Did I goof up w digging for drainage?

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

  1. sunshinewish

    sunshinewish Just Hatched

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Hello all, I'm going to getting some chickens soon and I'd like to ask for some advice before I screw something up. A little about me: I know how to use some common power tools like a drill and circular saw but I don't have engineering skills. I've never built anything beyond a wooden dust box.

    So now onto what I'm up to. I'm going to use a chain link dog kennel as a run and build a coop. This will be my temporary situation until I get the funds to build something larger. The area where I plan to put these structures gets muddy. When it rains, the water just sits there. I haven't observed the space enough to see if the water is flowing there from some place or what. Thankfully, rain isn't much an issue during non-winter months here in California but I rather not ignore it.

    This what I was planning on doing and you tell me if I'm off:
    -Dig out a couple inches of dirt for the entire space of the run plus 2 extra feet all around the perimeter.
    -Fill this with 2 inches of gravel to make the area flat.
    -Add the run skeleton with 2x4s under the base of the run
    -Add sand inside the run so it's two inches deep

    I've already started the digging but I thought it best to ask you for your input before I keep digging. One thing I'm struggling with is digging out then right amount.

    How does that usually work? Does the ground have to be level before adding gravel. I have a stamping tool but no clue how to make it all level.

    It's going to start raining here again in 2 days. I assume that it's easier to dig out moist dirt rather than wet dirt so this influenced my possibly premature digging.

    Thanks for reading!


    I've got the base of the kennel down so I could use it to see how deep I'm going.
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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    If you dig that dirt out you are creating a bath tub. Water will get in there and stay. You want water to flow away, not collect there and stay. What I suggest is you build that area up with dirt so water can drain away, then add sand or whatever bedding you are going to add.
     
  3. sunshinewish

    sunshinewish Just Hatched

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    Feb 12, 2017

    Bath tub. Gotcha.
    If I build the area higher, how would I prevent erosion?

    If I dig out only the perimeter would that be a decent option? The tub would be on the outside.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Prevent erosion by putting something like boards around the bottom to keep the dirt and sand from washing out or the chickens from scratching it out.

    You can dig ditches and maybe even create French drains as long as they help water flow away from the area. Even if you build up your run floor, the water still needs somewhere to drain to.
     
  5. Ogdenfarms22

    Ogdenfarms22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2017
    Like the previous poster I would build it up. Put flat boards along the inside like a sandbox basically and add your sand. You can do a slight slant to one side to help with drainage.
     

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