What should I use as flooring for my run?

polishchickens111

Songster
8 Years
Jun 1, 2011
600
8
113
Over there
I'm building a large run for chickens (currently chicks) and I'm almost done, but can't figure out what to use for flooring. I'll be using sand inside of the coop (when they're old enough) but I was not sure as to leaving the run as dirt so they aren't bored or put sand in for ease of cleaning? My family is very busy and we have predators in our suburban neighborhood, so they will not free range as they much as they might like.
 

ChixWrangler

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 10, 2011
11
0
21
Lansing
What state are you in?? Sand in the coop won't insulate very well in the coop but will work very well in the run.

We are using sand in the run and pine shavings in the coop.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
271
341
Ontario, Canada
See my 'fixing a muddy run' page (link in .sig below) for discussion of the pros and cons of different types of footing.

I don't see as sand is really any less interesting for the birds than dirt is. If you are located (coop site, and climate) where mud is never going to be a problem, then you may as well try leaving it as dirt. If however you live somewhere such that mud is likely to be an issue at some point in time, it might be smart to PROACTIVELY add sand or something similar WHILE THE DIRT IS DRY AND PACKED. (If you add sand to already-muddy soil, the sand kind of just disappears after a few months)

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

polishchickens111

Songster
8 Years
Jun 1, 2011
600
8
113
Over there
Quote:I live in NY. The upper temperatures reach about 95 degrees, in the winter a low of maybe 10. I also was considering wood shavings for the coop, they are cheap from where I buy food for my other animals (the store does not sell chicken food) and a lot of people have recommended them.
 

Baymen Moe

Songster
11 Years
Jan 17, 2009
522
24
169
Pembroke, Ma.
Quote:I use sand in my run and love it. The birds also love to dust bathe in it. Just try to keep it clean and you'll be pleased with the results. My birds pick their spots to dust in.
 

kichohana

Songster
10 Years
Dec 28, 2009
379
18
113
Johnston County, NC
I have a covered run that is sand and an uncovered run that is dirt. Lately since the temps are up here (mid 90's) the girls happily dust bathe in the sand/shady run. After a good rain and the dirt's all softened up, they love digging in the dirt run. Both are easy to clean with a rake. I think I prefer the sand run tho. Seriously doubt i'll ever fill in the sun run with sand. Been pretty happy with it the way it is.


 

hudsonhousechicks

Songster
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
280
3
111
Austin
I use sand, about three or four inches and then cover that with rice hulls. It's great plus it makes good composting material.
 

fargosmom

Songster
11 Years
Dec 27, 2008
654
32
191
Pasadena, CA
The only thing I noticed about having a dirt run was that the poops had a tendency to cement themselves to the packed dirt, so it was actually harder to keep clean. One I added a couple of inches of sand it was much easier to clean - I sift it like a cat box and it's a piece of cake. Either way the birds can dust bathe, but the sand is cleaner in my experience.
 

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