14 Years
Aug 30, 2009
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
My Coop
Ok, the mud is insane. I called and got a quote on pea gravel, but I wanted to ask about it first.

Will it sink and settle and disappear in the ground over time?

Will it smell as poo builds up under it? Can I hose the surface off for cleaning?

Can I put down stall mats first, or will it cause an odor or other grossness under the mats? Or put down the gravel, then stall mats, and hose/pooperscoop the mats off?

The chickens have taught me that wet sand sucks. The ducks are nothing but wet, so no sand for them. The run has a 6 inch lip around it of treated wood, so I was going to do the gravel 4 inches deep. According to my math, I need 2 tons to get 10x10 4 inches deep.

The area doesn't drain that well, it's a clay base. We're getting a pump to handle water changes better, to get it scattered around the yard. The pool dumping combined with the rain, there is standing water everywhere around the duck run. They love it, I hate it.

I already have a base of pine shavings in there, so that I can walk in there without getting too filthy. Can I leave it, or do I need to remove it before putting the gravel down? I was thinking that since it takes so long to break down, it would help support the gravel from sinking. The ducks have a "soft" layer going from all their beak sifting when water pools in there.
Not always. Ducks + Water + Dirt = mud.

My duck yard is pea stone (it was the dog yard prior to the ducks, but the dog that needed it died before the ducks arrived, so duck yard). I hose the poop daily. There is landscape fabric under the pea stone. I don't notice a stink from the pea stone.
The stink I notice now comes from the dirt area where everything was hosed to when the duck house was on the deck. But the huge holly tree that was there seemed to use all taht and now that we dug up and moved the holly tree... stink.

But the pea stone area. Never had an issue with it as long as I hose the poop.
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Yes it will. Though if you put a [good] weed cloth under it, it will not. Plus it will help with cleaning.

If you put a weed cloth under it, sure. Hose all you like. Else you'll just make a mud pit under it and the stone will sink under traffic.

I would not go so far as to use stall mats, no. Though if chickens are to frequent the area, the weed cloth will not work out as they'll scratch down to it and rip it up.

French drain?

I'd remove the pine shavings as they'll rot later and stink. Pile it up and compost it a year or two for the garden.
I have a large pond and what ducks I have stay near the pond. When I pen them it always seems they turn to mud eventually. Stall mats are low income housing for rats.
I use landscape fabric as well. No smell. I do scoop out rocks every week though to clean some really dirty areas and toss them back in.

If you don't use something under the rocks, they will sink and mix with the dirt as it gets muddy.

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