What would be the Best ground cover for a chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gallinamama, May 16, 2010.

  1. gallinamama

    gallinamama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in the process of building a coop. I would like to know how big of a run for 9 chickens and what would be the best ground cover. I heard that sand is good but I see from all the pictures there is just regular grass... I am a bit puzzled.
     
  2. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    regular grass will soon into just dirt. That is ok, as long as you do not have to worry about standing water or excess moisture in the run. Dark colored poop contrasts in color well with white sand making clean up of poop an easy chore (think kitty litter scoop here). Excess poop will lead to lots of flies and ammonia smells.

    I use sand, but that is a personal opinion. There is no 'right' answer to your question. What works for you and is in your budget is what will be best in your situation. Good luck and post LOTS of pictures.
     
  3. harewizard

    harewizard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hi There! [​IMG]

    I've read several places to allow 10 sq. ft per bird when designing your run. For 9 birds you would need a 10 x 9 . Of course, most chicken people, always make them BIGGER, to accomadate the additional chickens you will aquire, because it is sooo addictive! [​IMG]

    I agree with BakerJohn- you may start with grass in the run, however it does not stay grass long. Sand is what I use and it is very easy to clean up and the girls love it! [​IMG]

    HTH,
    Lisa
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think people take pictures when they just finish building their runs, before the chickens have lived there very long. It took my five tiny bantam teenage chicks only about a month to reduce an 8' by 8' run built on a grass lawn to bare dirt, if that gives you some idea.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You might take a look at my "muddy run" page (link in .sig below), as despite the title it discusses this sort of issue [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. fanniefarkle

    fanniefarkle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2010
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    Thank you, patandchickens, for the links. I am in the design phase of coop building, with actual construction to begin this week. I had originally planned for two 2ft x 2ft "windows" for a coop that will be 4 x 7 feet, to house 8 hens, but now I have decided to make them 3 x 3 (I live in a hot, humid area with mild summers). Do I need a metal vent near the ceiling also?

    concerning mud, the coop is going to be in a pretty shady area. Thanks for the idea of cement paving stones for high traffic areas. maybe I should get a doormat that reads "wipe your chicken feet" [​IMG]
     
    mskluck likes this.
  7. zDoc

    zDoc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I know, if you could just get them to wipe their feet.....
     
    mskluck likes this.
  8. gallinamama

    gallinamama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2010
    Macomb, Michigan
    Quote:Hi There! [​IMG]

    I've read several places to allow 10 sq. ft per bird when designing your run. For 9 birds you would need a 10 x 9 . Of course, most chicken people, always make them BIGGER, to accomadate the additional chickens you will aquire, because it is sooo addictive! [​IMG]

    I agree with BakerJohn- you may start with grass in the run, however it does not stay grass long. Sand is what I use and it is very easy to clean up and the girls love it! [​IMG]

    HTH,
    Lisa

    Thank you so much Lisa for answering. We have an 8x8 shed and my husband wants to put in an 8x8 run but I have an extra 6 feet added to the length. My chickens are just 5 weeks old but are getting big.. I have them in my garage in a childs pool with a red heat lamp... I have added chicken wire around because one of the little ones tried to fly the pool!! I had my grandson find me nice sticks to make makeshift perches... and I wired them to the chicken wire... I tend to spoil every little one I see. haha.. I would like to make this a nice chicken coop and run... I think I will do the sand. I think everyone is so right that it will be a lot easier to clean up. Any kind of sand will do???

    My son will help me install some windows and ventilation. I am thinking a couple of ducks would be fun too... what do you think? do they get along with the chickens...???
     
  9. gallinamama

    gallinamama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You never know!! lol..... I have started to whistle and they pop there little heads up... [​IMG]
     
  10. Marie1234

    Marie1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our sand comes from the same type of company that does excavation and septic tank work. I pull up with my pick up truck and they load with their machines and I drive home with it. Much less expensive than by the bag.
    Ducks are fun but you may have problems if you try to house them with chickens. They will need their own shelter and pen area. Mostly because ducks like ponds and chickens can drown very easily and you won't want to deal with that. They also have different nutritional requirements.
    If this is your first round with chickens I'd advise you to get them through the first season and think about adding ducks next spring. It will give you a chance to figure things out about how much you enjoy the routine caring for the animals. And with only adding one new species per year the neighbors barely notice. lol. Warning, after ducks come turkeys then milk goats. One day you'll be standing somewhere looking at a camel and you'll actually be thinking it is a reasonable option.
     

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