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Not getting on with my WIR

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Hi all


We took on 3 lovely hens in the late summer. They live in a 6x6ft wir with mezzanine and eglu. They free range for 3-4 hours a day.


thing is, I'm really hating the WIR and the mess they leave from free ranging. The WIR is hard work for me to clean out regularly due to arthritis. I feel obliged to let them out to see grass too and they are completely trashing my small garden (which I knew they would be now the neighbours are putting pressure on us to keep it less unruly).


So, does anyone have any bright ideas? I'm considering getting a cube instead and then move them around the garden which should make cleaning the area easier. I thought about some omlet fencing to elongate the area they are in but not giving them complete free range.


Any ideas grateful received.

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I would keep them in the walk in run if they are causing you problems in the garden.

They will be fine as it is plenty big enough for 3-don't them them make you feel guilty :wink:


As for the walk in run being hard to keep clean-what are you using on the floor?


I use Aubiose or Hemcore and used to put a thick layer down and clean it out every 4-6 weeks but found it hard going so now I just put a thin layer down and rake/sweep it out weekly (ish). lol


Try to make things as easy as you can for yourself or else it all becomes a chore and just like any hobby-it is meant to be fun. It took me a while to find the short cuts and learn to relax and enjoy them rather than fretting and worrying about every little thing :D

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I would also say keep them in the run.


They will be fine - they just like to try and make you feel guilty!


Ours rarely come out their run at the moment. Even without the snow, they can wreck a garden in the winter, when the plants (especially the grass) don't grow back.


As above, would question what you are using as flooring? Concrete base with a couple of inches of horse bedding on top, and providing the roof is covered, you would only need to clean it out once every couple of months (depending on how weather proof it is). Would of course still need to clean their eglu regularly!


I think getting a cube to move round the garden won't improve your situation. They will trash the grass you stand the cube on in less than a couple of weeks, and it will take longer than that to recover. You are likely to end up with a garden of mud!


They don't need to see grass - just make sure you give them greens - cabbages, broccolli etc. Come spring/summer free ranging is a whole lot easier again!


oops - cross posted!

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Thank you - I will keep them in for now at least.


The run is only edged with paving slabs and mud in the middle. I use aubiose as a base. I think I need to slab the whole base.


The mezzanine is also made of wood and STINKS because the girls are sittting up there while it is snowy (I suppose it is warmer :lol: ). I have no idea how to remedy that. And I suppose mites will be an issue if I'm not careful.


Thanks again

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i would definatey slab the whole base- i used bedmax horse bedding (tried loads of different ones!) finally settled on it as it doesnt need full cleaning out very often (about every 3 months- sometimes more!) i poo pick once a week at the moment (more in summer! :oops: ) and its great- always looks fresh and clean.


hope things work out!


to save guilt for keeping them in, just add some good dust baths and throw s"Ooops, word censored!" veg in regulary- they will be fine x



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I's think concrete/slabbing the base would be a good idea :)


That way you can sweep/scoop all the bedding out when it needs doing, and not have to dig it out.

Ours do get quite a bit of free-ranging but we don't really feel guilty about keeing them in if we have to :)

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My big run has a slabbed base and I use woodchips as the litter


The woodchips have been down since last March! I mix in Bedmax shavings or Aubiose to absorb damp every now and again


To be honest the litter is on its last legs now and will require clearing out but if you were to do something similar and get help doing to big clear outs a couple of times a year it may help


Getting a cube and moving it would be hard with your arthritis as they are quite heavy and cumbersome with the run attached and your grass would completely disappear over time


The hens will be fine in the run all the time, its plenty big enough, the five hens in my big run dont ever get let out as they are flighty and they are happy enough


Use a short handles hoe to clean the shelf off every few days and sprinkle a bit of Aubiose on it from time to time to absorb damp

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Your WIR sounds quite like mine (see my signature link). I have earth in the middle surrounded by slabs too and use Hemcore or Easibed. I put down Stalosan F and garden lime when I clean it out (which I don't find I have to do more than once every few months to be honest). I keep a plastic flowerpot and scoop in the run which I flick the obvious poos into and try to s"Ooops, word censored!"e the worst ones off the perches etc.


Is your run getting wet? I have a good roof and lots of plastic blinds round the sides which keeps things dry and therefore not smelly!


I hope you can find a solution :) .

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I started off with a cube and standard run with four hens. I used to let them

free range everyday but I got fed up with the mess they made and O boy how they trashed

the garden. OH used to moan constantly about them and one day he said I will build

you a large WIR on the condition they stay in there 24/7. Well What a great idea so easy

to clean out after the cube. Its on concrete slabs and I use Hemcore on the floor.

I`ve now got ten chooks and they have plenty of things to occupy themselves with including

perches and a large bench which I keep all of their food and hemcore on.



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I've always wondered - if you keep the chooks in a fully slabbed run, do they not miss s"Ooops, word censored!"ing around with their feet for bugs etc (although I suppose that's what we're really all trying to avoid :) )?


Are there any disadvantages to having it fully slabbed (as long as you've got something good on top)? Do you recommend leaving a part with bare earth as the base?






(cube green)


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I have fully slabbed under cube run and put about 3-4 ins of bedding on. They scratch in it and dustbath in it. First I used woodchip which has insects in it, which was good and now easibed.


I throw wheat down and rake it in to give them something to scratch for. If you do this in a WIR make sure wire holes aren't too big or you may get visitors :shock: Another thing is chuch in leafy branches or handfuls of leaves from under trees and they scratch around in those. :D

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