Human walking path

Shredmaster5000

Hatching
Mar 24, 2018
4
4
7
My coup is covered and is nicely filled with hey. My run is a muddy mess. Nothing grows there anymore even its a pretty good size for the 7 chickens I have. I want to build a walking pathway from my deck steps the the coup so I can collect eggs without treading through the mud. What is the best way to do this?
My thought is to build a walking path using crushed stone on top of fabric, encased with metal borders to hold it in. Is this best? Will the chickens ultimately scratch it out and mess it all up, or will it be compacted enough and hard enough that they're prefer to scratch/bath in the dirt or coup hey.
Alternative idea is large stepping stones. Chickens won't be able to effect these but i wonder if they're going to get wet and slippery with the poop. The gravel path I think will drain relatively well so it won't be as messy and slippery.
Any insight would be much appreciated! Let's solve this :)
 

Cyprus

Master of the 'never give up' attitude
Jan 19, 2018
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I think your current idea is really good.
If you're concerned about the chooks scratching the gravel past the metal edging you could use bricks to line the path.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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I know this isn't what you asked, but I think you need to resolve the issue with the run first. It shouldn't be a muddy mess... bad for you to walk on, and bad for the chickens too. What are you using as far as bedding/ground cover right now? Have you considered trying some form of litter to help with drainage?

For the human pathway, I would opt for stepping stones. I have some textured resin ones outside my run but when I let the chickens out they just walk past the stones and leave them alone - they've never pooped on them. The texturing keeps them from being slippery. If they do poop on the stones you can just hose them off.

Gravel can work as well but the chickens will likely scratch it around a bit, especially if there's nothing else fun in the run to scratch through. I don't know what type of border you want to add if using gravel but as long as it's chicken safe it shouldn't be an issue (that said my chickens can kick dirt/gravel pretty well so the border wouldn't stop them).
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
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Shredmaster5000

Hatching
Mar 24, 2018
4
4
7
Ok, this is super helpful. My chickens have destroyed all the grass that used to be in their run. Now it is dirt, or mud when it it rains. And I live in Oregon so we get a fair amount of rain. I looked through that thread quiet a bit. It seems as though I need to put down a variety of different mulches: wood chips, straw, pine needles, leaves, etc.
My question for this is: what should I use? Their coop is covered, and it has a bit of a run area which is also covered from rain where the floor is covered in straw. But their larger run will not be covered, and it will get rained on a lot. What specifically should I use to fix the muddy rain problem? And will cause issue getting rained on.
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
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Using deep litter, even in an uncovered run will work.(my run is covered) Use a combination of everything, you want a good mixture of different material and sizes. Add more stuff to it occasionally. Here's my DL run, after adding to it, before the chickens got to mix it in.

20171126_121125.jpg
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,089
33,553
1,062
WA, Pac NW
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Deep litter does well in rain as long as underlying drainage isn't an issue. I had a muddy run the year before after using only a sparse amount of dried leaves. This year I used wood chips, dried leaves, a bit of grass clippings and weed clumps, and it forms a nice surface that stays loose and dry enough to easily walk on, but allows water to drain through.
 

Shredmaster5000

Hatching
Mar 24, 2018
4
4
7
It sounds like I don't need a special human walking path. It seems if I mulch the run properly, walking across the run to the coup to collect eggs won't be a wet muddy mess. Now I'm thinking it doesn't make sense at all to have a gravel path in the run for me. It will just end up being half covered in leaves, wood chips, etc anyway. Thoughts?
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,401
4,136
416
SE PA
:goodpost: That would be correct, no need for the coop path. I do recommend a pair of shoes or boots, dedicated for coop chores though. I like Muck boots for outdoor work, their not cheap but are super comfortable and worth every penny, IMHO.
 

MANNA-PRO

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