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Keeping ground dry in coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lookyhereboy, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. lookyhereboy

    lookyhereboy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2012
    Drury, MO
    Can anyone tell me the best product to put on the ground inside the coop for moisture absorbing. Right now I just have straw but it has been so wet this mild winter, the ground is just a muddy mess. Any experienced suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. maidenwolfx80

    maidenwolfx80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now with everything we have gone through in such a short period of time with the ground not wanting to absorb anything, there isnt much you can do until it dries up. You can use sand in the run a few inches deep to keep everything draining. Or pine shavings to soak up the moisture but I think your best bet, and what I have decided to do, wait till it dries up and just add small amounts of straw at a time to at least give a stable footing. Good luck friend from MO,, what a mess we have got...
     
  3. krhayden

    krhayden New Egg

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    Apr 3, 2012
    We have the same problem and it is really bugging me. Their feet are caked with mud and I think a lot of it is poop mixed with mud. It is easier to pick up the poop that is in the upper part of the coop because that is a wood floor with pine shavings. We have a problem with drainage. I worry that they are going to have fungus or something on their feet. I let them free range for a little bit every day and hope that it helps to be out walking on the driveway and grass. Need to research better drainage. A friend just suggested putting my coop up on a pallet . At least this would get it off the mud. Any ideas?
     
  4. maidenwolfx80

    maidenwolfx80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My main coop house is on pallets with an OSB floor and my run is dirt. I am doing some renovations and adding on,, darn chicken math, and was considering that since I free range to put the run area up on pallets too to keep them dry on days they dont go out due to not liking the rain or snow too much. For now keep up with the shavings or straw to keep their feet dry because they can get infections in their feet, bumblefoot is a big one.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I know this link is for muddy runs but a lot of the ideas would work for coops too.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    How do you dry out a coop? Stop the water from getting in in the first place. Is it leaking in? Fix the leak. Is it coming in through your ventilation? Put something over it to keep the rain out like shutters or some kind of rain guard.

    Is it coming in from ground level? Build berms or swales or ditches or levees to divert rainwater runoff. Are you in a low spot where water drains too? That’s harder. I put a few inches of clay dirt inside my coop to make sure the floor level was high enough to keep water from running in, plus I put a swale on the uphill side to divert run-off.

    What do you do once it is wet? Good ventilation will help it dry out if you can stop more water from coming in. Sand drains really well. If you can get a fairly thick layer of sand and the water has some place to drain to, that will really help. You can put down pallets, lumber, things for them and you to walk on, but they’ll still get muddy feet. You’ll still need to wash the eggs. If you put down enough bedding that may help a bunch with the mud but it will soak up the water and stay wet. You’ll probably have to change it out fairly regularly to keep it from stinking.

    The best thing is to figure out where the water is coming from to start with and fix that problem. It’s practically impossible to dry it out if water keeps coming in.

    Good luck! This is not always a simple fix.
     
  6. lookyhereboy

    lookyhereboy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2012
    Drury, MO
    Thanks for the quick replies. I'll just stick with changing out the straw for now. I do believe I have an old pallet I can stick that in one end so they can stay up off the mud from time to time. My concern was a fungus or the like from being in the mud. But looks like not a lot you can do. Thanks again folks.
     
  7. krhayden

    krhayden New Egg

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    Apr 3, 2012
    Thanks. Do you happen to know off hand what bumblefoot looks like?
     
  8. lookyhereboy

    lookyhereboy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2012
    Drury, MO
    Thanks but it is actually the dirt run. My coop stays good and dry. The run is covered but I will wait until things are a little drier and find a way to divert run off water away from the run based on suggestions.
     
  9. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Westfield, Indiana
    Swelled up feet or areas on the feet. You chicken will limp if they have bumblefoot. This can be prevented with no sharp edge stuff on the ground and roosts that are mostly rounded and not too high off the ground.

    The coop floor is best raised and of material that the chickens won't scratch down to the mud. My flooring is wood planks with wood chips. You can add plywood sheets on the ground as well as a quick fix. Later when things dry out you can work on some type of raised floor if you still have mud concerns. I also add wood pallets in places in the run that stay dry during BIG rains or Spring thaws.

    This is part of a 3 sided and covered run area that I use as an isolation area (for a few weeks) for new birds before they enter the flock. Shows wood pallets covered with plywood on the floor.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  10. krhayden

    krhayden New Egg

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    Apr 3, 2012
    Thank you for the photo. Looks very nice. I am interested to see that your walk-way up to the 2nd level is very clean. Ours gets very muddy and full of chicken poop - is it odd that they would be pooping on the ramp??

    Their feet appear to be fine and they seem very healthy. Have seen no limping when we let them free range.
     

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