What to put down for the run- sand, gravel, mulch, dirt?...


6 Years
Jan 15, 2014
Juneau, AK
Hi! I'm looking for some advice. We have a covered run and let our chickens free range in the yard at least a few hours a day. We moved our girls outside a couple months ago and didn't do anything special to the run floor. It didn't take long for the grass to turn to mud. What I'm wondering is what I can put down to help with this. We're thinking maybe sand, gravel or mulch? There is only about 6 inches or so of dirt before it hits gravel anyway. What would be our best option? I live in a very humid and wet climate so it's always muddy and never fully dry even though it's covered. Thanks for your help!


6 Years
Dec 10, 2013
We put down a layer of gravel for drainage and covered it with about 6 inches of sand. I rake it when it needs it and toss in some fresh sand about every 3 months. The chickens love it. No muddy mess and dirty feet when it rains. Shaded areas are cool in summer. Sunny areas warm up in winter. They use it for grit and dust bathing. I keep a box of diatomaceous earth mixed with sand for dust bathing also. They scratch around in it and stretch out in it. I just go to the Ace Hardware when I need more. I costs me less than $50 a year. I use pine shavings inside the coop. The stinky chicken run my boyfriend was worried about never happened. I'll never use anything else. Just don't skip the gravel. My friend did and her sand gets stinky when it rains.

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