Wire floor chicken run- ideas?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kjbreit, May 18, 2011.

  1. kjbreit

    kjbreit New Egg

    May 16, 2011
    We recently moved to a new house and acquired a very nice chicken coop with roofed run attached. The run has a wire floor (approx 1 cm squares) with some overlapping wires. We got new chicks (now 5-7 weeks) that just moved to the coop so I quickly threw in a bunch of heavy dirt that has grass/weeds attached (from our yard) approx 2-4 inches so they would not hurt their feet. but now I am not sure what to do. was this a bad decision? Should I layer sand over the dirt? Remove the dirt and put in sand? I am reading lots about sand, but then don't understand if people throw in yard clippings and food scraps into the sand? I assume this cannot be composted and scooping sand seems pretty labor intensive. Should I do the deep liter method in the run as well as the coop? Has this worked for people? Do people throw yard clippings into deep liter method coops? Or Can I just leave the dirt and rake it around every now and again adding yard stuff as we go, or I am going to have a bigger mess soon. I also work and have two babies so removing the wire and digging new wire into the ground is not an option. I am looking for the least labor intensive option for keeping the run clean, but I also would like to just be able to throw things in for the chickens (yard clippings/food scraps etc- because this seems fun for them). We have 7 chickens (3 are bantam and I am suspicious one is gonna turn out a rooster) and the run is approx 5*10 feet. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Oh yeah in case it matters, In the coop itself I am going to attempt the deep liter method, currently using the small pine shavings. Thank you Thank you. K
  2. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Welcome to BYC! You have come to the coolest place on the internet for chicken knowledge.

    I started with chickens last summer and the people of BYC have been great. This year I have tried hatching and buying chicks for even more chickeny joy. Please visit my BYC Page for my blog links that you may find informative or amusing.

    Your run seems a little small, though you may be OK due to bantams. The rule of thumb is 10 square feet or run per chicken and 4 square feet of coop per chicken.

    I have a brooder with a bottom tray full of sand. I use a (specially-purchased) kitchen sieve to sift out poo. A wire-bottom run is great protection from predators. Feel free to cover it with any suitable material. I will use sand when I refurbish my run.

    I have a compost pile in my chicken run for coop waste and yard clippings. It would be better to limit chicken access to this to just the times I turn the pile. In the future I will compost outside the run and have nothing but sand in both the run and the coop. When that happens, I will provide yard waste on a plate.

    I also have a litter scooper for when the chicks poo big enough. I am also considering a poo rake made from a garden rake and hardware cloth.

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