What is the best ground cover for a 10x20 chicken run??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coolchange, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. coolchange

    coolchange In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2007
    I have a 10x20 chicken run with 13 pullets and the smell seems to have gotten really bad lately. I am in north Florida and we have temps in the upper 90's if that make a difference. The floor consists of fresh dirt covered with straw. I have changed the straw and if seems within days if has the funk smell again. Should I just leave it dirt? I am thinking that the straw may be holding the smell? Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!!
  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    If your talking about the run you don't need straw in it. We live in North Fla also our run is mostly sand as they have cleared any folage long ago. They do fine in it and I have not smell at all. The straw must be holding in the smell.
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I believe that sand is the best ground for a run. The straw does not absorb the poo so it just gets walked into it or even trapped underneath thus holding the smell. I would remove the straw and let it go natural but if you still have problems or places that hold water then I'd put down several inches of sand.
  4. dumblond

    dumblond In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2007
    Joplin, Missouri
    I take my hoe to the run, smell is gone and very happy girls with "new dirt" for bathing.
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Mine is just dirt. Once every 3 or 4 weeks I broadcast a little lime over in in the morning after I let the chickens out to free range.

    I close the pen gate to make sure they don't go inside it.

    I let it sit for at least 6 hours, then water it in about an hour before they come back to roost.

    Do not use pelletized lime! only the ground up powder type.
  6. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Our run is now just dirt since grass left a LONG time ago. We just take the hoe and rake to it every so often to clean it out and remove what straw has made its way outside from the coop.
  7. jeep0904

    jeep0904 Hatching

    Apr 17, 2013
    Down South
    I use pine shavings in my 10x20 run and rake it out every three or four weeks and add it to my compost pile. I know the smell is not too bad cause my wife isn't complaining about it....;) But I do only have 6 chickens and they seem to like scratching at the shavings.
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    I would also go with sand in the run. Much less muddy after wet weather, and chickens love to dustbathe in it.

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