What's in your run? Sand/gravel/dirt?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by saraem, May 4, 2016.

  1. saraem

    saraem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2016
    I've seen people using pretty varied materials in their chicken run and I'd love to hear why you love what you use - or hate it ;)

    We are building "The Garden Coop" on an area that right now is mulch over weed barrier with some plantings. So ripping that out and then we'll have bare dirt.

    I'm looking for something easy to maintain - we are in an urban area and the coop will be relatively close to both our house and our neighbor's - so I want to make sure that it can be kept as smell-free as possible with the minimum amount of effort.

    Chickens will be allowed to free range during the day to whatever extent they can without becoming predator-bait. If it doesn't work to have them out without supervision they should still get several hours each day in the afternoon.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bowhunter76

    Bowhunter76 Out Of The Brooder

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    I use wood chips from a local tree company. replace 1-2 times per year seems to work well. and then I throw bags of grass occasionally when I cut the lawn. and then they free range when I am home.
     
  3. ChickenLover200

    ChickenLover200 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'll be in the barn!
    Subscribing because my run is constantly muddy when we get rain :rolleyes:
     
  4. saraem

    saraem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So are these wood having similar to the pine shavings people use in a brooder, or something larger? How about maintenance? Do you have to mix/rake/turn/whatever so that the poop settles down to the bottom to biodegrade?
     
  5. mimsy

    mimsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It gets really wet here so we had to dig down a bit and put down gravel, then we put down a lot of sand. Keeps it from getting puddles, muddy and dries out fast when given the chance.

    Our chickens are out free ranging in our yard mostly, but the run allows for sleeping in sometimes or if we were going on a vacation or something.
     
  6. Bowhunter76

    Bowhunter76 Out Of The Brooder

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    the wood chips are much larger... some little pieces of branches etc... the chickens do a great job of moving them around themselves. and there is enough air throughout that when it rains it washes the poop down through it.

    I usually put it about 6" deep so they can find plenty of bugs. then in the spring every year I shovel out and use for garden fertilizer and put new.

    It is from the huge wood chipper you see tree companies using for all the limbs
     
  7. Bowhunter76

    Bowhunter76 Out Of The Brooder

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    I got the idea from the pig farm next door since that is what they use for pig bedding.

    it is sort of aerated so the chickens have a feast on bugs in it.
     
  8. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We do Deep Litter in our covered run. It consists of lawn clippings, straw, hay, pine needle and leaves. Other landscape debris gets thrown in from time to time. It's anywhere from 4 -6" deep. Their dust bath material (it's in a galvanized tub) gets mixed in as well. The poo drops to the ground below and decomposes. We clean the run out once a year and that wonderful compost gets mixed into the garden. The hens keep it stirred but if the rain blows in, we fluff it with a stall fork.

    No odor, no flies

    [​IMG]
    .
     
  9. saraem

    saraem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you rake or scoop the sand? I was intrigued with the sand idea as we get a lot of rain here, too, but this will also be a covered run...
     
  10. saraem

    saraem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Totally intrigued by deep litter method. Did you dig your run down a bit to accommodate for the buildup @ChickenMammX4?

    @Bowhunter76 The wood chips sound like they work well. Definitely adding them to my list of options to consider!
     

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