What is the best material for our chicken run floor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KalGal, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. KalGal

    KalGal New Egg

    Jan 19, 2016
    Damascus, OR
    So we are building a coop and run and are trying to decide what to do with our run floor. It will be 16'x36' with an 12'x16' covered section. We live in Portland, Oregon, so it rains a lot. We are also wanting to keep smell to a minimum so easy cleaning would be nice. A lot of people seem to like sand but I have heard just as many negative things about it, such as a concern for disease and that it may not work well with all the rain we get. Decomposed granite or pea gravel? I assume we can't get away with sectioning off the run, rotating them and replanting? Not enough space? So assuming that, what do we put down? We are up for using two different materials as well. Say maybe something for dust bathing under the covered area and a foraging area in open space? We are newbies here so thanks fo any input!
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] glad you have joined us.

    I use sand, but in Georgia and all areas are roofed. Rain will turn it to cement and would not recommend it there.

    They will destroy any plantings quite quickly efforts to rotate will be futile.

    If you don't get a workable plan here, consider questioning those closer to you on what they find works the best, here's link to Oregon folks


    Good luck with your new adventure.
    You should consider posting an intro under new members forum to get a proper welcoming.
  3. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2015
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I live in your geographic area.

    My coop run is much smaller than yours will be at 6x10', and is covered. The raised coop itself is small and mainly for egg laying and roosting at night.
    Therefore, to extend their weatherproof area, the lower 4-5' of the run is covered with greenhouse plastic to cut the wind and rain, so the sand stays mostly dry.
    In this area I have masonry sand in most of it, with a product called Stall Dry under the raised coop, which they love to dust bath in.
    These desiccate the chicken poop, spot cleaning is all that is needed. I would not use sand in an open area in our climate.

    Then there is a secondary, less secure daytime outside area outside of the 6x10 coop/run. This has 'hog fuel' (ground up wood by-products/wood chips), along with leaves and pine needles on the ground. This area is open, and it works very well in our climate. It helps control the mud, and they like to scratch around in it.

    If you use gravel, then you'd want some bedding on top of at least some of it, it so that the chickens can scratch around. They like to be busy.
    Your run would also lend itself to the Deep Litter method; there are several thread on this on BYC.

    As far as planting, consider setting up some 'grazing frames'. You can grow grass and healthy greens, but the chickens won't destroy the roots.

    BTW, you can sign up for free wood chips from local tree companies in our area, if you are interested.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

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