Run roof and bedding? Opinions please.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gatchick, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Gatchick

    Gatchick New Egg

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    The run is almost done and none too soon as the girls are getting too big to live in a plastic tub on the back porch. Now we have to figure out the roofing and bedding issues, and I am felling lost. We are trying to finish the run first, then the first floor of the coop, and lastly the "upstairs" so we can get them out there faster, even if it is in stages. Starting with putting them out in the run during the day. I figure the grass is fine for the floor until it's gone, although I have also thought of splitting the run in 2 and replanting half when needed.

    Roof options are hardware cloth, Hardware cloth with a tarp, or plastic roofing material. Bedding I am leaning towards sand or shavings. I am trying to finish it as cheaply as possible as it has already cost way more then I expected.

    We get heat, snow, and rain on the regular. The coop is 24 sq feet for 4 birds, so big enough, but could get cramped in bad weather if they are stuck inside. The main predators in the area are cats, raccoons, possums, hawks, and maybe neighborhood dogs. There have been reports of coyotes, but we are pretty far in the city and do have a chain link fence around the yard.

    One of my biggest concerns is smell. Behind those bushes are neighbors that are not sold on the idea of us having chickens. I know when the chicks knock over their water in their box with shavings it can start to stink quickly. We are in an area that has no written laws against chickens that I can find,but the belief is we can't and they could fall under "nuisance" rules, so it is important to keep the neighbors happy.

    So how would you experienced chicken keepers finish this off......?
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I know it is a bit more costly BUT if you are roofing the run I would go with metal so it lasts longer. I have seen the plastic degrade in the sun in one season.

    Personally my run has poultry netting (chicken wire) on top. We have similar predators here and it has kept them out so far. I like that they get sunshine and that the air moves freely. If you need to add shade there is shade cloth sold by the foot that allows air to move while providing shade and it is very inexpensive. I have some on my run and on my garden beds. I have had the same piece fro the garden for several years now and it has not degraded.

    If you are worried about odor then you should encourage air flow.
    The only time mine gets stinky is in the spring when we have a lot of rain and I have not cleaned out the straw that has accumulated over the winter. Even then it is not a HUGE stink and I have a LOT more chickens then you do.
     

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