Managing Mud Season- what do you do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LynneP, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wherever you live, and whether or not you have a roofed run and perfect drainage, you will get some mud. It might be a spring thaw, it might be backwash or a sideways rain storm- whatever the cause, hens get filthy.

    So what do you do?

    We have an outdoor platform which they love and today I began a spring cleanup of the coop, depositing some shavings and hay in the run. We're experiencing a warm day after a savage winter and I want the absorbant material on top. Plus, it's already treated with Stable Boy powder and food-grade DE.

    The hens are in a scratching frenzy, and if I can leave it until the weather gets warmer I can rake it out and put on my compost.

    What do you do?



  2. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    I put some sand down in our run, which helped a bit. I hate the mud, but I got some nice rubber boots and just trudge through it. I have a white bantam cochin that constantly looks like she took a dip in a mud bath.
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hate it too and the birds track it indoors, naturally. *They* seem to love it. A neighboring poultry-keeper has flat rocks in his run that stay above mud level. Also good for the birds to use when filing their beaks.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    We put a lot of sand down in the run. That's all we needed to do, for our situation. Damp sand isn't an issue for us.
  5. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I do nothing, in Florida there is no need for sand, cause soil with very rare exceptions IS sand.

    I can get 5 inches of rain in 1 hr and all the water will go down the drain, precisely saying "down the sand".

    But I live in country.

    We do not have "flush floodings" in Florida country sides, even most areas are low and flat.

    The only problems with floodings is in Florida are big cities, where pavement and concrete (all man made) combined with faulty (man made) drainage system fails, flooding the whole sections of the city.

  6. briznian

    briznian Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2009
    Davis County, UT
    @LynneP, I haven't heard of chickens "filing their beaks", what is that? Thanks!
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We're on sandy loam which really helps.

    Filing the beaks- chickens need a rough rock, cement block, cinder brick or something similar indoors and out so they can clean debris off their beaks and so they can gradually file away rough edges from growth. If the beak gets overgrown they may not be able to eat properly. Fortunately, most of us use things like that in construction. Up north when the birds are indoors a lot in winter it is exceptionally important to provide something. Our waterer is on a patio block atop cinder blocks, which suits the birds...hope this helps.[​IMG]
  8. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Lynne, we have had our first peak at mud season in VT, too. My run is inside the barn, so while boring for the chickens, is not susceptible to mud season. [​IMG] The gals found the one section of melted out grass (about 2'x3'), and had a digging spree! What a mess. I am beginning to understand how chickens can be really useful in a chicken tractor.

    I am hoping that by the time spring really gets going, I can put them temporarily on each of my various unplanted garden beds. I need to get better (bigger) wheels for my chicken tractor so I can move it around in the soft earth.

    Let us all know if you figure out any hot tips on mud season....

    PS. thanks also on the tip on filing the beaks, I am actually not sure if my girls have had good access, so I'll add a patio paver to the coop today!
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's a great set-up. We have a roofed run but will make a couple of changes for next year now that we've had a chance to experience the prevailing winds and to test our drainage after building onto the barn. It was a savage year for starting my first flock! A lot of people seem surprised about chickens (and other fowl) needing scrape-rocks. But when you think about it, caged birds are given cuttlebone or pumice to self-trim their beaks. I wonder how many chickens suffer for lack of a scraping and trimming surface?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  10. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    I actually just realized that my chickens have had a brick in their coop all winter, so they are fine.

    PS. What do you mean, it "was" a savage year... winter ain't over yet! Don't you think that for a minute. I'm sending another snowstorm your way! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009

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