How to prevent mud in a sloped run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fisher39, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. fisher39

    fisher39 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2011
    I've got an uncovered run that is sloped a bit too much--from past experience, putting any kind of material on a sloped area where there are chickens, they end up kicking it all down the slope, leaving the top exposed. There's bare earth there, and I'm not sure if there's anything I can do to prevent the area from mudding in the rain, short of excavating the area and making it level (too much work).

    Any ideas?
  2. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    What materials have you tried? I have gravel in my chicken's run and it has been holding up well. It has a slight slope - enough to not hold water. The gravel doesn't dig too well for them so they don't even try. I left an area of the run in sand so they have a place to dig and scratch.
    A picture of the run might help.

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    A lair of leaves helps in our pen!
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    How much slope is there from one end to the other?
  5. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2011
    Puget Sound
    My Coop
    My DIL has a very thick layer of wood chips, probably 5" at least. Another idea might be to put in a pressure treated 4x4 mid-slope so it interrupts the downhill flow...... creates something of a terrace. Good luck.
  6. fisher39

    fisher39 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2011
    Thanks for the tips! I like the idea of putting a piece of lumber mid-slope.

    Rustywreck: isn't it a bad thing that the chickens can't dig at all in the run? I feel like my chickens will be bored like crazy all day if they couldn't dig outside. I may just try layering a ton of leaves and other dry material in there, with some lumber mid-slope.
  7. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    As I wrote in my first reply, I left them an area of sand to scratch and dig. They don't need to dig up the whole thing
  8. fisher39

    fisher39 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2011
    Ah, somehow I didn't catch that. Thank you. I may try that!
  9. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good luck with the mud. My chickens aren't a problem, but my turkeys create quite the mud/poop mess.
    The turkeys tend to want to spend all of their time in one corner of a large pen, which is sloped. They still create quite the mud pit. This year we had lots of rain this fall. I tried straw and Stall Dry (something you might consider) to dry it up, but still ended up shoveling down to the sand base. It was a crappy job, but had to be done.

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