New chicken keeper, almost!

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hamsterhead

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New chicken keeper, almost!
« on: September 12, 2013, 12:55 »
Hi

I've got their house but looking to get another so that I don't have to get on knees to clean them out.  I don't want to keep them on the allotment so I've decided to keep them in the back garden.  The problem I have here is that I have no soil or lawn, everything is low maintenance slate, gravel or decorative patio slabs. Now my question is, once the run is built will the chooks be OK on gravel or do I need to remove it and lay down something else?

Pete
Built for comfort, not speed!

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snow white

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Re: New chicken keeper, almost!
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 13:40 »
There are loads of posts on this.   ::). Chickens love to scratch.  Gravel would fly everywhere so a retaining board would have to be on the base of the run.  Does the gravel have drainage?  Chicken poop doescan smell so hosing down will be necessary.  You could always get rid of the gravel and have a different base in.  If the coop run is open, wood chip is great.  If you are having a roof over the run then you could use straw or stable bedding (non dusty).  If wood chip is hosed down and is a good large chip it could last at least a year.  Bedding is changed on a regular basis.

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splash101

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Re: New chicken keeper, almost!
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 13:57 »
Slabs and gravel etc is absolutely fine. They will still be able to scratch about in the gravel. Soil can get absolutely sludgy (and smelly too) even with a light shower of rain where chickens are concerned and grass will soon turn to soil as well with chickens.

Our garden is pretty low maintenance too. The gravel we have is the larger stuff so doesnt fly around much as its quite chunky and heavy. The smaller pea gravel didnt work so well as the poop squished into the gravel and it all ended up in the compost heap.
I shovel up the poop, rake it over and if needed wash down with jeyes fluid. Although i dont have to do it that often as our garden is big and our weather system does a pretty good job of washing it down.

We've got them in a run now rather than free ranging all the time. In the run, it's partially roofed and half slabbed. The rest of it is on soil but a 6 inch layer of easy bed on top so the soil doesnt turn into a swamp. Its easy to clean up as i poop pick, sweep the slabs and rake over the easy bed.

If you are putting them on just concrete or slabs they wont be able to scratch about but you could put something on top like easibed or a similar product.

I also had a problem with our coop and cleaning it out as i've got a dodgy back. My husband raised the coop off the ground so its much more manageable now.

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mohs.ayaz

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Re: New chicken keeper, almost!
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 01:48 »
I use playsand in the runs (with roof) works brilliantly, it dries the poop and no smell as long as you brush up the droppings every few days. Very easy to poo pick.. I buy it from argos 2.99 15kg bag..

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ANHBUC

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Re: New chicken keeper, almost!
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 15:24 »
I use playsand in the runs (with roof) works brilliantly, it dries the poop and no smell as long as you brush up the droppings every few days. Very easy to poo pick.. I buy it from argos 2.99 15kg bag..

You can also use kiln dried sand used for block paving which might work out cheaper per kilo.
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.

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mohs.ayaz

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Re: New chicken keeper, almost!
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 02:34 »
That is cheaper i think i bought 25kg bag for 3 and something.. But playsand is softer wasnt sure if dry sand would be ok for their feet or not.

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ANHBUC

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Re: New chicken keeper, almost!
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 11:15 »
I have used it for mine dust bathing and they love it.  The quail do as well and also use it as grit for grinding their food.  It does tend to hold moisture though so there might be a difference there.  Worth a try and you can let us know how it compares with the play sand.   :)



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