What to use on the floor...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by longlegz86, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. longlegz86

    longlegz86 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2012
    Rutherfordton NC
    I was wondering what I should use on the floor of my pen.....I use the hay/straw for their nests... Should I use something different on the ground? I dont want them to think the ground is a nest box too. I was thinking about using leaves and racking those up every so often. Would a light layer of leaves work? I dont want it to get all nasty and muddy in there.........
     
  2. kyfarm

    kyfarm Out Of The Brooder

    hello when we first put the runs up they had grass but our pens are permanent so eventually when we put new material in we ordered fill dirt, sand and small rock delivered in trucks. we mixed it and wheelbarrowed in, then as time and wear warrented we mixed 5 gal. pails and put more of same in as needed. sand is great but depending on area can get too hot in summer but a mix is a great sustainable flooring at least that worked well in all of the seasons in west ky.
     
  3. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leaves will decompose into dirt. Some cedar PINE shavings is the usual. I prefer horse wood pellets myself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  4. longlegz86

    longlegz86 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2012
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    I was hoping to rake it out once a week and put it into a composter for a garden....... Is there any other things that I can use that would be ok for a garden?
     
  5. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used river sand, coarser than typical sand, and let the chickens turn it under in their daily doings. Nothing to clean; drains well, so no mud. As it gets turned under into the underlying soil, I will just add another truckload.

    Of course, there is nothing for the compost heap. So I rely on the wood shavings from the coop for that.

    Chris
     
  6. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've never heard of anyone (here on BYC anyway) using cedar shavings for the flooring of the chicken coop - it contains toxins and can really contribute to respiratory illnesses in chickens and other animals & fowl.
     
  7. longlegz86

    longlegz86 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2012
    Rutherfordton NC
    Yikes I wont use that then......
     
  8. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol I meant PINE! Sorry. Do not use cedar :p
     
  9. amenfarm

    amenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can go several ways and this time of year lots of people use a combo. In the run you can use, leaves are great and free, hay, clipped grass, chipped bark from MOST trees- not straw--those hollow tubes are great for mites and lice to hide in You will find that the organic matter is great to recondition a bare bald mucky run with--set a bale of the hay on the ground for a few weeks, check out underneath, see how great the ground looks. If you are in wanting to start with a good draining foundation, you can dig down about 5 to 7 inches put in 5 inches of #57 washed gravel, cover with landscape fabric and cover with a 3 or 4 inches sand. then you can put in whatever organic material and know it will drain. If you run is clay like ours is, you will be using sharp sand (builders sand.) If this is for your run don't use shavings outside. They'll be wet and speed up the decay time being exposed to the weather. On the coop floor you can use everything mentioned--and the depth should be about 5 inches for soft landings--lots of folks use shavings and add leaves over the top. Whatever you decide, keep it turned daily--or have the chickens do it for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012

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