Run.. Right or Wrong ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sissy, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    I covered all my Wet runs with straw.
    after reading so much here on BYC ,about its the best to use
    in this muddy mess we have out here,
    soI am trying it.even tho the runs
    Have metal roofing
    The rain still blew in to make 3 inches of muck.
    I usually put down wood planks to keep my little ones feet dry,
    but I ran out of planks. I use shavings in their coops, deep litter
    and was going to put down the wood shavings in to the runs but
    thought that would be too messy..
    so I am wondering how do I clean up
    the straw .
    The planks I just dug up before they dryed into the ground.

  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    i have used straw in our runs too.. but its a pain to clean it up. when i clear it from the run, if ive left it outside and it rains.,. then its heavy straw [​IMG]
    So i might burn ours in the outside firepit. not sure if i can do that? i dont see why not.
    next time i would throw some wood chips down in the run... the clean up is easier.
    good luck tho [​IMG]
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Sand is the best possible material to use in your runs. Just rake occasionally to remove excess droppings.
  4. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    Oh no... what have I let myself in for.
    lifting heavy wet straw is not any fun,
    can I just put down sand over the straw?

    Wow I still have the largest run to do
    Glad I was to tired to finish them all
    with straw.
    Iwill just get sand and toss it in there.
    what type of sand should I use?
    that will be one of my chores for this afternoon
    getting sand and doing the job.
  5. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Straw just soaks up and holds the moisture and will begin to mildew and rot in no time. You don't want that. You want for the water to drain away from the surface and away from your run. Straw impedes that. In my run I layed down a base of an inch or so of what we call 'Crush & Run' which is just sand with gravel mixed in with it. Then I layed down at least three inches of creek sand which is just a course non-white sand. Both of these you can get at your local landscape supply dealers. I got my C&R free from my neighbor who happened to have a very large pile of it that we put on our lane to fill in the potholes. The creek sand I bought 5 tons for $120 delivered and dumped right in front of my run. That gave me roughly three inches over my 18' x 21' run. I cut a small six inch deep trench around the outside base of my run with a pointed hoe and led it off down the slope away from the run so that the water off the roof wouldn't just sit there.

    I had problems in my old run with mud and muck every time it rained. My Gals were miserable and they showed it by their laying habits. Now they're happy and we get an average of 18 eggs a day from our 19 Gold Comet pullets. I went down last Saturday while it was a pouring rain to collect eggs and noticed that most of the Gals were enjoying a great sand bath in the middle of the run. It was raining hard, but no mud, no muck. Use sand, you'll be glad you did.

    Here's a pic of my setup that was taken the day after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ida blew through here back in October. Everything but the inside of my run was a mess:

  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Get rid of the straw before you put down sand. It's a nasty job, I know. Many mulch companies carry sand, and rock/gravel places also. It would be much cheaper buying it by the truck load than buying it by the bag...
  7. pride&joy

    pride&joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:We use gravel toped by sand here also, very nice set up Jim
  8. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee

    Get rid of straw. It will become wet, rotten, and stinky. It is hollow, so it is a great place for mites to breed as well. Anything organic will hold moisture. Use coarse sand such as is used for making concrete. It ranges from dust to 1/4" size, and will also furnish needed grit so you do not have to buy that. You can buy it at any materials place that sells gravel. I don't know who sells it in Sevier Co, but in Knox co I get mine from Twin Lakes materials. There is also Knox Sand & Grave., Ready-mix, Vulcan materials, etc. A concrete plant will have it and will sell it by minimum price for a pickup truck load. I give around $8 for a 6 x 8 trailer load, around 1/2 ton or so.

  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Who on BYC recommends leaving straw in a muddy run? Not many of those who've TRIED it anyhow [​IMG]

    Yes, you had probably better remove it before it starts to merge too much with the mud. Use a STRONG rake - not a leaf rake, a bow rake, the kind you'd use for moving gravel or suchlike. It is work. Will make very good compost though if piled somewhere for a while.

    And you are very correct in not putting shavings out there. They'd be as bad or worse (they start to decompose and merge with the mud even sooner than straw).

    If you have to put something organic in there, I would suggest coarse wood chippings. They too will eventually begin to break down adn make the mud worse in time but not nearly as fast and not as bad as straw or shavings.

    The ultimate solution is probably something inorganic, though, such as roadbase or sand or gravel -- although it can be hard to get those products TO the run in mud season and in any case they tend to disappear forever into the mud in a relatively short while if you apply them when the ground is still muddy. Best situation is to limp along til the ground dries this summer and add roadbase or etc THEN.

    At the same time, you would probably get useful results of other methods of drying out the run a bit. See my 'fix a muddy run' page (link in .sig below) for a number of things you can do.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. Land of Lost Toys

    Land of Lost Toys Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2009
    Have a question for those of you with the SAND runs....

    Right now I have a packed down gravel run and planned to put sand over top of it in the Spring. After a warm up this winter, the layer of chicken poop was much so that I used the hose and washed it all out. Then I started thinking what happens if this was sand in would I clean it if it's wet sand...wet from melting snow, not wet from the hose?

    So, what do you do in the winter or the spring thaw when you have Sand in the run?

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