mud . . . . . . up to their ankles :(


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 6, 2012
Orono, Ontario, Canada
hi all.

With all the cold rain we have been getting here the chickens and ducks have turned their pens into mud wallows. Normally they are let out to forage on a lager area, but because their large pens are not completed, and we have had predator attacks in the last month, they have been restricted to their lock-up pens when humans aren't out with them.
Now all of my experience with geese and ducks come from what my grandparents did on their farm. However, where they lived was mot surrounded by forests and they could let the birds roam all day without fear of losing one (we have a conservation area on three three sides of our farm and can't do that)

My question is, what do you guys do to combat the mud that occurs when birds have to be penned up in bad weather? I've been dumping straw all over the place and am hoping it helps with the rain coming tomorrow.

Any ideas?
Sand. Straw and hay will mold/mildew when wet and smells and adds to your clean up. If you have geese you will have to let them out to graze as its a large part (90%) of their diet.
I was reluctant about the straw because of the mold issue. Usually they are out to graze but I need to finish securing the area against predators. The straw has been a last resort since I have never had this kind of drainage problems before (we're pretty sandy here) I'm starting to think I'm going to have to go get skids from the skid manufacturers down the road if I can;t solve this problem.
One thing to know about the sand is you must have it deep. If the sand isn't thick enough they will turn it into the dirt and finally make mud. I have sand in my duck and geese pens and it worked for awhile but then the birds did find a wet spot and work it till they had it muddy. I got a rubber mat made for horse stalls and put that in the main part of the duck pen and its working well. The ducks still try to make a messy muddy pit but the mat covers the ground and the whole pen is staying much cleaner. Only problem I am seeing is that the mats are a bit pricey. They do last for years though so it may be worth it for you.
hmmm, maybe I'll go and dig up a trailer full of coarse sand from the back end of the farm once the rain stops and put down a couple of more inches. I have no dobt that the majority of the mud wallows was from excavating the place over the last two days.
I'll be glad when they can be in their pasture instead of a pen.

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