Best bedding for wet muddy run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hessk, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Hessk

    Hessk Chirping

    Oct 6, 2018
    The floor of my run is currently dirt mixed with straw that the chickens are always kicking out of the coop. We live in a humid climate that gets lots of rain. A majority of the year it is wet/ muddy and mixed with the poop it’s just terrible. I rake everything out twice a week (as long as the weather permits). I wanted to switch to sand but have heard mixed reviews. I’d also have to buy bagged sand from an home improvement store (no truck to buy bulk) and I don’t think places such as Home Depot sell the correct kind of sand for chickens. Any other ideas of what I could use?
    to BarbsGirls, KLIL, Pekin747 and 7 others like this.
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Apr 9, 2016
    California's Redwood Coast
    Wood bark in the run should help.
    Bettyboop7499, Fluffnut, KLIL and 9 others like this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Sand works well if water can drain away. If you put sand in a hole it usually doesn't work that well because the water has nowhere to go. That's a big part of why you get mixed reviews with sand. Like any tool if it is used correctly it usually works pretty well. If you don't use it right it may not work at all.

    I don't know exactly what you are working with. If there is a low spot nearby a French drain may help a lot. Or can you fill the run with dirt until it is higher than the surrounding ground, then maybe cover with sand. You may need to put some kind of edging around the bottom inside of your run to contain the dirt/sand.

    I don't know what kind of sand you think you need? I'd be OK with play sand or construction sand. Sand from a sandbar in a creek or river would be great. I'd be a little cautious about beach sand as it could contain a lot of salt, so rinse the salt out of it first.

    I can appreciate the problem of hauling in bulk. If you get someone with a dump truck to haul something they are expensive and usually only handle huge amounts. It can be challenging to even find someone. If you have a vehicle that can tow, consider renting a UHaul trailer. The 5' x 9' ones have a solid bottom, you would need to line the bottom of a 5x8 with something to hold the sand.
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Is there any way to elevate everything?

    Build up the run and get the water to drain away from it?
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If you live in a humid place, I would not recommend sand.
    Aged ramial wood chippings is the best run bedding, IMO,
    unless your goal is to make garden soil.
    That and some other dry plant material works great here,
    I never 'clean' it and it 'digests' all the poops.

    Fixing any drainage issues first is a must.
    More info on(and pics of) your run and climate would really help.

    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    Bettyboop7499, KLIL, Liddy and 11 others like this.
  6. Dr.GarryTTucker

    Dr.GarryTTucker Songster

    May 1, 2018
    Southeast Texas
    I’m oh the same boat with Aart. If you have a watery/muddy area then wood chips would be my suggestion.
    Bettyboop7499, Sequel, KLIL and 5 others like this.
  7. Hessk

    Hessk Chirping

    Oct 6, 2018
    Lots of great advice! Thank you. Home Depot does sell play sand however I’ve heard that because it’s so fine that it can cause issues with the chickens? Not sure if that’s true or not.
    KLIL, Eggscaping and Chick-N-Fun like this.
  8. Hessk

    Hessk Chirping

    Oct 6, 2018
    I live in southern Georgia. There’s a lot of draining issues here because of all the clay in the ground. Everything kinda puddles and sits for weeks after a big rain. Luckily my coop/run are in a spot where that doesn’t happen. I’m just sick of a muddy floor in there. I will try the bark though. Thank you!
  9. Henry&Friends

    Henry&Friends In the Brooder

    May 6, 2018
    I had a similar issue, the water would puddle and sit in my basement coop. I dug a hole inside & outside a wall in the coop, stuck a PVC pipe in the hole, went outside and dug a trench leading away from the house, then did the same inside. It worked, but I’m not sure how effective it is long term.
  10. sneakychicken

    sneakychicken Chirping

    Jun 17, 2010
    I believe the potential dust with some sand types is the problem. It can cause respiratory issues. I am a big fan of deep litter-in the coop and the run. Leaves, grass clippings, pine shavings all work great. I would have friends drop off their bagged leaves to me even. Of course in the coop the deep litter has to stay dry. HTH
    Fluffnut, KLIL, Eggscaping and 4 others like this.

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