How wet is TOO wet

TX Chick Noob

DH says I'm obsessed with my chickens 😂
Premium Feather Member
Due to our extreme heat so far this summer we added a mist system to the barn/coop last weekend to help the llamas and chickens. I don't turn it on until we get to about 90 and the fans are running, and turn it off in the evening about an hour before dark. Parts of the coop stay completely dry, parts get WET. Like from an all-day mistong rain. If things start to get too drenched I turnnitnoff for awhike. But how wet is too wet? The coop has a dirt floor, with a mixture of pine shavings and dead leaves/grass/sticks foe bedding. It is currenktu between 2-5" deep due to the floor being slightly sloped. We are in the middle of a drought, but humidity is between 40-80%. The chickens keep things prwtty well scratched arund but I have used a spading fork to mix the wet beddng with the dry every other day or so. It doesnt seem to stay damp more than a few hours after the misters are off.

Does anyone see any obvious concerns? The chicks are about 10 weeks old so they don't get to free range yet. The first few days they were afraid of the most but now they seem to ignore it. Sometimes when I do in I will pet one and their Bach is slightly damp (not wet, and not soaked through to the skin).
I am also in Texas, I don't think I would do the mister thing, it will bring the flies and mosquitos because the poo doesn't have the time to dry out. On the really hot days I'll use my watering can and wet the holes they have dug in the run, electrolytes in their water once a week, and some cool wet mash and that's about it
Thanks for the input.

The mister only covers an area that is about 1/4-1/3 of the coop. They have lots at area they can stay dry, a few just seem to like getting sprayed a little. And is only damp for about 6-7 hours a day. I will watch for issues with flies/pests. But I know a lot of people use misters, and it is lowering the temp of the coop by about 10 degrees.
Pics of coop, inside and out, please?
What is the ambient humidity where you are?

Humidity has been ranging from 40-80, usually at the lower end of that. Here are a few pics of the outside before we completed the interior and moved the chickens in. I don't have one of the full height available right now, but it is a sloped tin roof about 8' tall. The coop is about 12'x 10'. The llama stall is on the right side (not shown, but the second pic is taken from that stall).



And here is a random assortment of inside. The misters are near the front above the water containers with the drinking cups, mounted to the bottom of the rafters.



The bedding in my Open Air coop is almost always somewhere between faintly-damp to slightly moist and it seems to work pretty well since that facilitates the composting process.

It it's wetter than a well-wrung-out sponge I might be concerned.

Likewise if you see any growth of mold or notice any odor.

Otherwise with it only being a portion of the coop and the birds having the ability to choose their conditions I don't see it being a major issue. :)
Thanks for the feedback, really appreciate it.

Most of the bedding is bone dry. A thin layer on top where the misters hit the most is "damp" but not dripping, and a quick turn with the spading fork mixes and dries that pretty quickly. I do need to get the wood inside painted to be more water resistant, but that will have to wait until the girls are old enough that I can let them out until the paint is thoroughly dry. Wish I could have done it before moving them in but they outgrew their brooder before I was able to get it done.
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My rule of thumb. If it stinks it is too wet. If it doesn't stink you don't have a problem.

You want any microbes composting the bedding to be aerobic (air breathing). If it is too wet for the aerobic microbes to survive anaerobic microbes take over. These can stink. Ther stuff becomes slimy. No good. If it is too dry for any microbes to live it is not a problem. The anaerobic are not going to take over instantaneously, it takes a while.

If it is too wet certain diseases can live in it. Coccidiosis is a good example but there are others. Drying out like yours does is going to mess up the life cycle of those microbes.

So from your thread title "How wet is too wet?" When it stinks.

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