Keeping a run dry in winter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chanamarie, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. chanamarie

    chanamarie In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2016
    Our weather is getting wetter and colder. My large chickens are mostly free-ranged (in a very large fenced-in backyard), so mucky feet is not such a problem. But my Silkies are kept in a smaller cooped in area (for their protection). At there any tips for keeping it as dry as possible? Adding pea gravel to their run (would that work? would that be crazy?)? I've thought about tarping it, but not sure if that would work either or just make it gloomy.

    So, tips for the cleanest driest run to keep the ornamental birds looking their best?
  2. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2016
    I have a very large run for my chickens, but still they scratch an area down to the dirt. I'm in Washington, so our winters are very wet. To combat the muddy areas, I first scattered grass seed, then I covered it with straw. They scratch through the straw, but I have noticed the grass is growing under there. In spring I can rake up the straw again. Seems to be working for me.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Make so run get full sun if you can not keep virtually all precipitation off. Breeze and sun better. If you have a roof draining onto run area, then redirect with guttering. Pea gravel does work and might be enhanced by putting a little slope in the run and possibly working to draw water from even run perimeter.

    Provide an elevated dry area also in full sun such as provided by a bale of straw.

    Also look into providing a hardware cloth covered mini-raised garden in run itself. Area below will be moist but also provide dry place to stand plus a little edible greens each day.

    I cheat periodically moving run to drier vegetation covered ground.
  4. chanamarie

    chanamarie In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2016
    Thanks for the tips!!

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