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What to put down in run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by byronallo, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. byronallo

    byronallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    England.
    This is my first year of keeping chickens. I built and enclosed pen as it suited my back garden. As you probably all know and I found out, it started at grass and finished as mud!

    What is the best thing to put down inside the run?? I want it to keep my chickens happy scratching mainly but also want it to keep the run looking nice!

    Thanks for any advice in advance!
     
  2. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    leafs would work. They scratch around all day and get lots of bugs. Right now we have alfalfa hay in our run, and it works fine. Hay also looks a little nicer to me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I throw in anything organic - pine shavings, straw, leaves [lots of leaves!], pine bark mulch, wood chips. The girls will scratch and peck through whatever I throw in there and mix it up. The good thing is it encourages leaf-eating bugs and worms which gives the girls a little snack in the process.

    It will decompose quickly as it's exposed to the elements so the trick is to just keep on top of it and keep adding material to the run. I bagged 8 huge lawn and leaf bags of leaves earlier to use during the winter in both the coop and the run. They'll be gone in no time!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. byronallo

    byronallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    England.
    I was thinking hay would look nice and then I could rake it up easy enough, then put it in the compost bin!
     
  5. byronallo

    byronallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    England.
    Thanks Mtn laurel.. I have a large park right at the back of me and leaves gather naturally in the Corning of it, so wouldn't take long to collect. I could mix them with hay too!
     
  6. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    I guess you could even put leafs under the hay for faster composting.
     
  7. c2chicks

    c2chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    check out the many threads here on 'sand' in the run. It drains well, doesn't smell , cleans easily (if you want to clean it ;) and is cheap! I love, love, love my sand run.
     
  8. byronallo

    byronallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    England.
    Thanks everyone.. Half my run is covered and half isn't.. So maybe hay and leaves under my covered part and sand on the other!
     
  9. whittychick

    whittychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cape cod
    I just had the same problem with mud! It was horrrrible! And hay made it worse! I ended up adding all natural wood chips and now it's dry and amazing! I defiantly recommend this! Good luck :)
     
  10. whittychick

    whittychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2013
    Cape cod
    In the spring I'm going to add sand! Just did wood chips as a quick fix for winter
     

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