What flooring for the run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kellybelly, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. kellybelly

    kellybelly Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
    We have a hen house which attaches to a run. Our girls free range most of the time but when the garden needs a "break" from the poo and the digging or if the weather is very bad, we keep the girls in the run. At first the "floor" of the run was grass, which of course lasted about a week. Then it was just dirt/soil but this became yucky pretty quickly. We read about using pebbles as flooring so we bought numerous bags of that and laid it down. It seemed to work well at first but we didn't get the right kind and I think it was a bit sharp on their feet (no injuries, just didnt seem comfortable). We were thinking of removing the old pebbles and getting some new nice round pebbles for the floor of the run but having read a few posts here I'm wondering if that is the best option. I read about using sand but wasn't quite sure if that was meant for the floor of the run or just the hen house? What does everyone else think is best?
    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  2. Phenomenon

    Phenomenon Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2011
    North Yorkshire
    We split our run in to two sections. The first section is now pretty much all mud and nothing else which gives them plenty to dig through. The other section is wood chip which gives them somewhere to dry their feet. Fortunately the farms and sawmills here sell sawdust, clippings and the like for peanuts so maintainence is cheap.
     
  3. cmclean

    cmclean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Pasadena,TX
    Has anyone tried pouring a cement floor for the coop????? If so, what are the pros and cons??
     
  4. Phenomenon

    Phenomenon Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2011
    North Yorkshire
    I reckon it would be extremely cold in the winter months as apposed to wood and chippings.
     
  5. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Quote:Mine used to be just a concrete slab,

    Cons:
    cleaning! I used to just scrape it to clean it. Sounds easy but because the hens would walk in and compact their poo, then it would dry out and become very hard to clean (aka pry off!)!
    the look! Looks dirty constantly, theres a poop, theres a poop..... plus it just sits there and stinks and attracts flies!
    the dirty hen feet! Because the poo would just sit there, they'd step in it and get all gross, terrible for the feathered footed ones!

    Pros:
    you can spot disease faster poo-wise. If you can work out who made it!
    nowhere for the mites to hide.
    safety! good for keeping predators out.


    I've got 2cm of sand over the slab now. Drains well surprisingly. It takes slightly longer to clean but takes less effort overall. The birds stay clean, the coop always looks clean because the poop gets covered in sand, doesn't smell because the sand makes the poo dry out so fast, mites won't hide in it, and makes great evaporative air conditioning in summer for them when you wet it down!

    SAND ALL THE WAY! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  6. kellybelly

    kellybelly Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
    Would I have to put something down underneath the sand or could it go directly on the ground?
     
  7. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2011
    My girls/rooster have always had just a dirt (used to be grass) run. But I kept reading so much about sand being clean, convenient & cutting down on smell. DH brought in 5 loads. WOULD NEVER consider going back to just dirt. Chickens love it, I love it. Daily gentle raking & scooping with kitty litter scoop keeps it neat. I'm a true sand-in-the-run convert! The flock still has wood chips in the coop for snuggling down in as some of the younger pullets are still prone to do. They have straw in the nests. And, grass when they free-range. A virtual cornucopia of textures for their little (big) chicken feet! Oh & we just cleaned & raked really well & hauled the sand in right over the dirt run. Sometimes, they manage to dig holes all the way into the dirt. But that's OK. We figure every year, we'll just bring in another load or two of sand to refresh their space.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Strasburg Ohio
    This is an easy fix, SAND SAND SAND! You can get it relatively cheap, like $15 for a truckload, and it's wonderful! I just rake mine daily to remove the poo and debris, and all is well!

    It drains well and doesn't get stinky.
     
  9. kellybelly

    kellybelly Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
    well this is excellent advice everyone, thank you. Off to get some sand now!
     
  10. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    This is an easy fix, SAND SAND SAND!

    And THERE you have the answer. Cheap to buy, quick draining and drying. Rake it up to cover the poop. Hey, if it is not too fine, it also provides grit!​
     

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