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alih

Gravel in run issues..advice please

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I would be grateful for advice...have 3 chickens in an eglu who free range much of the day. Their round is on gravel which has a membrane underneath. Previous chickens I have had have lived on earth covered in woodchip but my new garden won't accommodate that. I've only had them a few weeks and already, despite daily hosing down, the gravel is sludgy. The food they chuck out of the grub doesn't help....am I on a hiding to nothing having this setup and should I a). remove the membrane underneath in order for drainage to improve or b) do something else? I'm just wondering whether it is the gravel or the membrane that is the problem or both?

Many thanks in advance.

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Not much help, but we used to have gravel with a membrane underneath and, as you say, it doesn't work.

We swapped to just patio slabs but it didn't do much good for their feet so we eventually bought the hard wood woodchips.

What kind of wood chips did you have before ?

What is the reason you can't have them this time ?

 

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Can you cover the run?  I have mine on hard clay covered with aubiouse.  So long as it’s covered it works well

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I would guess that you need to remove the membrane and have a deeper layer of gravel to allow drainage.

We have ours on a concrete base with aubiose and while it gets dirty in winter, it's easy to sweep out and hose down in summer. I think if we were to start again I would get a breeze block foundation around the base of the run and keep them on well covered dirt so it can drain properly.

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Thank you all. The run is covered with an Omlet see-through cover which doesn't quite meet the bottom so water does get in. I had hardwood chips before - there is no reason why I can't have them again, especially if I lift the membrane and put them on earth. It's just that the run is on what is part of a gravel pathway that I have consigned to the chickens. Would hardwood chip be better than gravel do you think?

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25 minutes ago, alih said:

 Would hardwood chip be better than gravel do you think?

Personally I would say yes.

My wood chips have been down for ages now - 3yrs - and they have been great.

No signs of bumblefoot that they used to get with the gravel and no smell.

The poops just seem to turn to dust.

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I have the same set up as Luvachicken and I would recommend it too. It’s at its worst at them moment and it’s just soggy woodchip - nothing really stinky and no mud. As soon as it stops raining it’ll be fine again.

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14 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

I have the same set up as Luvachicken  

That's because I copied mullethunter 😊

I wouldn't ever go back to gravel.

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Thank you. I am won over. I shall remove the membrane where I have the run and put wood chip down. :)

 

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I’m with DM.  Aubiose is the way to go.  Apart from everything else, it composts beautifully

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Yeah, my composters are all full and a have a whole load of friends with veg patches or allotments who fight for any manure/bedding that I can't use.

Gravel or rubber chips in the run are the devil's work LOL

 

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