Mud Mud Mud

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KelliR, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. KelliR

    KelliR Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    I know this topic has been covered time and time again but there just HAS to be a better answer. I live in Charlotte NC and it has done nothing but rain for a month...red clay+water=horrible, nasty, sticky mud!!!!! I tried digging a drain....it kinda worked...I tried sand....I would have to be a millionaire to buy enough sand to fix this issue. During the summer we got leftover hurricane rain and I put down straw just to keep my girls up off of the mud.....well....that compacted, smelled to high heaven and invited rats. Here's the kicker.....my run is covered....AND 3/4 of it has been winterized with plastic sheeting. (so much for winter..it's 70) The water is seeping in from the ground outside of the run....and there doesn't seem to be anything that I can do about it....they have a dry coop but they love to dig and they just can't right now. Short of pouring a concrete floor and filling it in with dirt....does anyone have an idea to dry this mess up? At this point I am low on $$$ and fresh out of ideas.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Can you dig another trench, or is your run on a low spot in the yard? As a temporary cheap fix, add a lot of shavings and wood chips and whatever to raise the birds out of the water. Straw does compact and is harder to manage, but mixed in with shavings will be better. I think deep litter may be your best fix for now, and then French drains or something to drain water better. This summer I had a roof built over my run finally, and it's so much nicer for the winter snows here. Mary
     
  3. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    x 2 on Folly's place [​IMG] . Get as much Deep Litter down on it as possible. Use what ever free resources you can get. Leaves, grass clippings if they are dumped somewhere, Shavings don't cost too much so you could throw that on top of everything else. Deep as you can go, 18" is great! You could try to get mulch from a tree trimming place, they usually have it for free. Good luck!
     
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  4. samantha LW

    samantha LW Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
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    You should be able to call your local power company and get free mulch from where they have cut trees off the power lines. If it is fresh you may want to spread it out until some of the heat coming off it dissipates. I get a truck load every year for my gardens and have had to put some left over I had from spring in my run where there is no grass for the same reason. Too much rain!
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. KelliR

    KelliR Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    So....deep litter in the run? The straw about broke my back when I went to remove it and it had compacted. Let me get this straight.....pine pellets, shavings, mulch.....pile it up on top of the mud and come spring just turn it all in with the dirt to refresh? That was kinda what I was leaning toward. I have some angry birds! They do however have a large, dry coop that honestly I could put a dust bath in.....poor girls...I feel so sorry for them! Thanks for the replies! Oh...and there is one French drain in there already, and yes it is in a lower part of the yard....had to build off of where the old playhouse was...it can't be moved....sheet metal![​IMG]
     
  7. samantha LW

    samantha LW Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Georgia
    Yes.you can also throw in leaves etc. from the yard. I have a friend who does this in her run because she has no grass at all. She pays my kids per wheelbarrow to go rake her yard and dump it in there. The chickens love it!
     
  8. KelliR

    KelliR Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    That would be awesome if the leaves weren't wet as well!! They love the pine mulch I put out in my flower beds....wonder if bagged mulch would be ok in place of wood chips? Unfortunately, I don't have a way for a truck to come in with a large load of anything...I just want dry (or drier) happy birds with clean feet...mine hate having dirty feet, which is another story altogether! Put a pan of water in, they will clean their feet and then drink it.....
     
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  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    southern Michigan
    Shavings come in bags from farm supply stores, as horse bedding. Call around for best price in your area. Don't use any colored mulch, or cocoa shells, or anything else that's toxic. I think that the shavings, with some other stuff added, works best. Mary
     
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was very early spring when I started my deep litter. I used leaves from the previous autumn that I had to dig out from the compost pile under the snow. They were wet. I combined them with a bag of shavings. The really dry shavings balanced out the moisture in the leaves perfectly. When you've experienced horribly wet conditions the knee jerk reaction is to completely avoid anything wet. For deep litter to work best there needs to be some moisture in the litter. The different textures of the leaves, woodchips, shavings, pine needles, dried grass, etc. creates air gaps in the litter. A lofty, air filled litter that your birds can easily scratch through will dry on the top layers. Some moisture will be trapped in the lower layers and some will seep up from below. That is good and needed. If you find it is remaining too wet, just go deeper and with more varied textures.
     

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