swiched to pine shavings, still a mess..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gretchen, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. gretchen

    gretchen In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    I had been using straw in my coop and run but it's been dragged everywhere in my yard and house by me and my kids. So yesterday I cleaned up the coop and put in about 3" of pine shavings, I realized they would just slip out the chicken door so I put a 4" piece of wood up at the base of the door to hold them back (to the total dismay and bewilderment of the chickens who are totally freaked and won't easily go in and out now...different subject but any ideas?) and a small piece by the human door and the shavings are already everywhere! Will it calm down once the chips are older and not so static and fluffy or I am I doomed to a messy yard? I am raising these chickens in a city and my yard is small but I'm a gardener so I'm trying to maintain some control! I also took a lot of straw out of the run, I did leave some in but it seemed so deep they couldn't get down to the dirt to peck and dust themselves. Any solutions to any of these problems?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well... if you are going in and out with the birds... I don't really think there is a way to stop it from getting everywhere. I think pine shavings are worse than straw on the getting everywhere domain too. As for the board thing, the bids will eventually get used to it. They are just slow sometimes.
  3. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Straw is not a good idea, especially outside in a run. It harbors mites and can mold. Can you put a 2-3 inch layer of sand in their run ? It drains well to keep the run from staying muddy and it is easy to rake poop and other stuff out.
  4. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    We use a boot scrapper next to the door. We had the same problem with tracking shavings into the garage.
  5. gretchen

    gretchen In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    I have to say that in re-reading my post I sound very clean and prissy.... I am a clay artist (always messy), gardener, Mom of two young children, etc... So it's just the way I have to vacuum everyday to be able to walk barefoot around in my house. I'll stop using the straw, has anyone tried using larger shavings? Kind of between shavings and mulch? I live in the ultra Organic State of Vermont so I'm sure I can find un-dyed mulch somewhere....

    or do I just have to deal and move on.

    oh and I could put some sand down, my soil is very sandy already, it seems to drain well, we just had about 2 weeks of downpours earlier this summer and the run got all mucky, I worried about their little shrivled feet and somebody on the Forum told me to put Straw down.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2007
  6. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Hi Gretchen,,,I do LOVE Vermont and have not been up in a few years. Wonderful state. Anyway, I just added sand to my run which was a muddy, smelly pit when it rained as it is on the side of a hill. Let me tell you it was the best thing I ever did. NO more smell, drains well and very easy to clean. I highly recommend it and I do have shavings in the coops.
    I have a zillion pairs of "barn" shoes outside that I use to do horses and chickens. They change with the seasons....lol Almost time to get out the boots!
  7. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Hi Gretchen, what part of VT are you in? we are 10 min. from Brattleboro. I have found a place with big shavings and another with small shavings. I just tonight picked up my first bag of small/fine shavings. They are much softer. I think they would be more absorbant. I've been using the big ones so i am anxious (sp) to see if these fine ones work better.
  8. gretchen

    gretchen In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    I live in Burlington, pretty much right downtown, about a 10 minute walk to Church Street, so space and smell are definitely a concern. Did you truck in sand for your run or bring in a zillion bags? I guess I'll stick with the shavings, I'm interested to see what happens as they age, because they seem so sticky and static now. I just imagine getting my first egg encrusted with pine shavings.
  9. Chicken_Girl

    Chicken_Girl In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2007
    sand in run could you put it in coop to just wondering [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Hey Gretchen

    The chickens will get used to the pine shavings!

    Different shoes going in & out of the coop will help!!

    if you do deep litter ((pine shavings, sprinkle DE, turn it over once in a while put more DE on add pine shavings as needed all fall & winter (you will wind up with 6-8 inches) and in the spring you will have great compost for your garden)) clean out start over (((and there will be no smell)))[​IMG]

    sand for the run is Good I go to a concrete mix place and get pick up full for $10

    This is great for roost area too!

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