Coop run help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tknutsen, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. tknutsen

    tknutsen Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2013
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    So, I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have had our share of rain this winter; the ground is so saturated that my chickens run is literally a mud pit. (when I walk around I will sink about 2") I usually would put straw in but there is so much water that the straw becomes really gross really fast. Does anyone have any ideas to help with this problem. Thanks
     
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just use more straw.
     
  3. AmberKnits

    AmberKnits Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I'm cleaning out the coop, if the shavings are not too soiled I throw them in the run. In the spring, I get free wood chips from the town (have to go get them myself of course) and I put those out in the run, maybe 6 inches deep. I have to replenish here and there, but it's worked out pretty well.
     
  4. osteo16

    osteo16 New Egg

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    I second the deep wood chips.. if you can source them from a local tree trimmer even better.. I tip a local guy $20 to dump his chippings at my house when he is doing a service in the area.. he gets a few bucks and gets rid of his chipoings and I get a delivered load of fresh every couple weeks..[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Although it seems to be rare, a guy in Arkansas lost most of his flock last year from a mold or fungus that grew on freshly cut, freshly chopped tree trimmings. Those may have been from trees and brush that still had their summer leaves on them. Ground limbs, and more so if they have dried some, should be OK.

    As an alternative to straw (which around here is the residual plant residue left after the harvest of cereal grains like wheat, oats, rye or barley), I like to use old grass hay. Best if it is from the first cutting, which is mostly hard grass stems.

    The stems on the straw plants are thin walled and tend to collapse, which means they trap and hold water, and will mat down into a wet mess. Grass hay with the hard stems are more like hard, round straws. They keep their structure and shed water and take forever to rot down. It may be wet below, but even with a lot of rain, will quickly dry out on top to get the birds up and out of the mud. The droppings wash through and combine with the plant stems and leaves down below to start the rotting process.

    For this, all hay is not equal. A leafy legume hay, like alfalfa, would behave more like straw......or worse.

    My birds last summer on hay......and what it turned into below.

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  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm using dry leaves. I pile them about a foot deep and the chickens turn them to compost for me. The composted leaves make a much nicer soil than what we have naturally so it now takes a lot more rain to get any standing water or mud in the run. As needed, I steal wheelbarrow loads for the garden and then throw another bag or 3 of leaves in.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Got a chance to grab some pictures of wheat straw and hay to show the difference. It may not look that much different, but in practice, it is.

    Note how the walls of the wheat straw are thin and have collapsed flat.........

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    The stems on the grass hay are hard, round and take forever to rot down. First cutting has the stems. If it was cut too late the first time, even more better.........(for mulch and litter for the birds to walk around on..........hay cut too late in the season makes really poor hay for livestock to eat)

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  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Also a really good option......or in addition to any hay, straw, etc. Blends of this type make a much better compost than any one single plant material.
     

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