Best way to keep my run dry?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newwestchick, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Ok, those of you in the Vancouver BC area please help! Or those who live anywhere that's temperate and really, really, wet :)

    My run is covered, but my soil is quite boggy and the water table is so high that if you put a shovel into the ground 4 " there is always standing water. 12 months a year.

    I'm turning out my chicks into a new run tomorrow, it's fully covered but I am concerned that if I use a deep litter method (which I had planned on) that the wetness of the soil will make this method ultimately a stinky failure.

    What have those of your in a similar situation done in this scenario? It's grass and dirt right now, and I don't really want to truck in loads of sand...
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I live in pretty much the same climate as you and I had horrible results with trying deep litter (shavings) over wet ground. The smell was awful, and the mist made it turn to mud.

    I use sand in the areas around waterers outside, but it needs renewing every year. So I limit where I sprinkle sand. As for the wet ground, I leave it alone and the rain washes away the poo. If your run will be covered I would simply use sand. But *don't put more than you are willing to shovel back out when summer gets here!* Consider it an experiment, since what works so well for one person doesn't work for another.

    Sand is in my nest boxes and inside the coop as well (scoop with kitty litter scoop daily).

    That sand will wash away if not contained, however, and it will probably need renewing every few months by sprinkling more on top- and maybe removal every year if it stays wet. It may form a hard pan (dry crusty top). I have read people complaining about sand in the run when it stays wet. They say it requires removal and turns into a mess.

    However, many LOVE it when it stays dry. There is a "Got sand you should" thread that is interesting.

    When the sand stays dry, it is very nice as you can get the poo out nicely by scooping frequently. You can rake it to your heart's content and keep it beautiful. I use an N95 mask daily to prevent silica inhalation from the sand. Breathing sand is bad. I buy washed sand by the truckload and keep it covered with a tarp.

    Truly, I am a sand person and like seeing my chickens' feet nicely sandy instead of muddy. But mine go into grassy zones for most of the day, only returning through the muddy parts near the coop at times during the day. Then into their sandy coop, which is dry.

    I hope this helps.

  3. Thanks!! I appreciate the advice :D

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