1. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Englewood Colorado
    I've had my coop since summer and so far the ground has had decent drainage after any rain we've had. However, we had our first snow this week, and the snow on the top of the run as well as on the coop has all melted into the run. It is SOOO muddy.

    I know sand is supposed to be good for drainage, but I don't have a pickup truck and don't want to spend the $75 to get a load right now.

    What is the cheapest and easiest (for a girl and a station wagon) way to help fix this problem? I'm thinking pine shavings are no good on dirt, but maybe I'm wrong. I also have a huge bale of straw available.

    OR, should I cover the top of the run with a tarp for the winter? It would be kinda dark in there...but dry.

    See my page for a pic of the setup. Thanks!
     
  2. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    I definetly wouldn't put a tarp. With the weight of rain or snow it will colapse the top. I use hay in mine when it get's super muddy.
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
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    It's tough when you slope the coop roof towards the run and the run looks like it's in a bit of a low spot.

    Can you put a gutter on the coop roof, so all the water doesn't drain into the run? That would help. Even if you don't do it now, that would be a good thing to put on your list of future improvements.

    I'd also think about trying to alter the grade and get the water to drain away from the run, into the yard. Then I'd add sand to the run.

    Roofing the run would help, if you can channel the water away from the run. It would have to be strong enough to hold up to the snow load for your area. You don't want it collapsing on the chickens.
     
  4. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Englewood Colorado
    I know the roof is sloped the wrong way, but there's a long story for that...and I'm just happy to HAVE a coop!

    Any quick fixes for snow? We actually don't get that much precipitation here so I only expect to have to deal with this 6-7 times a year.
     
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need to make the low spot a high spot. Can someone help you bring in 2" round rock to make that a high spot and then cover it with whatever but it will let the water be under it and no more mud?
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    It looks like you don't have a roof or a main structure to your run. Is it mainly just the front wall, with the fence in back, coop and other building serving as the other walls? You could put a tarp over the run, but it would need support of some kind.

    If you don't want to put any money into it, the only thing I can think of to help is maybe putting some pallets out there. That would give the chickens something to walk on and get them out of the mud. If you don't work on the drainage issue, I'm concerned you may have an odor issue when the spring thaw hits. Maybe others will have some ideas for you.
     
  7. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you prop up the low side with a couple of long 2X4's if you release the screws or nails on it and put another the 1 inside in the middle to give it structure.
     
  8. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Englewood Colorado
    The run has a top; a few support beams and screwed down hardware cloth. The snow sat on top when it fell. I brushed off a lot but there was still an inch or 2 on there.

    The ground is flat, no slope. We just got a lot of snow, which melted really fast. We have had rain before but the ground dried quickly.

    Chicks are hanging out under the coop and not hanging in the mud. Still, its yucky in there and I want to dry it out.

    We won't have a spring thaw; it'll be in the 70's again this month I'm sure.

    How about a few bags of pea gravel??
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
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    It sounds like it would be no problem to put a tarp on top and tie it down, then.

    You can try adding pea gravel or sand in the run while it's muddy. It might sink down into the soft mud, though. It kind of depends on how wet and gooey the mud is at the time. You can always add more next year when it's drier, if needed.
     
  10. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Have you tried leaves? Our maple tree dropped all it's leaves into our run - and now our former muddy run is dry enough and the chickens like to dig around in the leaves too!

    I've also put wood mulch in our wettest spots. Seemed to help a bit. The chickens dug it completely into the ground and spread it out all over the place!

    Please look into putting a gutter on that front low edge...you could have it go into a rain barrel to help water garden or chickens (depending on roofing material - if asphalt roofing, no drinking for chickens). Just an idea for an improvement next spring.

    Good luck, mud is awful stuff - our dirtiest eggs were from muddy hens feet, not poo! Of course, then there's the muddy kid feet to go along with muddy chick feet!
     

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