Floor covering in run.

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IanG-T
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Floor covering in run.

Post by IanG-T » 09 Oct 2013, 18:13

Hi all,

I have searched the hell out of this subject and have got a few choices it would seem.

I have access to sand, I work in the trade so that appeals to me, I wondered how the people that use that got on with it and how often they changed it out?

Wood chippings, I found a place online selling a bale for £8 which is hardly breaking the bank.

Bark chippings... Some people seem to use them but I can't see an argument for them really.

All advice will be very much appreciated.

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son of eddy
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by son of eddy » 09 Oct 2013, 19:43


Miss Chooks
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by Miss Chooks » 10 Oct 2013, 12:21

Hi Ian,
I have just changed to sharp sand and I have to say it is brilliant! (Thanks to DRFISH) Easy to poo pick and clean. I previously had bark (you have to use a specialist bark/wood chips as normal bark harbours fungi and other horrid nasties) this was also good (and a little expensive) but cleaning was more difficult. I poo pick on a daily basis (I only have 4 hens) and once a month I use an old watering can and dilute Jays fluid and sprinkle over the sand. My run is covered so I also use an anti bacterial powder (bought from a chicken breeder & not expensive) every week.

Now I'm going to look at the link above... rubber chippings!! :-o

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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by drfish » 10 Oct 2013, 12:41

My only worry with rubber chippings is that over time, they'll break down and begin to deteriorate. This may well end up resulting in little bits being ingested, which could end up causing impaction. I like the idea of them, but I can't imagine they're easy to clean either :-k

I'm just in the process of putting sand down in my duck pen (which resembled a quagmire last week). The ducks seem to love it, it's brilliant at absorbing the usually very runny poos that ducks emit, and it's cheap as cheap can be. It's cost me around £30 for a ton, and I'll probably spend a tenner a year topping it up with fresh stuff (£12.50 will get you around 200kg from Wickes, so if you can get it cheaper, even better).

Once the ducks are sorted, I'll then be doing the chicken pen. It doesn't need it currently, as they haven't yet got through the grass that I put them on when I moved the pen, but now the weathers turning, it won't be long.
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IanG-T
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by IanG-T » 10 Oct 2013, 18:32

In a nutshell I don't fancy the rubber. The sand appealed to me due to its apparent easy cleaning and obviously easy to top up and maintain.

I think we have a winner ;0)

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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by Kelly-salmon » 10 Oct 2013, 18:38

I have just changed over from chippings to pea shingle I am so pleased I have it's so easy to keep clean and it helps with drainage the girls love it to

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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by Miss Chooks » 11 Oct 2013, 09:29

Have seen the rubber chippings... in a word no :shock: Sand I feel is the way forward :cheers:

IanG-T
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by IanG-T » 12 Oct 2013, 15:15

Well sand is down and the girls love it. Scratching in it, rolling in it and nibbling up small pieces of grit out of it. I threw a few meal worms around for them to chase and find and they couldn't be happier by the sound of them!

Thanks for the info guys :thumbright:

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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by CLUCKINGHELL » 13 Oct 2013, 18:49

IanG-T wrote:Well sand is down and the girls love it. Scratching in it, rolling in it and nibbling up small pieces of grit out of it. I threw a few meal worms around for them to chase and find and they couldn't be happier by the sound of them!

Thanks for the info guys :thumbright:

Any pics?

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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by IanG-T » 05 Nov 2013, 17:35

Sorry been ridiculously busy! I will try and get some pictures when I am cleaning them out on Saturday morning. The weather hasn't been the best here and it currently looks like a semi mud bath from their free range time in my garden last weekend!

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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by Stevieblue » 30 Nov 2013, 07:43

I use dust extracted wood shavings inside the hen house and straw in the covered run. I used to use Aubiose but it started getting a bit pricey so I switched to straw. The girls seem to enjoy the straw a lot more. I just put a bale in there and remove the bale twine. They love getting in amongst it and soon spread it all out nicely. I find that straw lasts longer, is nice and cheap, the girls love it and it makes great compost for the garden. However, I must stress that its really only good for a covered run where it will be kept dry. Otherwise I would go for the sand or pea shingle.
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by n180n180 » 16 Dec 2013, 23:05

Do you have to take out all the sand after a year or so and completely replace it, or do you just top it up occasionally? If topping up what happens to the sand underneath, does it just go into the earth?
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by drfish » 17 Dec 2013, 09:59

Sand gradually breaks down to a dust and regardless of what you put under it (weed membrane for example) you will eventually lose it all into the ground. Only a solid barrier such as polythene would be able to hold it in, but then you'd end up with a very stale earth beneath that. I use a weed membrane, and need to top it up with 200kg or so every 4 months or so, mainly to freshen it up but also to replenish the level. The advantage of this though is you end up with a very well drained area of land, which as I found after moving my run to the other side of the garden, becomes extremely fertile and you end up with 7 foot tall thistles and a random tomato bush :lol:
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by lucia67 » 12 Feb 2014, 02:48

I've tried wood chip and sand in my partially covered run. I prefer the sand but find that it starts to stink after a couple of months and jeyes doesn't really sort it.

The floor of the run is tiled, so I am wondering if I could leave it bare. This would mean I can wash it down regularly. The birds free range for most of the day in the garden, they are only in the run from 5pm to 11am. Does this sound feasible or do they need something to scratch around in?

This is what it looks like without a floor covering
IMG_0051.JPG
This is with wood chip:
1017231_10151685449734776_1344573277_n.jpg
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Re: Floor covering in run.

Post by Trebord » 18 Feb 2014, 20:00

I have tried the rubber chippings and did not really get on with them - horrible smell (especially when they got warm in the sun) and a real pain to clean. I then moved to sand and did not really like that either - it the winter it was always damp even though my run is covered. It was also difficult to clean. I now leave the concrete floor bare and find it much better. As you say you can wash it down easily, the chickens seem happy enough although they are out and about for most of the day!

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