Under the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by paigespeeps, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. paigespeeps

    paigespeeps In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2017
    Hi all :frow
    So I've been dreaming about chickens for years, and am finally moving to a town that allows them! :celebrate
    I'm just now in the designing stage and could use some suggestions. We have a TON of predators. Our house is next to a cornfield and grain elevators so field mice are a huge problem as well. Ive seen some unfamiliar bouncing weasel type critters in the neighbors yards too. :hmm So we've decided on a closed coop and run, and a small flock of 5 or 6 bantam hens with a Fort Knox of hardware cloth over EVERYTHING. Then I'm thinking sand for the run to keep things clean and dry because it's close to the house... but what should I do under the sand in the run? Should I just do a hardware cloth skirt under the ground and use the existing dirt... then just pour sand on top? Or would I be better off building a large platform floor of some kind so I can move the whole coop and run if I want? I'm nervous about making the coop too permanent in case my location for it turns out to be less than ideal. I've heard cement is great, why? Would cement pavers work or does it need to be poured cement? Anybody else in my situation successfully repelled the mice or is it a lost cause? Would love to hear your solutions! Teach me O wise ones!:bow
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would either put hardware cloth down on the ground than cover with whatever substrate you are choosing to use if you really want nothing digging in, or do a skirt buried down a foot. Chickens enjoy digging in the dirt, so denying them that will leave them nothing to do.
    snow5164 likes this.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! You might find that deep litter is a better substrate rather than sand; many people start with sand, and give up on it later.
    A dig-proof foundation is essential, either hardware cloth, or poured concrete, to keep the rodents out. Pavers will shift, and likely leave spaces big enough for mice, at least. They would be movable though.
    Make sure that you place your coop in keeping with any zoning restrictions that you have, and that there's some shade already there if possible. You can add shade too, if needed.
    Fix any drainage issues first!!! Don't have it at a low spot and expect it to stay dry, plan ahead.
    It's easy to think that "I can always move it!" but siting it best in the first place is best.
    'Chicken math' happens, so if you have no zoning issues about numbers or sexes of your chickens, be ready to have additions over time. Build big!
    A Woods coop is wonderful! Second is a modified shed, with lots of more windows, covered in that hardware cloth. Having a roof over everything keeps it dry, and that's very nice. Make it all tall enough to walk in comfortably!!!
  4. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

    May 16, 2015
    I’d think a two foot skirt of hardware cloth would be good , I love my sandy run , easy to clean , no smell , no mould (deep litter),

    I tried straw , mats and shavings in nesting boxes , now I have sand in there too , ❤️It ! Clean eggs , they bury down in it ,

    My coop is also sand , I spot clean with a kitty scoop , shovel out around the water every summer , add fresh sand as needed ,

    Good luck ,
    Make sure you use a hardware cloth with small holes, 1/4 inch? Keeps some birds and critters out.

    Good luck and have fun

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