What's the best litter for a large chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jeremyhodges, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. jeremyhodges

    jeremyhodges Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We currently have our 5 two month old chicks (2 silkies, an easter egger, an ameraucana, and a black copper maran) in a coop/run which we purchased and assembled. Our girls spend most of their day enclosed in the run portion of the setup, they get let out into the yard for about an hour a day when our dogs are locked inside. We are in the process of building a much larger coop and run from plans purchased at My Pet Chicken, and I was wondering what people thought was the best litter for a large run. I'm planning on continuing to use pine shavings for inside the coop, but the chicks are only inside their coop when they're sleeping. Is pine shavings best for large runs?
     
  2. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Most don't put "litter" in a run, since it will just get wet and hold moisture.and odors
    Sand works better for drainage and ease of maintenance
     
  4. allhisblessings

    allhisblessings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My run is an area that includes trees, shrubs, leaves, dirt, etc. and functions just fine without adding anything to it. It's fairly large, but trying to cover it with shavings or any other foreign material would become unmanageable. What is the size of the run? Do you really need shavings?
     
  5. jeremyhodges

    jeremyhodges Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The area is about 7 feet by 10 feet. It would definitely be a lot to try and cover with any type of litter, but if I don't use litter won't it eventually start to smell? The small run that I use now I use shavings and do the deep litter method, and it doesn't ever smell.
     
  6. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the ground is bare it will get muddy and smell and will attract flies. If DLM is working for you now and your chooks are happy, why change your methods?
     
  7. jeremyhodges

    jeremyhodges Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm moving from a small run that is about 4'x3' to one much larger. It seems like it would be an overwhelming amount of shavings to put in the new run. Plus the shavings tend to spread out from the existing run, so I would think about switching from pine shavings even if I did continue to use deep litter.
     
  8. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My run is 10x10 and the best thing I ever did was to use sand very easy to clean with a cat litter scoop, run is completely covered so it doesn't get wet, they love to dust bath and no smell, very user friendly I clean it once a week and its good to go.If I remember correctly I used 2 yards of sand had it dumped in before the roof went on.
     
  9. allhisblessings

    allhisblessings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with this. For your size, (smaller than mine, but too big for shavings!) you should look into getting sand. And possibly a cover. We helped a friend put in a covered run around their small coop that was about that size. We used clear plastic roofing (think: wavy looking greenhouse type stuff to let in sunlight) for the cover and sand was put in for the ground cover. Works great.
     
  10. c2chicks

    c2chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    x2, I have about 400 sq ft, half is sand (love it!) and the other is pine straw mixed with grass clippings. Every few months I shovel out the straw/grass stuff and spread it in my flower beds. The sand, I just rake it and throw on some PDZ (stall refresher) once in awhile. So easy....no smell. I added a couple grazing frames for fresh greens and everybody is happy!

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