Emergency, not sickness yet but flooded....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Redheadedgator, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Redheadedgator

    Redheadedgator Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 23, 2012
    Sorry If someone gets angry with me for posting this question here but I feel it is an emergency. I have 13 chickens separated into 3 houses. I can not turn them loose due to neighborhood dogs so it is not an option. I live in south Ga and even though my house and neighborhood is high and dry, all my houses are flooded. We had a foot of standing water in them . I spent all last night trenching them out and rolling superswamper tires into the pens so they could be above the water. I have 12 hours before the next batch of rain.
    Even though the high water is out, I have puddles of water and the ground is saturated. All my chickens are caked with mud and I now have 4 of them in my house...yes in my house!
    My hubby wanted to throw pine shavings into the houses to soak up the water but I thought it would make it worse. The smell is awful, I don't know what to do.
    Does anyone have any idea how to battle this? I can not stand my chickens being in such yucky conditions....

    Thank you in advice for any help!
     
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pine shavings won't actually soak up the water. You will need to either elevate the houses or add ground material, soil, gravel, etc in a layer deep enough to eliminate the flood water.

    You may want to think about moving your coops. I don't think that a day or so of these conditions is going to be detremental to the chickens but if this is a continual problem you should find an alternative.

    Also, do something about the roaming dogs.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    My first coop would flood in heavy rain so the present one was built on several inches of fill dirt, stomped down, before building. The soil will get wet in heavy rains just from capillary action, but it does not flood, and it dries off pretty quickly when the rain is gone. I agree that pine shavings won't help much, even short term. What might, especially as it dries in there, is agricultural lime. I keep pelletized lime (much easier to handle) and sprinkle a couple of handfuls around if the coop starts smelling, for moist litter. You could add a load of sand or rounded gravel, as they drain well, though gravel is usually expensive. If you have access, river sand is fine. In the end, trenching or a new, higher location are really the best solutions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That’s a hard one, especially not knowing what is going on with the lay of your land. To start with, let me give you a link to an article on muddy runs. A whole lot of the stuff in there can apply to coops too. Hopefully you’ll see something in there that will help.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    You might not be able to do anything in the short run to fix it other than what you have done. Just try to get by the emergency first. They should be OK for a few days but yeah, that’s not a long-term healthy situation.

    It’s a little hard talking about what you should or should not do without being there to see it. If you put the pine shavings in, they will soak up the water but you still have a wet situation. And you will probably have to move them out in a few days. Being muddy should not physically hurt the chickens but the eggs will be a mess. Pine shavings, straw, things like that can help but I’d lean more toward things easier to take out, maybe your tires, pallets, boards, things for them to stand on but not too hard to take out and just accept that I’ll be washing eggs for a while.

    For the long term, where is the water coming from? If it’s coming in from up high obviously figure out a way to stop that, but it sounds like it is running in at ground level. If you’ve put your coops in low spots where water drains to them or in ditches where rainwater collects, it’s going to be hard to fix.

    I don’t know the slope of your land. In the long term you might be able to build swales or berms to keep water from running in. Swales and berms are just ditches and levees that are gradually sloped so you can easily get a lawn mower over them, just in case you are not familiar with the terms.

    If a lot of the water is coming from your roof, maybe gutters and downspouts to get it away from that area. I put a few inches of clay dirt inside my coop to make sure the level was high enough so that water could not come in, plus I put in a swale above it to divert water away to start with.

    Just try to get through the current situation and see where the water is coming from. It’s probably not going to be a quick easy fix.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Redheadedgator

    Redheadedgator Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you guys for the articles. I am in such shock because we are ALWAYS dry land. It was easy to trench out a spot and it started to flow out quickly. We had to stay on hand because the trench would get blocked and we would just have to dig the blockage out. I just know after all the rain the ground is not going to soak any up, so the rain we have coming is going to puddle again. We do have a roof leak, my hubby is at the lumber store now. Most of the water came in though from the sides (which we had plastic nailed up over the wire to prevent) and on the ground. All the chickens have a dry nesting box. They just can't get down and walk around. My huge rooster was chest high when I got to him last night. I feed them in the mornings and I sat out there with a bowl and let them peck food out of it. I don't know what else to do. I am scared if the weather turns cold after the rain I will have sick wet chickens.
    We have plenty of dirt around our 40 acres, that I considered piling up in the pens but I am confused if piling wet dirt on wet dirt is going to help?

    As far as the dogs..we have tried we have gone as far as the county comissioner. My inlaws have taken in 2 strays and we now have 2 rescues we call family. Every neighbor has a dog and we are the only house with a fence. All the other dogs run free. After calling the law twice with no help, I had to make my children stop riding thier bikes to grandma's house due to the boxer that chased them home screaming.....
     

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