy said it could be used as bedding for chickens, or small animals, but I thought I would post here as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    You could put the chips in there, but anything organic will tend to hold moisture
    Unless your run is HUGE, you'll never get grass to grow.
    I'd rather have sand in the run and the shavings in the coop where it's dry
     
  3. TurkeyMountainChickens

    TurkeyMountainChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    687
    2
    141
    Apr 3, 2009
    Central Virginia
    I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of vegetation in the run, since you free range them. Presumably they are only in there when you're away or in the mornings, etc., and have plenty of time to eat greens when they are out.

    We've got a nice pile of wood chips from a tree we had taken down two years ago. The chickens ADORE it. They discovered it about a year ago, and it is still one of their favorite spots to visit.

    We did put some of the chips in their coop, but I didn't really like them there - the texture was too coarse. I like wood shavings better inside the coop. But we have put some wood chips and mowed up dead leaves in their run. It's fully covered, so rain doesn't get in. The chickens scratch around in them, but without the high moisture content, there aren't as many bugs.
     
  4. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    2,013
    48
    201
    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Yeah lol my chickens LOVED my attempt at grass they thoroughly enjoyed the grass seed I just laid haha. So it is not inhumane to have them on sand or dirt as a run floor?

    As for the wood chips, I rake the run every day so hopefully that would give it time to dry out. Thanks for the response! They do range in my yard but I want their run to be as enjoyable as possible. The measurements are 9 feet by 12 feet.
     
  5. MaureenL128

    MaureenL128 Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    1
    103
    May 24, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    i think putting the wood chips in the run would be great! it will give them something to scratch around in when they have to be locked in the run and it will attract yummy bugs for them
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    32
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I tried wood chips in the run and hated it. The poop mixed in with the chips and there was no way to clean up easily without shoveling out a whole lot of chips. I switched to sand which I much prefer.
     
  7. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    2,013
    48
    201
    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    I think I will use chips temporarily, we just have a huge pile from this tree and I don't mind wasting if that's what happens. The stump grinder guys were supposed to clean up after, but they left and just left the front a mess so I figured I could put it to some use [​IMG] [​IMG] Thanks for all the input everybody! It is all very helpful!


    Edited To Add: Just spread the wood chips in the run, the girls were TERRIFIED of the wheelbarrel but they absolutely LOVE their new ground cover. Much better then the hard topsoil they were on. They are scratching around and I am sure there are tons of bugs from the tree in there so they are having a great time [​IMG] I am so glad to have these chips! They are happy chicky bo bo's!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by