Large run - raised floor or other material?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tiggers, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Tiggers

    Tiggers Just Hatched

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    We have two coops and about 30 chickens in a fenced enclosure that is about 250 sq m or 2,900 sq ft. we have a terrible mud problem when it rains in the yard and this has led to a cochi bacteria infection in the chickens twice now. We have tried mulch and straw but the chickens just dig it up. We are thinking now of building a large covered run inside the yard for times of wet weather. The question is do I suspend the floor completely or do I put some kind of durable material to prevent mud but that the chickens can't easily dig through. I am not going to enclose the sides just put a roof on, so whatever I use will essentially be outside and exposed to the elements. Any thoughts folks? Thanks so much [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Re direct the flow of water around or under the run.
     
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  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't put a floor on it at all. I'd locate it in a central location relatively close to the two coops. If you can, bring in a bit of soil and grade the ground so it is slightly higher than the surrounding area. Then load the area under the roof with wood chips, leaves, organic yard waste, etc. The edges will get wet when it rains, but the roof will keep most of the area somewhat dry. The bed of organic material will allow rain water to trickle down, giving the birds a higher, dryer surface to stand on. The birds will no doubt kick some out, but just keep adding more under the roofed area.
     
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  4. rehric00

    rehric00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the above, you have to alter the slope somehow or modify the way the water runs. Do you have pics of what you are working with?
     
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  5. Tiggers

    Tiggers Just Hatched

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    Mar 22, 2017
    Great ideas I will upload some pictures so that you can see what I am dealing with!
     
  6. Tiggers

    Tiggers Just Hatched

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    I have taken some photos and panoramas of the yard. There are three ducks and two goats in with the chickens but the ducks are fenced off and can't mix with the chickens and the chickens and goats cannot get into the duck area. Also the water from the duck area drains off the side and out of the yard so it doesn't affect the chickens. We are getting rid of the ducks anyway (well, moving them). The goats and the chickens don't seem to bother each other. The goats have their hut and the chickens have their coops. We no longer let hay or straw accumulate on the floor - that was a problem - the chickens loved digging through it but we were told mouldy and rotting hay could cause problems for all so we clean it out once or twice a week. The chickens have a separate clean water supply to the goats and they can't get to the goats water. The mud accumulate really just because there is no grass left in there and when it rains it just turns to thick brown chocolatey mud - and the chooks get sick with the runs and respiratory infections. Any and all ideas to keep them dry and healthy are deeply appreciated.


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  7. Sophocles

    Sophocles Out Of The Brooder

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    When the run becomes muddy, is the problem limited to the run? Your yard? Or is the entire neighbourhood a mess?
    If it's a neighbourhood-wide problem, the solution has to be as well.

    If your run is situated lower than the surrounding area, obviously that'd be a big problem, but what I can tell from your pictures that's not the case.

    You might have a heavy clay soil which prevents the water from draining properly, the lack of vegetation impacting the problem. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=620
     
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  8. Tiggers

    Tiggers Just Hatched

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    Yes that’s definitely the case. The soil in this area is very full of clay. Once the grass is gone it just turns to mud. There is no water really running onto it, it just gets that way from the rain that falls on it.
     
  9. Tiggers

    Tiggers Just Hatched

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    And yes, sorry it's the whole chicken yard because it has no grass.
     
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Clay soil is the problem with my yard too. The water tends to just sit there. I had awful wet and stink and a cocci outbreak, too. It's what made me decide to do deep litter in my covered run. I got a huge load of wood chips delivered and spread them about 6 inches deep in the run. On top of that I tossed a couple wheelbarrow loads of chopped leaves and straw. It made an immediate difference. Now I put all sorts of yard waste in there. Everything composts down eventually but I keep adding more stuff. Now the birds are standing on about 8-10 inches of well-draining organic rich soil and humus.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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