My grandfather used to periodically sweep his grass chicken runs with a hard yard brush and
put the droppings and sweepings thus gathered onto the compost heap but that is, I venture to
suggest, perhaps a step too far in the matter of run cleanliness! However, if your particular
set-up is too small to maintain a good healthy natural spring growth, you might consider
providing your chickens with a run, the base of which is solid (but drained) and then covered
with pea shingle or bark chippings (make sure they are not derived from trees which might
harm). You can then, as part of your weekly routine, rake up the faeces and keep things
healthy. It is not necessarily the best solution but it’s certainly preferable to a run such as I
described at the beginning of this piece.
Jeremy Hobson is a professional freelance author and writer with an enthusiastic interest
and knowledge of all aspects of chicken-keeping. To find out more, visit his website: