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#90388 - 07/14/10 08:51 AM Chicken Yard/Flooring Question
Dani Mae Offline

Registered: 04/16/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Virginia
Greetings Everyone,

Due to the bad snow and a few fallen trees, we had to rebuild most of our chicken run/yard this spring. We previously had a large fenced in yard that had a roof of chicken wire. Hence, all the elements could pass through.

We decided to build something sturdier, so the chickens yard/run now is covered entirely by a metal roof. The coop exits into the yard/run of course, and the yard is large - about 30 feet x 60 feet. The ground of their run has no grass, it's all dirt except for a lone weed or two. I DO let my chickens free range outside their yard about 3-5 hours a day where they get grass, bugs, etc... In the coop they have plenty of good food and clean water.

So finally, to my question - with the roof on it, we no longer get any precipitation in the yard, nor much sunshine (except about a 2-3 foot perimeter). Does anyone see any problems with just dirt flooring that gets no elements? I'm wondering if changing the dirt consistency (keeping water away from it) is bad - although I should also add that I scoop up poop every other week, doing as thorough a job as I can without going crazy. But chickens are chickens, they scratch and peck the ground constantly, so are there any other maintenance or sanitation practices that I'm completely missing in caring for their run?

Thanks in advance,
Dani Mae

#90401 - 07/14/10 10:23 PM Re: Chicken Yard/Flooring Question [Re: Dani Mae]
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
While chickens don't mind at all, I do not want dirty feet, dust tracked into the houses, but I do not keep many birds in each run. Runs are Blue Grass, easy to mow and water and keep green. Birds are never allowed out when grass is wet!! Their house is large enough that they an stay in all winter, if snow is on the ground. Wet grass wuld be scratched completely OUT of the runs in a short time. "Dry" ground, grass green and watered and mowed to keep it short, lasts indefinetly and feet are clean, no dirty eggs. If I had more birds than would let it survive, I would divide it into smaller units, and rotate, so the scratched up areas along the fence rows have a chance to recover. Otherwise, with a large flock, years ago, we simply kept a LARGE pasture for them, but still did not let them out in the rain or snow! Green grass is desireable IF you can manage it?? No mud or bare dirt. Good luck, CJR

Edited by CJR (07/14/10 10:23 PM)


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