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advice for chicken run

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Hi everyone,


My name is Debra and this is my first time on the forum but I do read it regularly. I think it's great. :D


I was wondering if anyone could tell me what is the best flooring for a home built chicken run? (I think its going to be the blue peter approach) which will be about 1.8m x 4.8m. It's obvioulsy not built yet but we have 2 eglus each with 2 chickens in it (but thats another story). One is on a mixture of bark and hemcore, which I clean out about every 2-3 weeks, and the other is on the lawn until the run is built. I was wondering if slabs would be better than bark mixture? and easier to clean or if soil is an option for the girls to scratch in?or should I stick to hemcore?


I would be grateful for any advice.


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.....but we have 2 eglus each with 2 chickens in it (but thats another story)....quote]

Hi Debra, really pleased to hear from you, welcome to the forum.

My set up is different so I don't have any run suggestions, but I'm sure someone will, and I think there are some topics discussing them under Eglus.

However, I would love to hear more about the other story! :lol:

Best wishes with the run!

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Hi Sheila


Thanks for replying so quickly.


Just to fill you in with our story so far: we bought a Mark I eglu in Sept and 2 black rocks for the children. Lovely birds, quiet, good layers, etc so we decided to buy 2 more chooks.(one for me and one for Les). First we had to buy a Mark II eglu for 4 chicken with the view of selling the Mark I later. We then bought a goldline and a skyline (my chicken), however the 2 black rocks bully skye when they are all let out and I haven't the heart to force them into an eglu together so we now have the 2 separate eglus and they always separate at night to roost. I'm hoping they will grow to tolerate each other. Now Les wants Bantums! and I want rescue chickens. I think chickens are addictive! Hence the run where if they get bullied they will have room to run away. Are we sad or what!



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8) What a great story, thanks for that, & sorry no help with the run!

I did put 2 established pairs together, but it was hard for a couple of weeks, so I fully understand how your situation came about.

You are absolutely right that if you do put them together, the more space the better for retreating! Using several food points helps too, heavy bowls will do, just so everyone gets a chance without fights.

We made ours foxproof, something to think of.

Look forward to hearing more, Debra. :)

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Hi Debra, I introduced 2 new chickens to my original 3 and, after reading all the advice on here put them all in the eglu at night from the start. I also let them mix during the day and only a couple of times had to separate them because of Belle's pecking. Within 2 weeks things had settled and now everythings fine - feeding together, preening together etc. The pecking and 'attacks' are not nice to watch but I do think that the quicker you let them get it sorted out, the quicker they settle down. I had put them in a bigger (covered) run so they can keep out of each others way if need be. I use hemcore and its still clean and dry after 4 weeks though i'm going to change it this week anyway.

Hope you enjoy your girls as much as I do.

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Hello Deb, welcome to the forum :D


The flooring on half of my homemeade run is patio slabs with woodchips on top. This is very easy to clean and the slabs can be hosed down before new chips are added. The other half of the run is soil with wood chips. The wood chips have nearly all been mixed in with the soil. Last weekend I added 3 wheelbarrow loads of leaves from my Sycamore tree to this part. The hens love this part of the run now, and spend most of their time scratching through the dried leaves. I change the wood chips about every 4 months and dig a little garden lime into the soil to sweeten it.


When I introduced 4 new girls to my original two The run was split in half with wire seperating both flocks. I placed the feeders and drinkers on each side of the wire so the Hens got used to eating and drinking together but were still apart. Their evening corn was scattered along the wire on each side as well. After 6 weeks the wire was removed and both flocks became one :D There was no pecking or fighting at all :D For the first week they went back at night to their own homes but one by one they decided the Eglu was best. After 2 weeks I removed the newbies house.


There is a sticky in the Chicken section with lots of photos of homemade runs which you might find useful :D

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Mine is just on soil. We have a roof over the top so it doesn't get too muddy. I have dug in compost to lighten what was totally compacted earth. I also covered it with aubiose which is no longer visible as the hens have scratched and mixed it all together. I use garden lime on it if it gets smelly, but on the whole it is fine.


There is a picture of my run in the sticky on Run Inspiration. Have fun deciding what to do! How spoilt are these girls? :lol:

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Ours is on the lawn (but the grass is worn away now) in the run we have HEMCORE and swear by it... it absorbs the smells/poos/wet very well and every now and again we rake it all out and replace with fresh hemcore.


you would find it at farmer/horsey stores and approx £6 a bale. lasts for ages.


Auboise is very similar to hemcore.

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Thanks everyone for all your advice.


We need to get on with building the run asap. I think I'll probably put half slabs and half hemcore/wood chip and see how it goes. Good tip about the leaves. I'll try that too a we have loads.


Then I can be brave and put all the girls together.


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