Straw in the run? Need advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DeneeNae, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. DeneeNae

    DeneeNae In the Brooder

    16
    25
    49
    Feb 22, 2018
    Northern Arizona
    Hi, I live in Northern Arizona, where sand and clay are everywhere and not much foliage. I have a run with dirt, but when it gets rainy, there is mud everywhere and the chickens get super muddy. So, just wondering if anyone has the same issue and used straw to keep the run mud-free? What are pros amd cons for this? I would imagine pests, but anything else? If not straw, is there another good (cheap) option?

    My run is 12' x 12' and 6' high, enclosed in chicken wire. I have 10 chickens.
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  2. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

    960
    883
    207
    Sep 13, 2015
    Wyoming
    Actually, many chicken keepers use sand in their runs and even coops, I have heard both awesome pros and cons, here is some really good resources you can read and possibly help apply to your specific situation on the pros and cons sides;
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/09/chicken-coop-bedding-sand-litter/

    http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2013/07/the-real-scoop-on-using-sand-in-your.html

    Other things you could try is possibly gravel? That would help the water run through it instead of stay and puddle up.
     
    Bobby Basham, DeneeNae and PeepPeep74 like this.
  3. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

    3,643
    3,400
    412
    Sep 2, 2014
    NE Ohio
    I used to do straw in the run, it gets really hard and compacted mixed with the mud and tend to be more messy. I use all purpose sand & pine shavings now, works better plus added clear roof on all our runs it prevented muddy mess.
     
  4. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    1,829
    2,565
    316
    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    aart, DeneeNae and FeatherMtnFarms like this.
  5. CorvusFarm

    CorvusFarm Chirping

    105
    145
    96
    Nov 26, 2017
    Corralitos, California
    Straw works if you are going for a deep-litter type of cover, but there are risks as mentioned above. I second the idea of covering the run to keep the water to a minimum. If you do straw, go deep enough with it that it actually makes a difference. But I will say this: if you do deep litter with straw, you'll find that your chickens are so happy to have it, that they'll kick it all over the place. It will give them lots of seeds and bugs to forage for, but it probably won't have the desired outcome on YOUR end. :)
     
    missanthrope and DeneeNae like this.
  6. Ms Biddy

    Ms Biddy One chicken short of crazy

    726
    1,974
    292
    Dec 4, 2017
    My Coop
    We use straw, but it does still get muddy and needs to be replaced regularly. The best way to keep a run dry is covering it. I wish we had roofed ours to begin with. Now we lay sections of corrugated roofing over sections that we really want to stay dry like the dust bath area. It helps.
     
    DeneeNae likes this.
  7. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    7,239
    9,465
    867
    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    I used straw once, it wasn't fun. When researching, I've read that straw, having a hollow stalk may/can harbor mites :eek:
    Then I read about DLM & decided it was the best for me. My enclosure is covered cause it does rain alot here, my ground is hard clay which got mucky when wet. It gets warm & humid here but we don't have a predator issue here.
    So DH made my enclosure "open air" with a roof, I added shavings (4" deep) and keep adding as is "disappears". Oh, the girls have a poop board which I put PDZ in, sprinkle some in the shavings & everything's great.

    You're using chicken wire, you may want to add 1/2 x 1/2 hardware cloth on the lower half; predator proofing.
     
    DeneeNae likes this.
  8. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

    3,643
    3,400
    412
    Sep 2, 2014
    NE Ohio
    BAA6963D-7585-49C3-B92C-177B70F6A095.jpeg A B9C7F868-103C-4853-B017-F9FC0C973870.jpeg 2538C7D4-462A-42F6-B055-CCF7669B005B.jpeg


    Just to show how much better roof and pine shavings on the run and no stinky rotting straw, and no muddy eggs, here’s some photos.
     
  9. Ms Biddy

    Ms Biddy One chicken short of crazy

    726
    1,974
    292
    Dec 4, 2017
    My Coop
    It looks nice. Straw is fine if kept dry. We use shavings in the coop and straw in the run. I like shavings inside because they're fluffy and smell good. They do mix better with dirt and sand than straw does.
     
    mcrvdeb, ChickNanny13 and DeneeNae like this.
  10. PeepPeep74

    PeepPeep74 In the Brooder

    16
    35
    49
    Mar 11, 2018
    I can’t stand the straw! It’s great if it’s dry. But as soon as it rains, it’s a mucky stinky mess that just packs down from the chickens walking on it. I’m out there a couple of times a week mucking it out and hosing the concrete off under the coop. And my chickens stay so dirty. We are planning a new chicken coop soon and I can’t wait. Thank you for the sand articles. I think this is going to be the way to go.
     
    ChickNanny13, DeneeNae and Spartan22 like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: