What to use in the run...

biteme2134

Songster
6 Years
Jul 21, 2013
240
14
111
GA
My Coop
My Coop
I'm debating using small Gravel to fill the run with and would like some feedback from experience. I've read through the forums and it seems like everyone who I've read is talking about right after they filled the run with Gravel. Does anyone have any experience a few years into Gravel use? And preferably in an open run?

I put down sand last summer and filled my 11x17 with about 2 inches of sand. Now it's basically just back to dirt and mud again. We get a LOT of rain I the spring and fall so it's becoming a muddy mess.

Any thoughts?
 

Bryant Redhawk

Songster
May 11, 2015
310
175
156
Vilonia, AR. USA
Our run is covered with straw about 2" deep at the moment. We let the chickens make compost for us and the straw is the starting point. We toss them most of the clippings from the garden and mowing along with some leftovers and peelings from the kitchen, they eat what they want and then break the rest up so that about twice a year we get two barrow loads of nice finished compost from the pen. Our chickens free range unless we aren't on the homestead. The run surrounds the coop and is around 1680 sq. ft. in area. it has shade trees and low bushes, two mounds of compost for their scratching pleasure and they can get under the coop should they want to.
 

biteme2134

Songster
6 Years
Jul 21, 2013
240
14
111
GA
My Coop
My Coop
Good to know. I was letting mine fee range until recently. A predator has showed up and I haven't neutralized it yet...

Anyone have Gravel stories?
 

bucky52

Songster
8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
1,142
39
201
I personally would not use gravel.that can bruise and cut their feet.than that leads to bumble foot.I pick up every rock and small gravel out of my chickens run.I have used sand in my runs.After awhile it does disappear in the dirt.My husband is such a wonderful man.and he roofed half of my runs.That keeps my hens dry and comfortable.when it rains and snows.My runs are just dirt.I don't really know what you could put down to absorb the mud.
 

biteme2134

Songster
6 Years
Jul 21, 2013
240
14
111
GA
My Coop
My Coop
That's my problem as well. I can't find anything to combat the mud. My thought was was to have Gravel down. I didn't think of the Bumble foot. There would be a area covered with no rocks but most would be Gravel still
 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
Look for my thread titled "Springtime Stink in the Run" and you'll see I was in your shoes just two months ago. Deep litter has solved my mud and smell issues. I'd post a link for you but it's tough from my phone.
 

biteme2134

Songster
6 Years
Jul 21, 2013
240
14
111
GA
My Coop
My Coop
I was looking at the deep litter method after reading talkalittle's post. It sounds like most people put down 5-6 inches of wood shavings and add grass and leaves on top? I can't really find what people put after the wood shavings.

Also price may be an issue to me. I don't know of anywhere to get shavings other than home Depot. If I buy it by the bag I need to cover about 150 square feet 6 inches deep. I'm not sure how far a bag goes but things like sand are 3 cubic feet per bag. So I'd need roughly... 100 bags?
 

monkcat

Chirping
Apr 5, 2015
209
70
78
South Mississippi - MS/LA border
I was looking at the deep litter method after reading talkalittle's post. It sounds like most people put down 5-6 inches of wood shavings and add grass and leaves on top? I can't really find what people put after the wood shavings.

Also price may be an issue to me. I don't know of anywhere to get shavings other than home Depot. If I buy it by the bag I need to cover about 150 square feet 6 inches deep. I'm not sure how far a bag goes but things like sand are 3 cubic feet per bag. So I'd need roughly... 100 bags?

I'm using deep litter and don't buy anything to put in it. I use what we rake up from the forest floor. Leaves, pine straw, etc. The goal, in my mind is to re-create the forest floor in their coop and run. When it gets muddy, add more leaves, straw, etc.
 

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