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Hi

With all the recent rain, my chicken run of aubiose bedding has turned into a mud bath. Just wondering if anyone has used rubber chippings as a base and if this has worked? Keen to know if people use landscaping fabric underneath or not? My worry is that with the fabric, when I come to hose down the poo off the chippings, it has nowhere to go and will just sit at the bottom of the chippings smelling away - is this the case or does the poo/water manage to wash away even with the fabric?

 

Any advice gratefully received!

Thanks

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A friend of mine spent a fortune on these, only to have to spend another fortune having them removed. She was left with a stinking layer of poo under the chipping, which was horrendous. Another acquaintance had the same experience with gravel. I suppose it depends very much on the nature of the ground where you are. If it is heavy clay, I wouldn't bother.

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One word... DON'T!!!

 

For all the above reasons. I have contact with a lot of chicken keepers, and those who have tried this, with all the best intentions, have ended up with a terrible stinky mess :vom: theoretically it ought to work, but it doesn't.. sorry

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We used to have gravel when I first got chickens.

It was OK to start with but collected a big pile of sludge underneath from the poop.

We removed that and left them on concrete and soil but my girls often got Bumblefoot.

In February this year, on Mullethunters recommendation, we went and bought them some hard wood wood chips.

It stays very dry on top and so far, I've had no sign of any Bumblefoot.

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Thanks for the advice. Just so unsure as to what to put down. They are on heavy clay soil. We are going to dig some holes and fill with pebbles to give some drainage. But also trying to work out what to put down in their Omlet run and in their fenced off area, as both have ended up a muddy mess. What sort of hard wood chips did you put down luvachicken? Did they not have the same issue with collecting sludge underneath? Do you have to keep changing them or do they last a while? Thanks

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How often you muck out the run depends on how many birds you have in it and how long they are in it for. In an run with good stock spacing, and Aubiose on the ground, you can expect to clean it out completely every 6-8 week. Be warned though that woodchip doesn't really compost

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I am just about to totally renew the woodchip for only the second time since its been down - about 2 years. It does eventually compost, but I'm using mine to gradually get a layer of mulch around all my shrubs to help reduce the weeding!

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What sort of hard wood chips did you put down luvachicken?

 

I got my wood chips from Flyte So Fancy in Dorset. They were a bit expensive and it actually worked out cheaper for us to drive there for the day than pay their delivery charge, but they have been fab.

There is dried poop underneath but there is no sludge - even where one bit of wood chip gets wet.

I'm really pleased with them and haven't had to change them yet.

Like Mullethunter I intend to use mine around the garden, as a mulch. They will rot eventually :lol:

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Thanks. I'll take a look. Being up north I would think delivery would probably work out cheaper for me! Did you put anything down underneath like weed control fabric or just put them directly onto the ground?

 

Thanks

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Just re-read your first post - how come the Aubiose got wet? Is your run covered?

 

It's an Omlet 2m run with the plastic cover. Their run's never got this wet before but with all the torrential rain we've had and the fact it's on clay soil have meant it's got very wet and hasn't drained well. We keep putting more Aubiose on but it just gets caked in mud within a day.

 

Ground's too uneven to lay flags, and would take a lot of work, for various reasons, to get it level - that's why we decided to use this part of the garden for the chickens. The nooks and crannies, tree stumps etc all add some interest for them. Also means they get a larger space because it's not an area of the garden we can really use.

 

Seems wood chips are the way to go but I'm going to have to think of a way of preventing the dirt from mixing with them. Will definitely add some more drainage first.

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Do I remember that their plastic cover only covers the roof part of the run, not the sides?

 

If that's the case, then I would get on ebay and order a couple of glass clear tarps and some bungee hooks to protect the sides as well - that will make a big difference.

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I've got a go with a 3 m run. It's on paving flags and has easichick down. Have done for about 8 months. Swapped from gravel. I get 20kg for about £8 from local farm feed place. It's been brill. I put fresh in every 6-8 weeks. I do need to invest in some tarp for the sides for the winter. But other than that it's great. I rake it once a week and spray it with disinfectant but prob don't need to. I don't use a full bag.

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Mine is on heavy clay but the sides are sheltered - still gets a blow through in the gaps but doesn't get wet. The cover is corrugated plastic held on by bungees. This year I've had to put plastic sheeting under the roof because the acorns have crashed down and made holes! The run is slightly downward so the water drains out of the run usually down my neck, back and bottom when I open or close the door! :roll: I have Aubiose inside. Our garden slopes down to the chicken run but we've never had an issue with wet inside. Perhaps a little round the edges, but the inside is bone dry and underneath the Aubiose the soil is hard and dry too.

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