What to put in the run once the ground cover is done?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Godiva, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2007
    We have really heavy clay soil and I was wondering what on earth to do with the run once the grass is eaten. THe coop is on a slope and being in SC we get pretty heavy rains so I am not sure if anything would last on the slope... I can just imagine it all washed into a bank against the coop wall. What do you do?
  2. jacyjones

    jacyjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    We have clay soil but are on the level. Using advice from this forum we have put sand down and it is working really well.
  3. baldie

    baldie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2008
    Douglas, MA
    Hello! We use the left over pieces after trees are cut, they are like a wood chip mix, this works well and the chickens like to pick through for bugs!!
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I hope you get lots of answers. I have the same problem coming up. If I put anything in the run it ends up against the coop. I even put up a high board to keep the run off out. Mine is rocky clay. Right now it is not so bad. Its the first year and I only have two hens in there. In another month there will be 8. Jean
  5. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    I have the same situation, the run is on a slope with the coop at the bottom. (This is the completely wrong place for it and if I weren't renting, I would have been able to do it right.)

    I tried using mulch, particularly wood shavings, in the run but it all either washes down or gets kicked down to the foot of the coop as the birds scratch through the mulch. Especially on a clay slope, I wouldn't expect any mulch to stay put.

    What I've decided to do is divide the run into a series of level terraces using stones and scrap (not pressure treated) wood.

  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would guess that terracing will be your best option, with sand or sand-gravel mix. Also, really importantly, try to divert as much water as possible before it gets to the uphill side of the run -- dig a swale (possibly with a berm downhill of it, made of the dirt you dug out for the swale) a little ways uphill of the run, leading the water well to the side of the run (not just barely around the edge).

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. NCchickenlady

    NCchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Quote:I'm in Raleigh NC same sort of clay rock thing. I keep adding sand in and it seems to help. I just increased the run six=ze so I hope that helps as well. I did find something that grows fast and stays for a while and that bird seed. I dumped the seed in the bottom of my birdcage out by the run and in 4 days I had a VERY green patch! So now I'm trying to figure out how to close off sections of the runn to grow this stuff in different areas....
  8. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    NCchickenlady wrote:
    "So now I'm trying to figure out how to close off sections of the run to grow this stuff in different areas...."

    I plan to try nailing some 2X4s or 2X6s together on edge like a box and covering the top with some hardware cloth or chicken wire. Then planting some seed under that. I'm not sure if I will move the frame and start another patch once the plants are established or just let the birds eat what grows up through the wire.
  9. NCchickenlady

    NCchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Quote:OHHHH that's a great idea!!!!


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