A quick fix for mud

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by downtownjb80, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. downtownjb80

    downtownjb80 Out Of The Brooder

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    So it's been raining for months now and my chicken run has completely turned to mud. I was holding off doing anything as I thought the rain must stop at some point, but no. It smells really bad and because the hens are carrying mud around with them the eggs are filthy. The run is covered by a tarp roof but this isn't doing much but keeping the food dry apparently. I have read that guttering will help and creating shelter from the direction the rain blows in from, but I could do with a quick fix on a low budget. Also if I put a sheet up to stop rain blowing in I think it would act like a big sail and my run would blow away as it is weighted down but not fastened. Any ideas would be great.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    First, read this. It has some really good ideas.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    There are two basic ideas. Keep as much water out as you can. Some of the stuff you mentioned are good ideas. Put in swales or berms to direct runoff away from the run. Without being there it is hard to say what will work, just try to keep the water out. When it really sets in wet, that is close to impossible.

    When water gets in, drain it out. Hopefully it is not in a low spot. If you are, that is really rough. So look at maybe some ditches or such. French drains might work, but those involve digging and you need gravel.

    If you can, build it up with sand. Get it higher than the area around it. Sand drains really well but unless you contain it, it can wash away. You might need to put something in as edging to keep the sand in but remember the water has to be able to get out. After a while the sand will work its way down in the mud and disappear, but it works for a while.

    Some people scatter hay, straw, or wood chips in the run to keep the mud down. I don't like doing it becaue I think it works like mulch and helps keep the moisture in. But if it works......

    Good luck. Muddy runs can be rough.
     
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  3. Mac14

    Mac14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ya, we are having our first rainy day and the run is WET. I have some ideas now that might help. :)
     
  4. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2011
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    My Coop
    Last winter I was in the same boat, YUK!. I have a roof now and love it. I've learned that there are 2 really important things:
    A nice wide overhang on a well sloped roof, and gutters that carry it away from the fence-line and my head.

    But last winter here's what I did... I used a tarp to create a roof and I used steel fence posts (t-posts) to secure the tarp sides using the gromets on the edges of the tarp and stretchy bungee cords. The sides that were sloped down and away from the pen worked best. Less likely to be caught by the wind and it protected the pen from the rain blowing in. Be careful not to let it collect water on top and form mini lakes! It really has to be sloped to drain the rain off!

    Hope this gives you one or two ideas that will help. Good luck.
     
  5. Spikes Chooks

    Spikes Chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    We knew we had to build our coop and run in a low point - although the ground level does keep gradually sloping away the coop and run are bang where lots of rain drains down our garden. I'm not sure of your setup and how many of these ideas would apply to you, but here's what we did to ensure this didn't happen.

    1 Fixed roof - the coop is corrugated iron, half the pen is clear corrugated plastic so sun gets through in winter. We didn't roof the whole lot because it gets really hot in summer here and we figured it might keep too much heat in. The roof overhangs the side of the run which gets the prevailing wind (and thus rain blowing in) by about 40 cm. Ours is high enough to walk in, so this was easy.

    2 Guttering along the sloped roof edge to a water butt. The overflow from the water butt is as far away and downslope from the run as we could get it.

    3 Along the side of the run which will get the most run-off water, we dug about a spade depth's down, lined it with agpipe and turned the drain around both sides of the run so the water keeps draining past the run.

    4 Raised the edge of the lot with hardwood sleepers. Filled the lot with coarse river sand. This drains really really quickly.

    This has had fabulous results - sure, it cost us a bit though most of the roofing was recycled from a friend. If you have a sail or tarp, but are worried about it blowing away, maybe it's time to fasten the coop down with star pcikets? Hope some of these ideas help. Good luck
     

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