Whats best for run "flooring"...It's driving me crazy!!!!!!


8 Years
Jun 17, 2011
San Diego
I have a 6x4 run with a hen house on top. The run is about 3 ft tall and has a small door that I can get into but obviously not in a comfy manner so cleaning the floor of the run is done my standing outside the door and reaching in with a rake or shovel. In the beginning there was grass...which of course didn't last long....and then I thought they needed something more then just dirt because it couldnt be cleaned well. I tried straw but it seemed like it made a bigger mess then it did good and keeping a bail of straw around my somewhat small yard wasnt ideal considering the only place I had to protect it from the rain was on my front porch. One of the guys at the feed store suggested using wood shavings. It gets so mixed up with the dirt and seems really "dirty" so when I cleaned it I would shovel a lot of the dirt out as well, then the chickens dig huge holes so the whole bottom of the run is craters. I'm considering filling it up with garden soil and trying to pack it down then just rake it out on a regular basis but I think they'll just dig the holes and make a huge mess again. I know chickens are dirty, and the space is pretty small so it will get dirty quick(I have 2 chickens in there now and will add another 2 as soon as I can get them to get along...but I'll never have more then 4 in there)...but what would be the best ground covering....or just dirt???
Sand, sand and more sand! We just changed ours this fall based on suggestions from BYC. I don't think you could find a better solution. You can use a kitty litter scoop to clean it also.
Love it, love it, love it!
We use straw and we never clean it, just add more straw every 3-4 weeks. Well, we plan to clean it in the spring- a once yearly type of thing. Kind of like a deep litter method, but the straw breaks down so it's never that deep. The chickens scratch through it in places and get down to the dirt below for dust bathing (the wire around the run is dug about a foot into the dirt). We throw scratch or something on it in the evening so that they'll move it around and mix in the poop with the straw more.

We do run our straw through a leaf blower/mulcher to cut it up smaller before we put it in the run to keep from getting big matted hunks of straw-poop. After we do that we fill up big black trash bags or trash cans with the mulched up straw to keep it dry. Those are more easily stored than a bale.

Good luck in your search.
so its ok if the sand gets wet?? I live a few blocks from the beach and its pretty damp at night...but it doesnt rain that often.
sand! preferably creek sand or in your case maybe from the beach. it won't get muddy and is easy to keep clean. doesn't matter if it gets wet
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Snd drains pretty well, especially if elevated. That is the point of having it. It also doesn't rot when it gets wet like pretty much anything else, so sand is the perfect material if you have a rain problem.
We also use sand. Had a leak in the roof this summer and the floor got soaked. We put in a bucket to catch the drip until the rain stoped. In the mean time I just covered the wet sand with dry and the girls never knew the difference. SAND!!! I love the poop scooper we stole from the cat. Clean 1x a day in about 1 min.
My 6' X 9' coop is built on paver stones with 2" X 6" frame around the bottom. It's covered so rain is not a problem. The stones are not cemented, the sand fills the cracks so I would think the rain water would drain off. The cost of paver stones for your area should be reasonable from some place like Home Depot.

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