Whats inside your coop and run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by citychicks17, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. citychicks17

    citychicks17 New Egg

    Dec 26, 2016
    Louisville, KY
    My husband and I are planning our first coop and run. Th chickens will be mostly run birds, only allowed out when I can be home and watch them. I am planning on just nesting boxes and roosts inside the coop with water and food in the run. I'm not sure what else to put in my run though. How can I allow them to forage while in the run?
  2. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    How big is the run? How many chickens? What are you going to put on your run floor?

    I have the following in the run besides a forest floor:

    1. A grit container
    2. A container for crushed eggshells
    3. Two tree branches for roosts
    4. A suet feeder for treats and fun
    5. A dust bath in a plastic tote, but I moved this out of the coop for more room and because they are still let out of the run during the day. And because they told me they wanted it somewhere else! haha.

    The way they forage in my run is that I throw down veggies, fruit, and other treats and let them scratch for it. When the weather is warmer, they are out of the run in a fenced area with lots of bushes and trees for cover.

    Have fun planning! The folks here are a lot of help!

    And [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Some people build a frame in their run several inches high and cover it with wire too small for a chicken to get its head through. In season they grow grass or other forage plants in this. The plants have their roots well enough established so the chickens cannot pull them up. They cannot get to the roots to scratch them up.

    Chickens don’t like all varieties of grass equally. About any grass used for hay or lawn will work, Kentucky bluegrass should work great. Some people plant alfalfa or clover. Some garden plants like kale or chard can work.
  4. citychicks17

    citychicks17 New Egg

    Dec 26, 2016
    Louisville, KY

    I'm not sure about my floor. I've been reading about the deep litter method. What is your forest floor?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  5. citychicks17

    citychicks17 New Egg

    Dec 26, 2016
    Louisville, KY

    Let me make sure I understand. They build raise beds basically and cover with the chicken wire? Then as the plants grow, the chickens can get what grows above the wire just not able to get past and down to the roots?
  6. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, this is a favorite of some, in good weather. Think a rectangle of 2x4's, covered with hardware cloth, and set flat in the run with the fastened hardware cloth on top. Then plant seeds, water, and let the chickens forage what grows through the wire. I may do this in the spring in my larger fenced in area. Otherwise they will lay the ground bare.
  7. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very bottom is Hardware cloth (predators), then I layered pea gravel to level and then put in several bags of topsoil. After that it was yard waste that I raked up and keep adding to across time. I "inoculated" it with some rotten stumps which the girls happily took apart and spread. Just another name for deep litter, with an effort to recreate a forest floor that composts. Pine shavings from coop clean out in the fall go in here as well as shredded paper and cardboard. It is a lot like a compost pile. The chickens keep it aerated. People love using leaves too...I just don't have any...

    At the moment it has a deep bedding of straw because of the weather, straw may be removed in the spring (we shall see how it goes) and scattered around the yard to reduce any muddy or wet areas.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  9. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2016
    San Diego
    We have a mix of dirt/straw flooring, a tree stump that was there before I built the run, a roost for the daytime, waterer, feeder... that's about it in the run. In the coop is just the nesting boxes and their roost.

    Ours free range most of the day in our backyard.
  10. JennaMW14

    JennaMW14 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2016
    Here are some things you could add in or outside the coop.

    *treat balls/hangers
    *dust baths
    *The plant/grass frames shown above
    Good Luck, and be sure to have fun with your chickies!

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