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  1. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Our yard has become one giant mud pit, and I'm wondering how other people are coping with the spring thaw. actually, the January thaw, then freeze, then melt, then snow, then ice, then mud, then more of the same for the next two months.

    I was prepared for the birds to trash the yard themselves, but didn't think about the increased human traffic out there. In past years, we just didn't go out there much when it was sloppy out, but now that there are animals to care for, we've made a huge mess of things. There are a couple of well-worn paths that it seems we usually follow, but when there's snow everywhere, the paths wandered, so we have an area about four times the size of the tractor that is totally trashed.

    How do other people avoid this?
     
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Bales of straw and Bales of Pine bark! We have goats and dog pens as well as chickens. Things get REALLY muddy especially with the Spring thaw so I go out and spread straw or bark on mud areas. I also put horse mats down on the ground in high traffic areas. All gate entrances have stone pavers since they are the most mud prone areas. In the chicken run I lay plywood in mud prone areas with pine chips or straw on top.

    No pavers at the run door entrance but all my other farm gate have it. I spread a bale of straw outside around the run and goat house to knock down mud.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Bone143

    Bone143 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2013
    Yup straw/hay I have a buddy that generally has 2 or 3 round bales that he cant haul when he bales a field close to me and its not worth his time or money to come way back up here for the 2 or 3 bales so I help him out by getting them out of his way. Then spread them everywhere
     
  4. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Doesn't that kill the grass underneath? I'm okay with having the part of our yard dedicated to the duck being lawn-free, but we'd really like to keep the grass in the part of the yard that we have to travel through to get to them!
     
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    No. Staw is actually also used on the ground when you are seeding. Perfect to knock down mud and it actually protects grass somewhat from a muddy demise. It also shades the grass during the hot months. Hay will have some weed seed if you use that.
     
  6. DawnB

    DawnB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you pull up the straw and throw it in the compost heap after the mud dries out? Won't it get smelly/moldy if the underneath holds moisture?
     
  7. alb9202

    alb9202 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2013
    Maine
    Personally I seeded my new lawn in the fall, we used straw and it naturally mulched, we have not removed it, infact when the grass eventually grew you could no longer see the straw. Just a thought. However if I were you I would divide the run and rotate the birds back and forth to allow a little less traffic and give the ground a break from being scratched at. Would expanding the run be an option? Or bringing in some fill to raise the ground level up and supply a little drainage to the area?
     
  8. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    The problem isn't the run itself. It's all of the human traffic walking back and forth out there to take care of the birds. In past years, we just didn't spend that much time out there if it was muddy.

    I know you put straw down when you seed the lawn, but then you typically tell people not to walk there. We have some spots where we put straw down to try to help with the mud, but it seemed like it was just getting pounded into the ground, so we didn't add any more.

    We have ducks, and planned to use a tractor system to rotate them around the yard, but discovered that they are capable of making a muddy mess in one afternoon if the conditions are right! So, we're working on keeping them in a smaller portion of the yard now.
     
  9. alb9202

    alb9202 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2013
    Maine
    I have experiments and saw dust works great for absorbing moisture
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013

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