Little wet hens...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by misspoppins, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. misspoppins

    misspoppins In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2008
    I was wondering if y'all could give me a little advice.

    It's been raining like CRAZY down here in the South for the past couple of weeks. My little hens are in a coop (not free ranging), and I'm wondering what I can do for them.

    I lay down as much hay/bedding on the mud (coughswamplandcough) as I can per day and that's been helping a little, but the chickens are still all muddy all over their feet, legs and some on their stomachs. I don't know if I should leave it, or try to bathe them, or what? What do you guys do when your girls get dirty?

    Also, because it's been raining so much, they're constantly getting wet (they, for some reason, don't want to go inside their house when it's raining, and don't mind standing out in it!). I'm not sure what I should do... surely it can't be good for them to be wet all the time. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks so much!

    P.S. Sorry if I'm overreacting. [​IMG] First-time chicken momma, here. [​IMG]

  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

    Apr 19, 2009
    How much space do you have per bird? The larger the area per bird, the less likely they are to tear it up.

    Do they have roosts so they can get up off the ground if they desire?

    I'm assuming by coop you mean a run (not covered) as if it had a roof the ground *should* be dry inside. If that's the case you could try covering at least a portion of it to maintain a dry area.

    If that is an erroneous assumption and, in fact, inside your covered coop is wet you have a drainage issue. Which is a little more complex than just "put a roof over it". You need to look at the grade of the land, the soil type, etc to decide the best course of action.
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Try to cover at least a part of the run, or make a covered area inside the run--so they can be out, but not in the rain. You may need to put a tarp or something along 2 of the sides to keep out driving rain. This would be a good area to put their feeder.

    If you can get your hands on a bunch of woodchip--material that is produced when trees are chipped, you can make a thick layer that will keep them out off the mud. Put it down like 8" or more thick. Try an area and see if you like it. This is what I use for my entire run and I love it, and I live in the rain capital of the northwest.
  4. misspoppins

    misspoppins In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2008
    Okay, thanks!

    I don't have *that* much space, or I would expand. I have 8 hens in a run about 10'x5'.
    The inside of my coop does stay dry, they just don't want to go in there unless they are sleeping/laying.

    Thanks for your help! I'm going to try that. [​IMG] I like the wood chip idea! I think I'll give that one a try, too.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  5. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    My girls are outside in the rain right now...silly chickens! When it was raining a lot in the spring, I put down several inches of sand in the run. It has great drainage and it doesn't stick to their feet or feathers like mud, and it smells much better than mud!!! I'm sure the wood chips would be great too, so you can decide which would be better for you. And of course, putting some kind of roof or tarp over the run would help keep it dryer in there too. Just put it at an angle so that the water rolls away (and downhill) from the run.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah...just watched the news...LOTS of flooding in some areas [​IMG] , so hopefully not in your area (or you'd be towing them behind you in a rubber raft if it got as bad as some places down there [​IMG]). Yeah...the wood chips should help a lot. Your run area sounds a little small for 8 birds??? They get along well?? Dont pick at one another???
  7. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Songster

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    if you can afford it get sand . it drains well and isn't muddy

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