It's wet and I can't take it anymore!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by R.M. Hens, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. R.M. Hens

    R.M. Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Pearl River, LA
    So my dad decided instead of having an enclosed coop we would have an open one. I didn't mind that but begged to atleast enclose the roost and nest boxes for extra protection at night. Finally he listened and enclosed it for me. The floor is just the dirt ground though and gets muddy and nasty. I use pine shavings, but once it rains the whole thing gets soaked and I have to remove it and replace with fresh. Lately, we have had alot of rain so you can imagine the mess I am dealing with. I want my chickens to have a cleaner coop, but I have no idea what to use to keep it dryer and cleaner. Should I just fill it will sand? If I use sand, do I need to put something down before the sand? Should I level it, then put a plywood floor down? Concrete it?

    Here is a picture of my coop. I don't have any recent pictures of the enclosed coop. But imagine the entire outside of everything under the roof fenced in from top to bottom with wire. The door would be facing you to the right corner of the coop. The ladder going up to the nest boxes has been moved parallel to the roost inside the coop.


    This pic shows the bottom of the door (and my handsome roo Reuben) Hopefully it helps paint the picture of my coop.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions!!
  2. Pharm Girl

    Pharm Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    I live in the rainy wet Pac NW and have found nothing better than sand in the run. I order it delivered with playground bark chips as well to help soak up the water and keep their feet warmer in freezing winter. The sand filters down and the chips layer up, but the poop dehydrates and disappears. I scoop the big poops up with a cat litter box scoop once in a while. I'll include a picture. If I were you, I would try to shovel out the loose dirt before putting down the sand so it doesn't sift back up into the sand. You will need at least 4" - 6". It's so worth the effort!
    Also, the small paver stones are excellent for walking around the coop without stepping in poop. Because of their small size, if the birds do stand on them, their butts are hanging off the end. I rarely have poop on them.

    Good luck!

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  3. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also in the Pacific Northwest and we use sand as well. We plan to add a liner because rocks keep getting into the mix and then put fresh sand on top. But we just use straight sand. Even when it does get wet, it's fine and siftable (for poo pick up). We also use it in the coop so it's like one big cat easy to clean up!
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  4. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    When I had this problem, I tried to find bricks or cinder blocks that i could place in the coop to cover the floor, (My COOP IS COMPLETELY ENCLOSED) My advice for you is to make a wooden frame made of 2x4's around the coop, and fill in the frame with cement. I dont lay cement, so I think i may have just covered the basics of putting cement in your coop. Any one else can help with this dilemma.
  5. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    1st layer gravel
    2nd layer landscape fabric
    3rd layer sand

    good luck!
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The "housing" part of your coop would be easy...frame out the bottom with 2x6s (looks like you'd have to do along the fence background too, since there are small openings). Lay down an inch or two of small pea gravel and then another 2-3 inches of coarse sand. It'll all mix together eventually. It'll make all the difference in the world. I like the idea of pavers leading over to your housing part.
  7. coreybee

    coreybee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    Nottingham, PA
    This is just a thought, but what about building a raised deck area for under the roof. That would keep them out of the mud in that area at least. Just a thought.

    And if it wasn't too big you could move it to clean out underneath.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  8. R.M. Hens

    R.M. Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Pearl River, LA
    Thanks so much for the suggestions. I think we definitely want to try the sand. Sand just seems like it would be so easy to deal with. Would concrete sand work? I work for a concrete co. so it would be the easiest to get. If we go with sand, do I need to worry about fleas? I have heard that fleas love sand. Louisiana weather probably does not help either.

    The other option is leveling the entire square with sand then using the cheap square pavers from Home Depot or Lowes to cover it. Although using concrete might be cheaper. I will be getting some smaller pavers now to put from the gate to the coop after seeing and hearing what a difference they make. Thanks Pharm Girl.

    Thanks again for all of the suggestions. Now I feel like something can be done and hopefully no more mess and happier, healthier chickens.
  9. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    If you can affored the concrete, then that is the best way to go, I wish I can do that myself .
    BTW your coop looks very nice.
  10. bertman

    bertman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    We converted our guinea run to a chicken run after we gave our guineas away. The run had been on undisturbed forest soil with lots of fallen leaves piled up time after time for them to dig in. The run was totally exposed to the elements so during a rainy period or after snow melted it was a soggy bog of leaves, mud, guinea guano, and uneaten guinea food.

    When we got our new chicks I decided to start from scratch (pun intended) so I went into the run and shoveled about fifteen wheelbarrow loads of the muck out and into a separate compost area.

    Once I got to non-mushy soil I put in about five inches of play sand. Then we threw leaves on top of that for our girls to scratch in. We have not had a rainy summer per se, but we have had some decent rainstorms. Each time after the rains the run was in great shape.

    Sand is much cheaper than concrete, so you could have someone bring you a dumptruck load (if you have somewhere to store it) and just use what you need as you go. Or just buy what you need--probably a pickup load--and that will last a long time if you do as others suggest and put some pea gravel under it for drainage.

    good luck.

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