Any tips for combatting mud?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GallusGal, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. GallusGal

    GallusGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alabama
    I currently have my four chickens set up in a 20ft by 12ft run. It started out with grass and plants, and obviously being chickens is now a barren wasteland with deep holes dug in it. This was expected. The problem, however, is that the lack of plant cover and digging of holes is causing water to collect on the half of the run that is not covered. Spring in Alabama means that it literally rains for 24 hours straight sometimes, and I'm finding that uncovered portion of the run is turning into a horrible mudpit! I can't imagine this is good for anyone's feet. Any tips on how to combat this?
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    See the "fixing a muddy run" link in my .sig below for a bunch of suggestions, both short- and long-term [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun (well, however much mud can be "fun" [​IMG]),

    Pat
     
  3. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    pea gravel and straw? That is what I did in front of the people door of our coop- we have had so much rain in the past few weeks that the ground is complety saturated. Everytime it rains the water doesn't soak it...it just sits for a day or two. The straw and pea gravel mixture seems to be helping somewhat-plus it gives them something to scratch around in. Sand might work too but I had a big pile of pea gravel and a lot of straw available.
     
  4. Newbie in Screamer Al

    Newbie in Screamer Al Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too am in Bama, and you must really be wet after yesterday too huh?,LOL. My run is on a little slope and that helps a bit. But what we did was put 6-9 inches of sand in it, and that has kept me mud free even yesterday. I just add sand thru the roof of the run needed. My slope helps me too. Some folks use gravel base a few inches deep, and then a bunch of sand on that. If you want to get REAL fancy, you can do a french drain system, but that will be a bit more involved.
     
  5. GallusGal

    GallusGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies and link. I will have to do some reading. One challenge of this coop is that it is converted from an old pen for large, burrowing lizards. As a result, the walls go three feet above and below ground in solid METAL, so it isn't as simple as relocating it or digging a drainage ditch. I think what I may need to do is bore some holes through the walls on the lowest end where the water is pooling, get some PVC drainage going on, then put down a good deep layer of well-draining substrate. I don't want my poor little chooks getting bumblefoot, and they all look pretty muddy and miserable today.
     
  6. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Utah
    This sounds pretty "jimmy rigged" but when we start to thaw out around here and get all muddy I put down pieces of wafer board for them to walk on. Yes it does get a bit muddy but it improves the situation a lot. I usually dumpster dive for scrap wafer at construction sites. There are usually some pretty good sized straps. They are odd sizes and shapes but it works. Anyway... it's a quick temporary fix. PS you may get mold under the boards if you leave them into the warm and dryer season but a little bleach water in a spray bottle and an hour to dry fixes that.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Well, that's certainly a new one on me! [​IMG] Cool.

    As a result, the walls go three feet above and below ground in solid METAL, so it isn't as simple as relocating it or digging a drainage ditch. I think what I may need to do is bore some holes through the walls on the lowest end where the water is pooling, get some PVC drainage going on, then put down a good deep layer of well-draining substrate

    Yup, that sounds like an excellent plan.

    Pat​
     

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