Stone dust for run floor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SewingDiva, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, our town approved our chicken permit (3 hens) so now we can go head and start to build. We bought the Playhouse Coop plans (a creativity cop-out I know, but our bylaws require construction drawings and a to-scale site plan.)

    Anyway, that plans show 1 x 2 wire grid as flooring. We have lots of racoons, mice, chipmunks & voles inour yards so Id' really like to keep as many critters out of the coop as possible.

    We were thinking of laying a thick (2 - 3) inch layer of stone dust on top of the wire grid - will that harm the birds or be hard on theri feet? In teh winter I'll probably throw down some hay to keep the mud down, and then use the stone dust in the summer.

    Phyllis
     
  2. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2007
    Massachusetts
    I do not see any problems with stone dust at all. That is what I have in my horse paddocks and have regular sand in my chicken pen for drainage.
    The only thingg I am wondering is if the coop floor is wire grid how will the stone dust stay,,,it will fall right through?
     
  3. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think we would lay it down pretty thick - at least an inch. Phyllis
     
  4. ageewax

    ageewax Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2014
    Laurel, MD
    Bumping this post from way back when to see if anyone else has tried using stone dust in the chicken run. We are going to bury hardware cloth on the run floor (stapled to the frame of course) to officially make it predator-proof, as that's the one weak spot left. Because of that, we'll have to put something on top of it. Right now they just have dirt - they went through the grass in no time. It turns into a soppy muddy mess when it rains. They also have a sand box, but we don't want to do the entire run in sand.

    So what are your thoughts? More dirt, or stone dust? I kind of want to do a layer of dirt follow by a few inches of stone dust (maybe raise the run floor to above the water level). But I want some input.
     
  5. RobG7aChattTN

    RobG7aChattTN Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's disappointing to find a thread with no follow-up. Often it is about a sick chicken and when there is no follow up you have no idea if what they were going to try worked and they didn't follow-up because the chicken was healthy or if the chicken died. Anyhow, back on topic...I use mulch in the chicken run. I have the advantage that the city has free mulch right around the corner from my house. When I first put it out (usually on a nice, sunny day for working outside) they are the happiest chickens you've ever seen. They scratch around but also eat some. I was worried about them eating it (they used to eat some pine shavings in the brooder as chicks, too) but I know a guy who is a landscaper with his own industrial chipper who does the same and his birds are the healthiest around. After heavy rains it seems that the poop comes up through the gaps and it can lose it's effectiveness. That's when I either scrape it up and throw in a compost pile or just add another 6" of mulch. In the small area that is covered the mulch looks great for a very long time. If the whole run was covered it would last a very long time. I have a dirt floor as the bas of the coop but I have 2"x4" mesh attached at the bottom of the run laying 4' out from the base all around under the soil. I also have an electric fence to help keep predators out. I DO have the occasional rat that gets through and when I do I set up a trap outside the coop. So far no predator problems (knock on wood).
     
  6. ageewax

    ageewax Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2014
    Laurel, MD
    Thanks! I'll talk to my husband about mulch. Our coop itself is predator proof (raised off the ground, solid floor), and the run extends off the side and is covered on the roof by plastic. So with the covered run, mulch might be a good option. We are still discussing whether we need to hardware cloth BOTH inside and outside the run or just outside. I'm way too attached to these cuties to take any chances, so we'll probably do both... I believe our hardware cloth has 1/2 inch openings.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture, but without the plastic on the run.
     
  7. RobG7aChattTN

    RobG7aChattTN Chillin' With My Peeps

    NICE! Pretty too! I, personally am all in favor of overdoing the predator proofing. I have chicken wire over 2"x4" mesh for part of it and a 1"x4" for part of it. That wouldn't be enough for me though without the electric fence.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    That's a beautiful set up! Like Rob, I also went the way of constructing a set-up as predator proof as we could make it. I don't believe in 100% predator proof - the second I do that then I risk becoming complacent and that's when incidents happen! So we built is as strong as we could and we monitor regularly for small gaps that might form, or signs of anything trying to get in. We used cattle panels bent over and wired to steel fenceposts driven deep into the ground. Then to deter overhead predators we covered the entire thing in poultry wire. As a last defense, we sewed hardware cloth up the sides of the run about 2 feet, then folded and extended it outward to form an apron of about 2 feet, secured "temporarily" with landscape fabric staples. The original plan was to cover the apron with flat rock, but we didn't get around to it. But the grass has grown up through the hardware cloth, making it invisible and we can mow right over it. We also ran hardware cloth about 1 foot up the sides of the coop, securing it with large washers and screws, and it extends out 2 feet as an apron. I worried about harm to the chickens' feet as they dug and scratched on the floor if we put wire on the inside but the apron has worked very well. Our English Setter, Molly, tried to dig under it when the chickens were let into the new run for the first time, and one bloodied and torn toenail later she decided it wasn't worth it.

    I'm using a dirt floor in the run and in the coop, with deep litter in both and I've been very, very pleased with it.
     
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