Mud and Run maintenance.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Songbird Farms, May 22, 2018.

  1. Songbird Farms

    Songbird Farms In the Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2018
    Hi all –

    I have 11 year old hens in run 10X21, with no roof. Living in CT with high water table we are very muddy these days. The hens rarely stay in the coop and have been sloshing around.

    How often should I be cleaning / raking out the run ?

    My plan as of this spring is to add a few inches of sand to the run with pavers/gravel under the coop where food/water hangs.

    Is this wise if I need to rake out the run often ?


    Your thoughts are greatly appreciated ?
     
    Ducksandchickens likes this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Hmmm...how wet is your coop and run?
    Is coop and run in a low area that is wet all the time,
    or just when rain and runoff make puddles?
    Pics of the run and surrounding area would help garner viable suggestions.
     
  3. Songbird Farms

    Songbird Farms In the Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2018
    The coop is up approx 3 feet off the ground, so it's nice and dry. My entire yard here in CT has a high water table. So, with the spring rains the ground can be wet. water just beneath the surface. Inside the run where it's all dirt and is Now All mud. Half of it is very soft gooey mud. I'll try and add pics later.

    I was thinking about putting boards on the ground along the sides and adding a mix of dirt and sand to raise the area 3-4 inches. IF I do that – How often would I need to clean it? Rake it monthly? A few times a year?
     
  4. Songbird Farms

    Songbird Farms In the Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2018
    Here are 2 pics from this morning. We had a 3am thunderstorm/more hard rain, so water has pooled up on surface. I put some old boards in there as a band-aid until I can work on it.

    If I build it up with a sand dirt mix. rain hit by 4 inches...will that be ok for the hens ? Is a sandy mix ok? How often will I need to rake it out ?

    20180523_075335.jpg 20180523_075313.jpg
     
  5. Songbird Farms

    Songbird Farms In the Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2018
    I added some pics for you. Appreciate the advice.
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    I would say... make your base a sandy mix and top with "semi" deep litter.... aiming to make it like the forest floor with lots of mulch type stuff built up... leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, old shaving or hay from nest boxes... for me it's an ongoing renewal process. I remove all the fresh droppings and the old pancake ones as often as possible. It works really well around the edges of my covered run that used to stink to high heaven every time it rained and I'm in the PNW. It helps to invite bugs and good microbes to combat all the nasty stuff. It will MUCH healthier than a bare dirt or sand run... which is quite disgusting on a regular basis NO matter how much raking you do.

    Of course covering your run (in addition to the semi deep litter) would help to keep the surface of that area dryer. I call it semi since I remove waste regularly.

    Good luck, muddy runs are a bummer. :fl
     
    Songbird Farms likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    It looks like your run surface is above the surrounding area?
    I can't really see the area surrounding the run.
    ...and the puddles in run are draining fairly quickly?

    If so, I would just start adding dry plant matter, starting with aged ramial wood chippings....or even large sized non treated bark mulch.
    I do a 'semi-deep' litter also...and it does take some renewal of the smaller tings that 'rot' faster, like dry leaves, hay, straw, etc. Keep a balance of sizes, shapes, materials.....I rarely add anything 'green', just 'browns'. 'Greens' and 'Browns' being composting terms.

    I have a large walk in run and never 'clean' poops from the run,
    and there is rarely any nasty odors. The bedding of a good mix of dry plant materials use facilitates this nicely, it's basically no maintenance other than adding more material from time to time. I was able to start with a big load of tree trimmings from the power company that had been aged(6 months) so I avoided the toxic molds that can bloom with fresh chippings. I collect dry leaves in the fall (stored in feed bags in a shed) and add them occasionally, and other garden trimmings. I let my grass grow tall, mow and spread it out with discharge pattern, leave it to dry a few day, then push it into rows with the mower discharge, rake it up and add to run.
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