Flooded!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by thaiturkey, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    The rainy season here is due to end in a few weeks' time and, to be frank, it can't be over soon enough for me. We have little trouble on our land because about two thirds of it is raised but this evening's storm was something beyond the norm.

    At about 4.00pm I thought about cleaning the coops and freshening the feed and water. Some grey clouds were approaching so I decided to wait for the inevitable rain to pass. It didn't! We had the most horrendous storm for weeks and, the water table being high now, the lower part of our land was soon under water. The coops are on the lower land so I decided it was time for the waterproofs and a wade out there. Only then did we realise just how deep it was. Both coop floors were under enough water to drown the poults and strand the other turkeys, all of whom had headed for cover and were inside on their roosts. We had no choice but to get them out.

    Two broody hens and their eggs were moved in their nests to the storeroom. All of the other turkeys and poults were carried two at a time up to one of our garden gazebos where they will spend their first night ever unprotected except for the roof. They complained at first but seem to have all settled down. Thankfully, none were lost.

    Once the rains are over we shall need to rethink the layout of our coop area. Land has been prepared for a third big coop but I now think that we need to top up with more earth in case this happens again. The issue is as much about drainage as land levels so a ditch across the vulnerable area to the run-off lake will be dug to clear the water away sooner. At the moment, the standing water level needs to be about one foot deep before the cutting into the lake takes away the excess. Even then, today's rain was falling faster than it was taken away.

    Tomorrow will be a busy day as we try to dry out the coops and make them usable again. Now we have to call the neighbours to check on their situation. Not all houses her here on filled land and they might have bigger issues than us.
     
  2. Stevo

    Stevo Chillin' With My Peeps

    359
    4
    121
    Apr 14, 2010
    Howell, NJ
    If you can afford it you may want to try drainage pipe. You dig a trench below the level of your lowest point around the coops. Place the pipe in the ground. It has a perforated side and a solid side. Perforated side up. It just locks together. Then cover with stone then earth. You can either run the pipe to your drainage ditch or directly to the lake. You may want to use a vent pipe at the biggining of the DP to let air in if you get that much water. The pipe is plastic and fairly cheap. The stone would be your biggest exspence.
     
  3. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    Quote:Thanks, Stevo, that's the sort of thing I need to find to prevent the ditches from filling with earth. The problem here is that there is little sophistication in such things! Concrete pipe is easy enough to find but only with one hole at each end! Large diameter plastic pipe is never to be seen. Most devices are built on site. In other words, I would be told to cut a ditch and line it with bricks then face those with concrete. From my experience here, it will crack in no time as the surrounding earth goes from soft to hard. The rice farmers are expert at drainage ditches and just re-cut them each year as far as I can tell.

    The earth seems to be clay on top of sandy soil. In the dry season the clay is almost too hard to break. If I can cut away some of that around the coops, more rainwater should just soak into the porous layer below.

    I'll have until next summer to find the piping so, who knows, the type you suggest might turn up. Stones are no problem. We can buy them cheaply by the truck load.

    The rain continues this evening and the lake is now full. The frogs are having a great time. We shall all keep our feet dry tonight and the turkeys will enjoy fowling our lovely rustic gazebo table and benches. At first light we shall have to get out there and herd them away from the lake.

    Thanks for your advice. We shall be touring the builders' merchants in a few weeks' time!
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    What about raising coops higher? That would help them short term, how long does it take the water to drain off? I remember those rains, hour after hour of steady downpore you would think it was never going to stop.

    Steve
     
  5. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Could you maybe put the clay in the ditches? If that cracks no problem? And put sand/gravel around the coops? I donno if that would work at all but... maybe?

    Also, coops on stilts GOOD idea. Mine is and thank goodness as when we've gotten the non-stop rain our yard is one big bloody lake. Not near so deep as yours I'm sure, but above my ankles is plenty to me. A few inches and the girls don't mind, but at that depth they just hunker in the coop. Make sure you've got a sturdy ramp, non slip so even when wet they can get up it... and with the poults especially so they can.

    I've got this funny picture of a bayou cabin in my head... up on stilts... on a little island... tin roof. Maybe even a crawdad painted on the side. I clearly have too much imagination/time on my hands.

    In addition to trying to make the land more drain-able (sand, ditches, etc) you might also consider a 'wall' on the high (out) side of the coop... bricks, stone, even sandbags can help divert the water around the coop yard... just like they do when major storms are expected, put sand bags (etc) to keep water out of the house... eh, it's a theory.

    Need to do these things here as well so I've been thinking on it, just haven't actually succeeded in doing anything.
     
