1. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Right now my run is a muddy mess!! [​IMG] I am deciding on whether I want to use a mulch floor or a sand floor for it. But... my dad wants mulch because:
    1. when you clean it out you can spread it over the gardens
    2. if you had sand, he doesn't want it for about two years then have me go to college or if the chickens are gone, what is he suppose to do with all this sand.
    3. it wouldn't make such a big mess with shoes/boots.
    I want sand because:
    1. I think it would be softer on their feet
    2. It would look nicer than the mulch
    3. I've heard it drains easier and isn't that hard to clean.

    What are your thoughts on this? I may only have these birds until I graduate from high school in two years. He doesn't want to have to deal with all this sand. All opinions are appreciated. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    If it was me, I would go with the sand. Mulch can start to mould and create a health problem. I would think if you can haul it in you can haul it out.....

    ~ bigzio
     
  3. Suburban chick farmer 09

    Suburban chick farmer 09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    St. Louis MO
    Quote:I agree.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I'm not going to give an opinion but will offer some additional food for thought:

    Mulch will make the run damper and smellier/fly-ier, if you have ANY sort of a moisture problem in the run.

    Also, if you have any sort of soft ground and mud problem, you will have to make sure to get the mulch raked out and replaced with new stuff before it starts to meld with the mud and get irretrievably nasty. How often this will be depends greatly on your particular mulch material and your drainage conditions -- could be months, could be years.

    Chickens really enjoy scratching through mulch, at least as much as in sand (depending on the nature of the mulch).

    Sand from a decommissioned chicken run -- and there won't be ALL that much of it to remove -- makes a good soil amendment for the garden too, just different than pooey mulch is all.

    I would really advise not adding sand right *now*, however. If you add sand or gravel to mud, it tends to disappear without a trace after not that long a while. By far it works better to add it to a bone-dry (and properly graded) surface. So I would suggest putting in something temporary for now from the mulch genre -- wood chippings, mulch, even straw if your problem isn't terribly bad and you will make sure to remove it before it starts to break down or merge with the mud. Then decide on a more permanent footing this summer.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  5. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Williamsport In.
    Washed pea gravel is my new choice...[​IMG]
    Last longer than sand and works better than mulch!
     
  6. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    6,076
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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Quote:I'm not going to give an opinion but will offer some additional food for thought:

    Mulch will make the run damper and smellier/fly-ier, if you have ANY sort of a moisture problem in the run.

    Also, if you have any sort of soft ground and mud problem, you will have to make sure to get the mulch raked out and replaced with new stuff before it starts to meld with the mud and get irretrievably nasty. How often this will be depends greatly on your particular mulch material and your drainage conditions -- could be months, could be years.

    Chickens really enjoy scratching through mulch, at least as much as in sand (depending on the nature of the mulch).

    Sand from a decommissioned chicken run -- and there won't be ALL that much of it to remove -- makes a good soil amendment for the garden too, just different than pooey mulch is all.

    I would really advise not adding sand right *now*, however. If you add sand or gravel to mud, it tends to disappear without a trace after not that long a while. By far it works better to add it to a bone-dry (and properly graded) surface. So I would suggest putting in something temporary for now from the mulch genre -- wood chippings, mulch, even straw if your problem isn't terribly bad and you will make sure to remove it before it starts to break down or merge with the mud. Then decide on a more permanent footing this summer.

    Good luck,

    Pat

    Thanks for that Pat! That's what I was hoping to hear. I don't know why but sand just seems better than mulch for some reason [​IMG]
     
  7. Tad

    Tad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i will risk the wrath in saying this but I disagree, mulch is the best, if you go thick, and its free if you find the local tree trimmer guys, or a small tip for a great big load, if you have a drainage issue in your pen, then you will have issues no matter what you use!
     
  8. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cairo, Missouri
    Listen to your father, unless, of course, you pay all the bills.[​IMG]
     
  9. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia WA
    It probably depends on what area of the country you are in, and what your soil type is, but I really like using the woodchip. I have it mostly covered, but even the parts that are not covered stay nice. They will dig and dig it into your soil, though, so it won't be like nice clean mulch when they are done with it! (I plan on composting mine, then using it in the yard as amendment). But, as others have said, you need to make sure that the underlying grade drains well, sloping out of your run.
     

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