Disgusting chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by naturababe, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. naturababe

    naturababe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    We live in MA and we had two feet of snow (we shoveled the pen a little) and then it rained all last night. This morning the run is a slushy, muddy, so stinky mess. What should I do? It really smells bad which is why I'm concerned I guess - it seems unsanitary for them. I was thinking my two choices are to shovel out the whole pen so it has a better chance of draining or putting down gravel.
  2. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2010
    I'm curious what others have to say, we have areas in ours too that are just muddy, poopy messes.
  3. linben

    linben Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I had one spot that was getting yucky so I put a pallet there so they weren't walking in mess. I also put in a bunch of leaves I had raked but mine wasn't deep water or mud.
  4. bethgranberg

    bethgranberg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Hello i too am curious what I have done in the past is put down a few big bags of ag lime(avalable at local feed store) and rake in I am not sure if this is a good idea but it has worked really well for me, and my girls dont seem to mind-
  5. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    How long does the bad weather last where you are? If it is a quick fix you can lay a bale of shavings down.

    If it is going to be months to dry it out, you can add gravel or sand right now. Just do a quick raking to get rid of some junk and put a layer down.
  6. bethgranberg

    bethgranberg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    I have also used sand as well.
  7. sunnyvera

    sunnyvera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2010
    NE Ohio
    We have a huge pile of wood chips from some tree branches that hubby cut down last summer - it worked great.
  8. moonlyghtegirl

    moonlyghtegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2009
    I shoveled mine completely out on Sunday. I use the deep litter method and my run (16x 20') is covered, but with the rain, and snow that got in (blown in by wind, and run-off), it was just too far gone. I had last cleaned the run completely out in mid-November, and usually, I can go until at least February.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You might check out my muddy run page as some of it may be relevant to you.

    Generally though, for the January-thaw nasties, I would say shovel out as much as you can, put down some straw or whatever like that and possibly some stall powder or lime if you have it handy, and wait for it to freeze up again. Of course that replacement straw (or whatever) will in turn get nasty and stink *next* thaw and need to be removed, but that is just life.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    A square ended showel is what I use to muck out the run every few weeks.

    It gets me down to the pea gravel & sand mixture. I'll need to add some more pea gravel later on this spring, but it does a good job of containing the mess and allowing drainage of excess water. You lose a bit of pea gravel each time you muck out the run, but it is the only workable solution I've come up with short of full enclosing the run. 70+ inches of rain per year makes keeping it dry a challenge.

    I also just added a metal roof and 4'x6' stall mats. This has dried out the run a lot, but it is still a bit muddy at times. This way I can squeegee off the mats and shovel out the mess from a strip about 2' wide. It is wet here in Washington, so the main run won't be dry for a while.

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