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2 hours ago, Luvachicken said:

How are you and your girls getting on with the woodchips ?

 

Hi, sadly it doesn't seem to be living up to expectations. Been down a couple of weeks but already parts of it are wet through smelly. I know the worst part is where they stand mostly for their food and water. It is still better than the straw I had down but at least that was cheaper. 

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20210302_124951.jpg

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3-4 chickens applies to the coop mostly, not the run. 
I can understand you can’t part with them. Maybe consider a extension on the run?

Depending on the breed and size of the hens they need at least 0,5 square meter per hen. Some of the more active breeds can need much more.

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I’ve just looked at your photo on the earlier post - I don’t know why none of us noticed before really but I’m afraid Cattails is completely right - that run is really not big enough for 4 full sized chickens to be permanently shut inside - even Omlet say you should allow a square meter per hen (I know thats a bit rich when they then sell at he set up you have bought as being suitable for 4). You will certainly never be able to keep any sort of substrate in reasonable condition in there I’m afraid - your only option would be to use something cheap and completely replace it at regular intervals.

I also agree with Cattails that by far the best (albeit expensive) option now would be to get a 2m extension for your run - that would give your girls 1 square meter each and give you more of a chance at keeping the run less mucky.

Makes me cross that Omlet still sell these runs implying they can comfortably house far more hens than they should. I bought a Go with regular run as my first house intending it to be for 4 bantams - I bought a run extension as soon as I saw it before I even picked up the chickens.

 

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Sadly I don't have room for an extension otherwise I would have gone bigger anyway. And they aren't inside constantly they do get some out time in the garden weather permitting which admittedly isn't a huge amount at the moment. But yes they do spend more time Inn the run than out. Maybe my best option for them is to get them to a new home with someone who can offer them more space. I didn't mean for them to end up like this.

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10 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

I feel really bad for suggesting the woodchip now.

I didn't realise you had 4 big girls either.

Once the Avian Flu is over and they can get out all of the time, maybe that will be better ?

Hey don't be silly. You weren't the only one to recommend it. You were all trying to help I appreciate that. As I said it really is better than the straw. It lasted longer before it got yukky. I was originally only going to get 3 chucks but the lady I got them from brought the last 4 out to me in a box and I didn't have the heart to separate them.

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40 minutes ago, Girly said:

A bit too far for me to help with an extension. Sorry.  

Thank you I appreciate your offer anyway.

I think I have somewhere where I could put the coop and extend the run but it would need flagging and that with the cost of the new run would be quite expensive. I reckon it would cost a couple of hundred to flag the area to put the coop on.

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1 hour ago, Debbie1962 said:

I think I have somewhere where I could put the coop and extend the run but it would need flagging and that with the cost of the new run would be quite expensive. I reckon it would cost a couple of hundred to flag the area to put the coop on.

I had a similar thought, could you leave your run where it is and just put another layer of patio slabs on top on the original ones ?

That way, your wood chips won't be directly on the ground and wouldn't get as wet because the rain on the ground wouldn't be able to run in.  

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Could you ask around for slabs that people may give you? I did this and only paid £20 for enough to pave a 2m x 3m x 2m run.  I’m putting some membrane down first, then sand, then the paving slabs. This allows water to run through but but stops the sand disappearing.  On top of that will go hardwood chips. At the moment I using Auboise on the grass.  Under the actual coop I have Astro turf, sounds funny but it does make it easier to clean with a hose pipe.  But too muddy at the moment!   

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2 minutes ago, Girly said:

Could you ask around for slabs that people may give you? I did this and only paid £20 for enough to pave a 2m x 3m x 2m run.  I’m putting some membrane down first, then sand, then the paving slabs. This allows water to run through but but stops the sand disappearing.  On top of that will go hardwood chips. At the moment I using Auboise on the grass.  Under the actual coop I have Astro turf, sounds funny but it does make it easier to clean with a hose pipe.  But too muddy at the moment!   

I could try but knowing my luck there won't be anyone lol. I really want to get this job done quickly if I decide to keep the chickens as it's not fair on them if it's too small. They seem happy enough but they are easy to please. Doesn't make it right though.

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4 hours ago, Luvachicken said:

I had a similar thought, could you leave your run where it is and just put another layer of patio slabs on top on the original ones ?

That way, your wood chips won't be directly on the ground and wouldn't get as wet because the rain on the ground wouldn't be able to run in.  

Freecycle or Facebook Market place or your own local Facebook group might have some unwanted patio slabs, always worth a try.

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4 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

Freecycle or Facebook Market place or your own local Facebook group might have some unwanted patio slabs, always worth a try.

I agree. And slabs can be put on almost any ground, if it’s not too soft. You can always invest later in laying it “right”.

I have only part of the run paved and the other part on earth with dug in slabs.

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If you’ve found somewhere you can make a bigger run for your girls, don’t rehome them in the meantime and don’t rush too much. The situation is obviously not ideal at the moment, but the girls are used to it now (and chickens live and survive in much worse conditions) so they’ll be OK in there for a little while longer. Just keep it as clean as you are able to.

Then do as everyone else has said - look around on Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace, Freeloved, etc. Put up ‘wanted’ ads as well as just waiting. In the mean time get the area prepared and figure out what sort of run you want, and get the bits and pieces you need so that you’re ready to go once you get some slabs.

I hope this works out for you and you can keep your girls. If it doesn’t and you need to stick to the size you’ve got I would suggest an absolute maximum of 3 small bantams.

 

Edited by mullethunter
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