Our chickens have a backyard (outdoor run) that is approx 50 sq metres and it is fenced off with 6 foot fences to keep out the wildlife and puppy. They then have a 2 storey dwelling with living and dining downstairs and bedrooms and nesting upstairs.
|The Court Yard|
Every 3 months we dig out the soil that is in the courtyard and put it onto the gardens. We then replace this soil with a thick layer of tree mulch (Hubby works as an Aborist/Tree Surgeon so we have a steady supply of weed free mulch).
Now the problem with using tree mulch on your gardens is that it leaches nitrogen from the soil, so if you are using it you need to apply additional nitrogen. This not only stops it being leached from the soil but also helps to break down the mulch and turn it into lovely soil.
So this makes tree mulch a fantastic option for the chickens courtyard. They add their lovely droppings (never thought I would say droppings are lovely but there you go) to the mulch layer and then as they scratch around in it and move it about they are basically turning the mulch over so that it all gets mixed together and breaks down to make lovely soil.
So that's the tour of the soil factory done and I'd better go and feed the workers.