ARG! I can't take the mud any more!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    It has been raining here for 9+ days now. The ground is completely saturated. Flash flooding and general flooding are a problem. Thankfully that has all missed me. My problem is a flooded run. For days now my banty run has been deep with mud. There are no solid surfaces and I sink about an 1" down into mud everytime I go in there. The other run is muddy in places, but not all over. The banty coop is horrible, nasty and stinky. Ugg.
    What do I do? The run sits on the edge of a slope. The water should be draining down the slope away from the run. It's not. I have over time added about 20 bags of sand to this run (and not to the others). Water should drain through like a sieve. It's not. I have dug trenches to lead the water to the edges. They are little rivers, but the rest of the run is still waterlogged. They are forecasting more rain until the middle of next week. I can't imagine how horrible it will be by then.

    How do I dry up the run? Sand isn't cutting it. At some point in the past I tried hay and wood shavings. Kind of made it worse so I raked it all back out and went back to dirt/sand. I'm waffling over putting down several bags of mulch, but I fear that will be as bad as the shavings. How do I make this not be a huge mud pit? The poor chickens are just miserable!

  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    I hate it when that happens.
  3. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Northern California
    I would recommend digging a "moat" around the uphill side of the run so the water will drain around the run instead of running through it. If you fill the moat with gravel, the water will find its way down hill without flooding the run and the moat won't fill up with dirt or other debris.
  4. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2009
    Northern Colorado
    I am fortunate enough to live in an 'arid' climate, so this isn't really a problem for me, but I still have some recomendations.

    You said your run is situated near the top of a slope - this is good as it affords an opportunity for good drainage away from the run. It also opens up the possibilty that ground runoff from areas upslope of your run is directed towards the run prior to draining down the slope. I would suggest you carefully assess the surface grading on all sides of your run and making sure you're directing any surface flow around and away from your run.

    I think adding sand has not been for naught, however, you need to be careful about creating a 'bathtub' effect. Adding a few inches of sand in the run is good, but if it is surrounded by clay on all sides, the water will pond in the sand. If heavy precip is likely to be a recurring problem for you, I would suggest creating a more robust 'underdrain' type system in your run, which has some sort of outlet that will discharge downslope.

    Hope that helps.

    If you add a few pics, you might get some others to weigh in...

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  5. maine chicks

    maine chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Sounds like mud season in Maine. Have you considered an ark? I put a couple of old 2x4 out for the birds to perch on when it is mud city. Even old logs if you have some around. Stand them on end and the birds at least have a place to perch without sinking to their tails. Hope the rain quits for you soon.
  6. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I like to put down a few pallets for everyone to walk on when it gets to muddy. I save a stack for just that. It gives them a clean mud free place to walk. I have yet to find anything that helps dry up mud myself.
  7. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2009
    North Carolina
    I had that same problem here in NC. There was one really bad place right at the door of the pen from the coop. I took some old landscaping timbers made a huge square and added construction sand. It worked like a charm and the girls think I made them a big sandbox. Everyone is happy.
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Put down a thick layer of gravel and put a layer of sand on top.
    Make it at least 6 inches higher than the ground around the run
  9. rstampa

    rstampa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Tampa, Florida
    Well how much of a slop is it? Down here in Tampa if it starts flooding my yard and the run I put sand bags around the run. That keeps it totally dry. I also have a roof on the run and coop. As far as drying it out you'll have to wait for mother nature to take care of that. Mean while try some of the suggestion that have been posted so far. And I like what bufforp89 does by laying pallets down to keep it dry. Also you could use them while your run is drying out.
    Wish you luck.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by