Using hay in the coop and/or run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by momofonly, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. momofonly

    momofonly In the Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Aug 30, 2010
    This forum is great! Here's another question.

    How about using hay in the floor of the coop and the run?

    When I was about 11 years old, we kept a flock of ducks for one year (until we moved) and I pretty much took over all the maintenance myself, including cleaning their house. It was lined with hay and every week I would rake out all the hay, spread it around, and wash it down with a hose. This seemed to work well, and we never had any problems with the hay. The land they were on was kind of a sand pit anyway, and we actually got grass from the manure.

    I'm thinking could I just line the floor of the coop and run with hay, then once a week rake all of the hay into a wheelbarrow and dump it in our compost pile? We don't compost food scraps or garbage- just tree branches, leaves and things like that. We don't really make "compost" either- we just use it as a place to dump yard clippings. I don't want to do the deep litter method.

    I'm thinking that with only 2 or 3 chickens, the waste load should be managable. What do you all think?
     
  2. 9 Feathers Farm

    9 Feathers Farm In the Brooder

    54
    0
    29
    Aug 30, 2010
    St Johns, MI
    We do the same for our coops but instead of hay we use straw.
     
  3. chick4chix

    chick4chix Songster

    1,097
    19
    181
    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal
    I have five hens in an 8'x4' ark with another 12' x12' run --all lined with straw. It works great and I do exactly what you are proposing- I kept the straw/manure litter raked into a 3'x3' fenced area (with chicken wire and posts) in the corner of the run- and allow the chickens into it occasionally to stir it up.
    It began as a waist high pile and eventually composted down to practically nothing. I just moved and am going to do the same thing is this run- it works great- good luck
     
  4. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    909
    5
    121
    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    We use staw also, inside and out. Outside just to give them something to scratch around in and they break it down nicely for the compost heap. I clean the coop when needed and the straw is also broken down quite niclely. We also live in a sandy pine woods area.
     
  5. foxchasr

    foxchasr In the Brooder

    63
    0
    39
    Nov 1, 2009
    We use hay in our nesting boxes, dirt flooring. I clean out the hay and dump it in our compost pile which consists of table scraps, manure from my horse and whatever is left over on coop cleaning day.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by