idea for dry pens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pokey, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. pokey

    pokey Warrior Princess

    Jun 1, 2008
    ok, i am about ready to pull my hair out. first the pens flooded when we had rain then 8 inches of snow in one day, then we took out the pine shavings so the water would drain if we had that much rain again. well the pen floor is now dirt which turns into mud when it rains.i can't put a permanent floor down because we know we will move sometime posibly soon. so, anybody got any ideas? i do not like the birds in the conditions they are in.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  2. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    I have the same problem with my pen. The only place we could put it was at the end or our yard, which sits lower than the rest of the lot. Every time it rains hard, it floods, and it's a muddy mess in there. I have put wood mulch in it, to cut down on the mud, but it still gets pretty soggy in there during hard rains. I plan to dig a trench all around the pen (it's 15x30 feet), and filling it with gravel, which will hopefully stop all the water from flooding the chicken pen.
  3. sheps4her

    sheps4her Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2008
    Guilford County, NC
    I am having the same problem! [​IMG] I will be watching this thread closely for Ideas... [​IMG]
  4. waibel zoo

    waibel zoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    Sandy, UT
    I don't really have a quick fix for you but here are some ideas.

    Dig out the dirt on the floor about 4-6 inches, fill with graval top with 4 inches of bedding.

    Put your coop up on stilts with a mesh floor. You could still have bedding if you wanted.

    Move the coop. Build it up. Or put on top of concreat.
  5. gardenfinds

    gardenfinds Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2007
    SC, huh? I'm in Oklahoma and we had the same type of weather here the past two days. I just posted in this forum yesterday for help with covering for my chicken's run/pen area. I've used netting for the past 8 years but with nonstop rain and then snow 24 hours the netting caved. Replaced it all today, what a mess! Anyways, will probably put up some 2x4s and chicken wire before long.

    Regarding your question, I had the same problems some time ago and finally came up with a solution. I bought some waterproof/resistant tarps with grommets and hang them above the run just under the protective netting using bungee cords and it works great. Everything stays dry under the tarps and I can take them down when its warm. Don't know if you have a way to attach them but it might help to keep the area dry. I use eye screws screwed into the house and the adjacent fence, add the bungee cords to each corner of the tarp and voila, instant dry!
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The probably being going to move soon part is definitely a complication.

    I'd suggest doing everything you can to prevent water from going into the pens and getting out what's there -- that means, gutters on any roofs including the coop, wiht downspouts directing water WELL away from the pen; and tarp the top and/or upwind side if you can do so without things collapsing or blowing away; and for sure dig a trench around the outside of the pen (not too close to the walls) preferably with an extension to lead the water away to somewhere downhill.

    Ringing the pen with a trench really will help, especially if it 'goes somewhere' -- not only can it intercept surface flow, it will give water in the ground in the pen somewhere to drain to. All you need is a shovel [​IMG] Unless the dirt you are digging up is horribly more clayey than what's already in the pen, you could even put the dug-up dirt in there to create a small raised area, although it will be extremely muddy for a while.

    Second, see if you can get something affordable that will raise the chickens up out of the muck in the run -- coarsely chipped wood, maybe even pine straw (although it does have pointy poky bits). you won't be able to leave it in the run forever -- better rake it out before it starts to decompose and get really yucky, or if it starts to stench -- but it will get the chickens up out of the mud for at least a while, by which time *hopefully* your trench etc will have done some good.

    Good luck,

  7. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    CAn you put paletts down. That way you can take them up to move. I have done this with dogs and goats in the past.
  8. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    We have a tarp covering our girls however they do tend to dig the outside edges of their pen - and the tarp doesnt quite cover the last 6 inches or so all the way around on 2 sides, creating a muddy mess [​IMG]

    We throw down pine bedding to sop up the muddy water and muck so they can at least walk around (for some reason, they always tend to migrate towards the mud - go figure [​IMG]). When it dries up a bit, we rake all the shavings up along with the poop in the pen, which is done regularly anyway. Now that spring is here, we'll fill in the trenches they dug with some gravel, then dirt and mix the dirt with play sand as well as scatter play sand throughout the pen floor. This helps with keeping their feet less muddy as well and makes for easier clean up when raking. I dont put down a ton of sand because play sand doesnt drain very well if there's a bunch of it, it tends to get moldy when there's alot of it and wet, but I'll throw down about 1/2 an inch or so. Benefit to it also is that it gives the girls extra sand to dust in.

    I hope this helps you.

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