Originally Posted by lancasterflock
Here in southern Oregon it has been rainy for the last few weeks on and off. My run is sooooo muddy. I actually slipped once! Anyhow, what is the most practical cost efficient way to fix this problem during these rainy months?
In the spring hubby and I plan on building a fully covered run. At this moment in time the expenses are not feasible. Suggestions!?
When creating a bird habitat, think of where the wild fowl live....in the forest. Recreate that floor and you'll start to see and smell a huge difference in where your chickens live and they will be healthier and more content. Leaves, twigs, bark, small amounts of straw or hay~small, mind you, pine needles and cones, wood chips, etc. As deep as you can build it. No more mud, no more bad smells or flies. The litter pack acts like a big sponge, wicking moisture down, leaving the top springy and dryer. It keeps the soil under the run from becoming too compacted, thus allowing the rains to take the excess nitrogen of the manure down to the worms that will ascend under the litter for that nutrition. Try to avoid too much of any one material unless it would be leaves...that's mostly what you will find decaying on the forest floor. A lot of people want to use wood shavings but they are expensive and all one particle size, not letting air into the pile. Wood chips would be a better option than shavings, if you can get them as they have varying particle size and contain leaf matter.
You create food, activity and healthier footing for your chickens in one, cheap, easy to maintain move. You can then throw lawn clippings, garden refuse, kitchen scraps, weeds, etc. into that litter pack and what the chickens don't eat they will bury and the worms will consume it. They will be living on a living compost pile instead of a slick, muddy, poopy moonscape filled with little pools of putrid water.
And you can do the same thing in your coop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOdM22IgcRQ