mud in coop??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RIR0BCM, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. RIR0BCM

    RIR0BCM Chirping

    Nov 7, 2014
    hello i recently built a huge coop for my girls
    My problem is that whenever it rains the coop become very muddy
    I use hay and straw as bedding but it would only last for one day before rain turns it wet and muddy
    What can i do ???

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated !!


    Winter sucks !!!
  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Songster

    Mar 31, 2014
    Yes, Winter does suck!

    A couple years ago, our coop had the same problem. We were just starting out keeping chickens. We repurposed a lean to shed for their coop and it held water bad. Water in winter turned to ice skating rink and then back to nasty mud. Not good. We also use straw for bedding. We ended up building the coop floor up with the straw, sand, fireplace ashes, and dirt. We have a earth floor. If I had it to do over, or when I make a new coop, the coop will have a proper floor and we will be using pine shavings.
  3. RIR0BCM

    RIR0BCM Chirping

    Nov 7, 2014
    Sand straw and ash ?? Did that work ?

    I also have earth floor what do you mean proper floor ?? I tried pine shaving ,tree leaves ,straw ,dirt but nothing worked they all eventually turned mud !!
    Its been raining none stop for a week

    What can i do. !?
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There are two basic ideas. Keep the water out to start with or get the water out once it gets in. Not always easy but this might help.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):

    To me a proper floor is one that keeps water out and drains water out if it gets in. I built my coop on a slight rise and then added a few inches of dirt so it is higher than anything around it. I also built a swale on the up side to help keep those heavy rains from flooding it anyway. My coop does not get wet from floodwaters.

    Sometime some rain water or especially dry swirling floating snow will come in through an opening. The dirt will eventually drain since it is higher than the surrounding ground, but what I really rely on to dry it when that happens is ventilation. Lots of ventilation will dry it out, but it really helps to rake it. You can do that yourself or just toss a little corn on it and the chickens will rake it for you.

    A lot of different people use different techniques. Building it up with sand can be a great solution as long as the sand is high enough that it has somewhere to drain to.

    A lot of people will consider a “proper” floor a raised wood, concrete, or something else floor. That can work but if water gets in it still needs to be able to dry out.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    If you have access to wood chips, about 12" deep should also work.
    1 person likes this.
  6. RIR0BCM

    RIR0BCM Chirping

    Nov 7, 2014
    no wood chips didnt work the problem is the water floods in the coop and stays there and all the dirt ,leaves,hay,poo turn to a big layer of mud !!

    i cant even step in it so i keep water and food bowls near the coop door
    i took all the hens out but half of them are in a smaller cage and the others are inside the house with me

    wood is probably the best solution ill make a higher floor from wood
  7. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Sounds like you only used a layer of shavings.

    I'm talking about a mountain of chips, creating a hill, allowing the water to pass freely underneath.

    Also as suggested by Ridgerunner you need to address the drainage issues, and or the surrounding landscape, so the coop is not at a low point where water will accumulate.
  8. RIR0BCM

    RIR0BCM Chirping

    Nov 7, 2014
    Yes i have a thin layer of bedding but i think wood chips is not a permanent solution
    It can rot with time
    I have two coops and both of them are muddy one of them is at a low point but its too huge and we cant move it
  9. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    A couple of ideas:

    Create a "floating floor" that either sits directly on the ground or is supported by concrete blocks (preferred). This is probably the quickest fix, but you will no doubt have to replace it over time because even if you put it on blocks, it will still be exposed to all the moisture from below. Also, it does nothing to mediate any of the humidity issues that you likely have in the coop because of all that water.

    Jack up the coop, retrofit it with a real floor, and set it back down on footings that raise it off the ground. This would probably be a pretty big undertaking that might require serious carpentry skills. It will no doubt require alternate temporary housing for your flock but it would get everything up and out of the water and prevent the coop from rotting from the ground up.

    Dig a trench around the perimeter of the coop, install gravel and perforated pvc pipe (French drain) to direct the water around and away from the coop. If the coop is truly at the lowest point in the yard you may have the best effect by installing a French drain in combination with a drywell. This strategy will probably result in less upset of the current housing situation and as long as you don't mind digging (and don't have rocks/tree roots that make it too difficult) might get you the best results compared to the effort required.

    If it were me, I'd probably put in a floating floor (on blocks) for immediate relief from the mud, and that would give me time to install a French drain/drywell to divert the water.
  10. RIR0BCM

    RIR0BCM Chirping

    Nov 7, 2014
    Thanks !,, great ideas
    The huge coop i have is made of roofing sheets and mesh so its more like a huge cage with a separating mesh in the middle to keep the breeds i have
    Separated and its not in my yard its in our farm and like i said before its huge and its heavy ,i don't know if we can lift it up to build a new floor,
    And there are lots of rocks in the ground so digging is not easy but i was thinking maybe i can build a wooden floor and make it a bit higher
    That way water can go beneath it or around it and it wont get in and i can use pine shavings or straw as a bedding even in winter but i don't know if wood is strong enough .....i go inside the coop every day ...
    What if it cracks ?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: