Run size for constant compost foraging

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChrisLehrer, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. ChrisLehrer

    ChrisLehrer In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2016
    Still in the planning stages here -- we haven't closed on the house, for one thing. But my plan is to have 5-6 layers (I'm thinking heritage RIRs) and a pretty big run. I want to lay down a big base layer of hay and straw and start composting everything I can right in the run, so the girls can forage and poop and turn everything into black gold for my garden.

    My question: how big a run should I plan on for this? I know what the regular minimum is per chicken, but it seems like with all this composting going on, I'm going to need more space. How would I plan for that?

    I'm sure this has been covered somewhere, but I can't find it (bad Google-fu, I guess).

    If it matters, note that this is New England, which means fairly high humidity and quite a bit of serious cold and snow during December-March. Again if it matters, the main points are eggs for my family, compost for my garden, and some chicken TV to amuse us all.

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    You are referring to Deep Litter method. Make it as large as what fits your yard environment. The suggested size for run is 10 square feet per chicken. Simply double that and you should have good results. Don't expect them to forage from your deep litter . It is convenient to have them scratch thru it as well as find small amounts of insects/worms, but that just keeps the hens busy and happy. It is also a convenient place to throw in your kitchen scraps, and whatever does not get consumed, composts eventually. Be also prepared to deal with more flies during summer. There are solutions to deal with that also.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  4. ChrisLehrer

    ChrisLehrer In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2016
    Thanks all!

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