  6. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    Quote:Come the dry weather we might be able to get enough people together to try that. The smaller one will lift but the other is heavy. The local method might be to use a JCB shovel to lift eucalyptus poles put underneath it - It's already a few inches off the ground. A problem will be the six poles that support the roof. They're drooped into half metre holes in the ground. Geez, I thought I'd allowed for the rains but today must be a record - and all in the first hour of the storm. I daren't even look out there now!

    The neighbours said that they were OK when we called. The road out front is probably taking the run-off. I don't want to see that either!

    If the rain stops soon the water level should be below the coops by morning if it can escape from our land or soak in. The lake will be full to the brim now so that won't help. I can't be sure, not having experienced it this bad before.
     
  7. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    Quote:Could you maybe put the clay in the ditches? If that cracks no problem? And put sand/gravel around the coops? I donno if that would work at all but... maybe?

    Also, coops on stilts GOOD idea. Mine is and thank goodness as when we've gotten the non-stop rain our yard is one big bloody lake. Not near so deep as yours I'm sure, but above my ankles is plenty to me. A few inches and the girls don't mind, but at that depth they just hunker in the coop. Make sure you've got a sturdy ramp, non slip so even when wet they can get up it... and with the poults especially so they can.

    I've got this funny picture of a bayou cabin in my head... up on stilts... on a little island... tin roof. Maybe even a crawdad painted on the side. I clearly have too much imagination/time on my hands.

    In addition to trying to make the land more drain-able (sand, ditches, etc) you might also consider a 'wall' on the high (out) side of the coop... bricks, stone, even sandbags can help divert the water around the coop yard... just like they do when major storms are expected, put sand bags (etc) to keep water out of the house... eh, it's a theory.

    Need to do these things here as well so I've been thinking on it, just haven't actually succeeded in doing anything.


    Many thanks for those ideas.

    Clay lining might just do the trick. We have plenty! I would just have to resign myself to pulling out mud from time to time.

    The next coop will have an earth floor so stilts won't help, unfortunately. Raising the earth further should help keep the coop floor dry and safe. I thought about a wall or similar barrier but the ground water would soak in from beneath. I think that I shall just have to rely on raised earth in the coops and more land drains of some sort. I might raise the paths too for our own benefit. The house and garden are raised by one metre and the land slops away from the building - that's the starting point for the coops in future, I think.

    The bayou cabin is about right for the gazebo that the birds are in tonight except that it has a straw roof. It's on raised land like our house and one metre stilts. They may need a boat to get out in the morning though - the lake goes all around it except for a causeway for access and that might be under water soon. I'd let them have it permanently but we love to sit out there in the summer evenings and watch the sun go down.

    Well. it's still pouring with rain after more than five hours so we shall have work to do in the morning. I have a submersible pump that might just help after running for a few hours.

    The strange thing about all this is that we are on fairly high ground and the rains usually pass us by other than puddling here and there. Some neighbours lost 4,000 fish a few weeks ago as water flowed straight through their land and that was a first for them too. Come next month it should all be over until the next season. In the meantime, I expect some hard work tomorrow trying to sort out the coops and keeping the turkeys away from the lake which by now will be 4 metres deep.

    Thanks for all the ideas, folks. It's good to get some support this evening!
     
  8. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    The rain has suddenly eased to a light drizzle so we went out with a torch to look around. The causeway to the gazebo is still visible but the lake is as full as it can get. Also, land has appeared where there was only water a short time ago. So, the chances are that the level will be well down by morning.

    The bad news is that, according to a call from family, a dam near us has broken. Accuracy and detail are not deemed necessary here so I don't know what that means exactly. We have a huge reservoir up in the mountains but the breach is probably in a sluice dam on one of the canals that feed from the reservoir. I hope that means no more for us than interference with drainage but some people down in town near the river might have bigger problems than us just now. It never rains but it pours! [​IMG][​IMG]

    Earlier this year, the government told farmers that there would be a water shortage and they would be able to get only one crop of rice. I think that some will now lose their second crop in the floods and that means a loss of half a year's income to some hard working people who have little to live on at the best of times. We should count our blessings.
     
  9. Stevo

    Stevo Chillin' With My Peeps

    359
    4
    121
    Apr 14, 2010
    Howell, NJ
    When I was stationed in Vietnam it would rain for months non stop lol. I have never seen so much water fall from the sky at one time it was amazing. You might as well pitch a tent in a bathtub. I know what your going threw.
     
  10. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    All of our coops are off the ground, and it has worked great for us. . . even in the flooding we had back in May. Here is one of our coops:

    [​IMG]
    This coop sits two feet off the ground.

    That may be easier and faster than moving earth around. ?

    Good luck, and please keep us posted on how things work out.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by