drenched run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by baucomgop, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. baucomgop

    baucomgop Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 5, 2009
    We are new to having chickens, we have two in nice sized run and coop. My immediate problem is the amount of rain and now snow we are getting, the ground is oversaturated and my run is completely swamped. The coop is raised and dry- but the run is terrible. I packed straw in there for the hens to have something to keep their feet out of the mud and standing water. Any suggestions? I'm afraid there might be nothing I can do for them, the whole yard is soggy. My next question is, how does everyone winterize their coops? plastic sheeting ? how does that affect air circulation? Currently we have a roof, but nothing on the sides. the coop is not insulated, but we have a red 85 watt bulb as a heat source inside. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Annapolis, MD.
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] from Indiana! I'm curious as to how your chickens stay out of cold drafts if the coop is open all the way around??? I would either tack tarps, plywood, something over the open sides of the coop. With only two chickens, they're not going to be able to generate much body heat by huddling (you could even add a small huddle box inside your coop, depending on how big it is). You can still leave (up high) a few vent openings, preferably on sides that are not on the windy side(s).
    Many people from this site seem to use sand in their runs to help with wet/soggy issues. Based on what I've read (not personal experience), they lay a base of fine gravel/rock, and then sand on top of that. They say it drains well and is easy to clean the droppings from the sand. If you think of how a beach looks/feels after rain, it makes sense...
  3. baucomgop

    baucomgop Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 5, 2009
    Thanks for the response. The coop is closed in like its supposed to be, the run is open with a roof. I like the sand idea. Do you tarp or plastic the run?
    Annapolis, MD
  4. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    [​IMG] From Alaska

    My coop is insulated, and has a heat bulb......
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I have put sand over muddy places in the run and it helps a lot.
  6. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have about an inch layer of Crush 'n Run, the stuff with small gravel mixed with sand. Then I put in a layer three inches deep of creek sand. That's the stuff you buy in bulk that's not really white sand but usually beige or light red. But three inches is enough in my run to keep it high and dry. The way my run is I have a raised perimeter that keeps the sand from washing away. The sand drains quickly when it does get wet. We had the remnants of Ida blown through the Carolinas a couple of weeks ago and it rained hard and steady for four straight days. Everything except my coop run was a muddy mess. Every couple of days I go out and use a hoe to turn up the run and that works the poop down in the sand and worms up. Now the gals fight over who gets in line first behind me when they see me coming with a hoe in my hand.

    But I believe sand is your best bet. Now my gals keep their tootsies dry and they're a happy bunch of campers. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  7. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Straw is going to quickly become soggy and stinky. You could temporarily set a few pallets in there and coat them with straw and a few long planks if you have them or can get them to create dry paths. Make sure that there is ventilation at top of coop. Inside humidity with cold temps is a chicken killer for sure. No drafts at roost level in cold weather. You have really been getting soaked there from what I can see by watching the weather daily.

    It was 20 f here last night and I already have checked on the girls. They all did fine overnight. My coop is 8x16 with gable vents, one turbine vent in center, and continuous soffit vents front and rear full length. I closed all windows last night and this AM saw a little frost on one window inside, but coop being so big stayed dry overnight even closed up, all because of ventilation overhead. [​IMG]
  8. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
    I'm in west central Indiana and we don't do anything differently when winter comes. Our run has it's "back" to the wind so that's not much of an issue and they have a boxed in house within the coop that get's no drafts. They go through more feed and spend more time grazing when it gets cold and I've never lost one to freezing temps.
  9. rickc24

    rickc24 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 17, 2009
    SAND makes a huge difference in the run area i started with bags of play sand but i found a company that can bring 1 ton for very cheap...the sand helps with clean ups also...LOTS OF SAND.......good luck
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sand is great- ours is sandy loam. Has the ground frozen yet? Can you scrape your drainage area still? Or rake your slope? I know you need the straw for now, but keep an eye on it for mush and mold, over time. If you use sand, rake out the straw very thoroughly. Sorry things are such a mess, it's been a wet fall in many part of the continent.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by