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Author Topic: Floor covering for semi permanent run  (Read 3803 times)

Bikerene

  • Joined Nov 2010
  • West Lothian
Floor covering for semi permanent run
« on: May 27, 2011, 09:01:14 pm »
I have had my hens now for two and a half months and I am thinking rather than moving the run and coop every couple of days, I will give the girls (all three of them) a semi permanent run.  So I am going to re locate the herb garden (what is left of it ::).  This means the run will be on soil.  Any advice for how to prepare it for them and what to put down?  I was thinking of bark chipping but not sure if they are safe for hens and not sure how to keep it clean/prevent parasite build up?  Any advice and suggestions are very welcome!

Bikerene

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 10:10:20 pm »
I'm just about to do soemthing with my hen run too - used to be grass, now a sea of mud.  My son and I are going to level it off, lay terram (weed fabric) then put down gravel (the cheapest I could find is 20ml at a local builders merchant for 45 a ton including delivery!)  There will be a run off channel down the side of a wee wall that runs the length of the run, so I'll be able to hose it down every now and then
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

daddymatty82

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • swindon
Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 10:19:42 pm »
mud is fine untill winter if you put bark down remember you will harbour red mite and keep the infestation so thing of a solid base that will be best IMO i got just mud and when wet i ad a pallet or 2 to keep them off mud  but with concrete you can wash down the cr*p

Bikerene

  • Joined Nov 2010
  • West Lothian
Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 09:21:52 am »
Thank you for your replies, it is much appreciated.  I think I need to do some prep work to sort the drainage out before I put anything down or we will just be a bigger muddy puddle come the winter!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 11:23:19 am »
This is not from personal experience as my chooks are free range, but if you have two runs for your hens, both permanent with a suitable covering, then you can rotate them between the two, which would make dealing with the build-up of droppings easier.  I have seen gravel used to good effect but it does look uncomfortable for the hens feet, and doesn't give them anything to scratch around in  :chook:
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jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 12:19:58 pm »
I used to have a fixed large run, when i lived in town. Part of it was paved, where the feeder and drinkers were, part of it was just soil. I dug over the soil weekly, which kept it clean and unearthed worms  :) Gave the chooks some scratching area, but somewhere to go when wet and muddy too.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2011, 06:05:37 pm »
This is not from personal experience as my chooks are free range, but if you have two runs for your hens, both permanent with a suitable covering, then you can rotate them between the two, which would make dealing with the build-up of droppings easier.  I have seen gravel used to good effect but it does look uncomfortable for the hens feet, and doesn't give them anything to scratch around in  :chook:
I have a one foot high brick wall running the full length of my garden - I'll gravel one side, and the other side will be left as it is next to the burn.  The hens use toe wall to walk on anyway adn tehy can peck around ont eh other side. I can hose it too as it will flow into the brun.  The henhouses are both on this side tehough so the gravel will make it easier for me to walk on.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Bikerene

  • Joined Nov 2010
  • West Lothian
Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 09:00:22 pm »
Thank you folks.  I think we will go for a combination of Jaykay's idea of some slabs where the feeder and drinker goes, the next section with some bark and then just leave the end section as grass which will no doubt end up being just soil which can be dug over.  Hopefully that will give enough variety when they are in the run.  When we are around the house they free range in our garden but I am not comfortable leaving them out when we are at work as we are in town and the garden is surrounded with folks with cats.  Roll on the day someone buys my house and we get our move to the country!!

Your advice has been much appreciated!

Bikerene

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Floor covering for semi permanent run
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 12:56:46 am »
I don't think you'll get any trouble with cats - a full-grown hen is more than a match for a moggy.  My hens used to steal mice off the cat!  But terriers and similar... now that's a different story - and you can get that problem in the country every bit as much as in the town.  We did, lost 4 of our first 5 birds to a local terrier - and that was in the country.  So I would always shut them up when away from home unless they have some really good safe places they can get to - and probably a good cockerel to warn of danger and get them to safety.
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