What Litter Should I Use For My Run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nordicacres, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've decided on sand for the coop. The outdoor run is 10' x 23' and is a concrete pad with sides that come up about a foot. So there will be no drainage below the litter. And yes, we will be enclosing it with hardware cloth and a roof. What litter would work best in this situation? TY!
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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  2. Messipaw

    Messipaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No drainage is a tuff one. I would go for sand and wood chips. Sand helps with drainage but can get mucky if it sits in water. Standing water is what you want to avoid. If it were me I would go with river sand and wood chips. Hope this helps.
     
  3. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe some gravel under the sand to help with the standing water issue?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Are you going to put a solid roof on the run or will it be open to all weather?
    How much water stands in the area after snowmelt or a hard rain?

    I'd use wood chips/leaves/organic matter before sand or gravel.
     
  5. AmyMurphy

    AmyMurphy Out Of The Brooder

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    Where can I buy river sand?
     
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not that you asked, :) but would definitely recommend deep litter over sand. Sand you have to clean, while deep litter mostly cleans itself. Also, it captures the manure for use on a garden or compost bin, whereas with sand, all that valuable poop just leaches away (possibly into groundwater, too). I never understood the sand thing...
     
  7. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are planning on putting a solid roof overhead. All sides will be hardware cloth. We will probably tarp at least one large panel during the Winter to help with drafts. I'm not sure about the standing water. We haven't lived here long enough to really notice. No hard rains and hardly any snow this year . . . My DH has said we should use straw in the run, but I'm not sure if it is a good option or not. TY!
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    If you are in SW Minnesota, one thing that has been commented on BYC before is that the sand turns into rock in winter. With the combination of the concrete pad, snow, ice and freezing temperatures I don't know how comfortable that would be for the chickens or how easy it would be to clean. Good, deep litter gives them a place to burrow down into when it's cold, and scratching around in it during those short winter days when they are often confined does a lot to prevent boredom related issues.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your run will be covered, so should work great. Leaves or leaf litter also work (I use some of both) and if you have a source of these for free, so much the better! Just don't rob fruit trees or similar of too much of their leaf litter--unless you plan to bring some back to them full of chicken poo! :) good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015

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