Using deck as run?


10 Years
Aug 8, 2009
Central N.S.
The place where I've been thinking of building my coop (erm..ok..having DH build my coop) is beside a deck. The deck is just over 5.5 ' from the ground, and I'm wondering... since it has posts every so often, and has a floor...could I just continue to enclose it underneath with hardware cloth on 3 sides (the 4th side is house) and use it as a run? The floor boards (which would be the roof of the run) are about 1/2 " apart. Since most of the structure is already there for a run, does it make sense to use it? What would be any downside?
The main problem would be whether you want chicken stink and flies emanating from under your deck. In a perfect world you could keep the run clean and dry enough that it wouldn't be an issue, but realistically it is possible to have several weeks of wet weather that may cause temporary problems, and you'd want to be sure you'd be ok with that.

Also chickens right up against the house is apt to increase rodent problems in the house, especially if you have the feeders out in the run.

I'm not at all saying don't do it, just make sure it's what you want to do

Good luck, have fun,

My deck is covered - so it stays pretty dry under it. I would be concerned about smell and flys, but if you clean it regular and it stays dry - you should have minimal problems.

Personally - my deck is also close to the ground so it was not an option to use that space.

good luck
Sounds like it would work to me as long as it would stay dry as the others said.

You could put down sand and stall dry. The stall dry is good at drying things out.

Good luck and be sure to show us some pictures.
After reading many posts about Stall Dri and DE, I had planned to use both. I also was planning on sand, over the gravel which is already there. Now if I can do this, will odor and flies be eliminated enough to actually be able to use the deck? I've read people here swear there is no odor in their coops or runs...

As for rats, are there necessarily rats where there are chickens? Please say no, because if there are, the whole chicken idea will have to go..DH can't abide rodents. Years ago when my children were young we had chickens and, yes there were rats, but we were sort of 'winging it' at the time...there was food everywhere and the coop wasn't rodent-proof at all.

Thanks for the replies
The only time I notice any smell in the run or coop is when they have one of those large dark brown stinky poos. Can't remember the term.

If I see them in the morning, I scoop them when I'm out scaping the droppings board.

Scaping the droppings board into a bucket with a lid is one of the things you can do to keep the oder and flys down.

I lock the hanging feeder up at night that I hang in the covered run. At times, there is spilled food on the ground but it's still there in the morning. I have seen lots of field mice in my pasture when I mow, but the red tail, coyote, and cats must keep them from coming to the run and coop.
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i use under my deck as an enclosure, not a nite time one but a temporary enclosure when they are not free ranging or in their coop/run. I have a small dog box elevated off the ground as a small coop, nest box under the deck also. it is sloped so if it does rain, the water can run out into the yard. so far no issues with flies or smell. thinking about putting a roofed portion they can get out of any weather if I'm not right there to put them away in their regular coop.

i would say go for it and see how it works for you. you can always keep in mind a backup plan. maybe if you make it so the coop part is movable in case you wanna do a different run later. its always nice to have another area anyway....

how many chickens do you have?
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i have 7 chickens and no issue with odors, i do however have flies around in the summer - but that is more from the recycle trash that gets left on the deck. I try to keep it around the side of the house, but I am the only one doing so. haha.

With only four birds I would think you'd be able to handle any issues easily. I barely even notice poo around my yard and runs. And cleaning up and turning soil for them just gives you a reason to be out there with them. I enjoy the chores that I can do with chickens. And I finally have come to realize that they aren't much work at all! I'm cleaning waterers that dont need cleaning, filling up feeders that don't need filled yet, putting down a light sprinkle of fresh pine shavings just to be doing it.....

no signs of any rodents. but then i have panthers roaming the yard (well they THINK they're panthers) do you have any cats?

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