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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sarahcraver, Jan 20, 2013.
How do you manage mud in your coop?
covering the run with a tarp helps a lot, but water will still get in. leaves help keep the mud down, but eventually disintegrate. sand and pea gravel both help with drainage, and dry out quickly. do not put straw on the ground. it STINKS when it gets wet. so a good way to keep the mud would to be to put a tarp up, then put sand an the run, then leaves over that! that should ensure you get almost no mud
I used to have a mud problem, but then I added straw bedding, and the problem went away. i wouldn't reccomend a dirt floor in a coop, especially if you live in a wet place.
Do you mean coop or run? It’s still basically the same methods but there could be some differences. Here is a link to fixing muddy runs. Many of the principles would apply to a coop.
Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
There are two basic principles. First, keep water out. That may involve putting in berms, swales, ditches or something to keep rainwater runoff from going in. It may involve coverings to keep rainwater out. Maybe sloping a roof or installing gutters to get the water away.
The other is fixing it so it can drain. If you are in a low spot that can be hard. The water needs a place to drain to so initial placement with drainage in mind can be really important. If you are in a low spot, you may need to build it up some. Maybe put gravel down then a thick layer of sand. Sand drains really well if the water has a place to go but it can wash away or the chickens can scratch it out. You might need to put in something to confine it. Sand also has a way of eventually disappearing down into the mud but if you do it right, it can last a long time.
You can put down pallets, stepping stones or things like that to help get up out of the mud. Some people put in hay, straw, wood chips, things like that but some of them have to change that out pretty often. There are lots of different ways to approach it. What works best for you will depend on your unique situation.
My coop and run is on a very slight rise but I built a swale on the uphill side to help keep rainwater runoff out. I also put in a few inches of clay dirt in the coop so it was higher than the surrounding area, then use wood shavings as bedding. My run is about 75% covered, which helps, but a lot of rainwater comes in from the side. When it sets in rainy for a while it can be a mess. I’ve also dumped a couple of bags of pea gravel at the gate and people door from the coop to the run to help build it up a bit.
There are a lot of different things you can do, but I suggest looking at where the water is coming from and address that. Then look at how you can help it drain.
Good luck! These things are not always easy.