It rains every day almost! How can I keep my flock healthy in all this wet?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Traffas2010, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Traffas2010

    Traffas2010 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2013
    Upstate, SC
    Hello Everyone [​IMG]! We just joined BYC--we got our first hens about two weeks ago. We built them a cozy coop and they have about 120 sqft to run in (there are four of them). They seem like they are doing well enough, although I don't feel confident that I would know.


    I'm worried about them always walking around on wet ground since it has been raining almost every day here in Upstate, SC. I've read about chickens needing to dust bath, but there isn't any dust [​IMG]. Any thoughts on what I should watch for or things I can do to prevent problems? Would appreciate it very much!!!

    T
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    I'm in the PNW and it rains all winter here. I let my flock decide to go out or not, they often go out in a drizzle but stay under cover if it's really pouring. Getting wet does not seem to bother them at all, no changes in production or health.

    Sounds like you have good space, that's great! So many problems come from overcrowding.

    What is the floor of your run? If it's dirt or shavings, they'll just dust bathe there. Some folks here use a large tub or pan of some type with sand, wood ashes, dirt, things like that to allow confined birds to dust bathe. The wood ashes help keep mites, etc away, so I always dump ashes from our stove in the run in the winter.

    Be sure your coop has good ventilation, they're out of the wind and you should be good, even in rainy weather. If you have a run, let them decide to go out or not. Plus, watch them in the run after a good rain--it's open season on worms!!
     
  3. Traffas2010

    Traffas2010 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2013
    Upstate, SC
    Wow, thanks! Ashes are a great idea. We will be burning soon in our fireplace (sooner than we thought too if the weather continues to be so abnormally chilly). I will try putting a tub out like you said until then. Thanks again for your very helpful ideas!
     
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sand in the run will help with the wet soil. It will drain well.

    If you make up a tub for dust bathing and there is sufficient room, use it in the coop. Something the size of a kitty litter box will do. You could fill it with dry soil or sand.

    My coops are off the ground, so the chickens have room underneath to bathe in the dust. It rarely, if ever, gets wet under the coop.

    Chris
     
  5. Traffas2010

    Traffas2010 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2013
    Upstate, SC
    Thanks for all the tips! Sand in the run especially helped. Fortunately, the rain has slowed down significantly!
     

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