Muddy coop run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KerryMZ, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. KerryMZ

    KerryMZ Hatching

    Jan 16, 2009
    The run area around my coop is VERY muddy. In Portland we have clay soil that gets pretty mucky. We have already added pea gravel to the soil to increase drainage, but it still gets mucky and can stay that way during our rainy weather. Any ideas?

  2. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Hiya! I am in Mississippi - clay and mud central! We put down a very thick layer of shredded bark mulch each fall - and it has done WONDERS in terms of keeping the chickens high and dry - and as it breaks down, the chickens dig in it, find good bugs, etc...i

    Another suggestion is sand... might serve the same role as the mulch if you put on a thick layer...

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. gmzamz

    gmzamz In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2009
    Monticello, MN
    Ya, we use sand to fill in pretty much everything around our coop.

    Edit:[​IMG] [​IMG] WELCOME TO BYC [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You won't get too much 'bang for your buck' out of sand or gravel unless you put them on REALLY THOROUGHLY DRY ground that has been flattened first (and ideally also graded so that it slopes slightly to one or more sides). If you put sand or gravel onto already-muddy ground, they just mix in and disappear, usually in not that long a time.

    Coarse organic matter like coarse wood or bark chips are probably the best temporary fix; use a large amount, to raise the chickens well up above water/mud level. They will have to be raked out before they start to decompose and merge with the soil, however, or they make *worse* mud on most soils.

    If your gravel was already put down on a dry-and-graded base, other than adding more gravel this summer or wood chips now your best bet is to tackle the problem from the input end. Anything you can do to keep rain from getting into the run will decrease your mud: a roof, a solid side to the run on the side the rain usually blows in from (if any), gutters on the coop (yes, even if it is very small) with a downspout to direct the water WELL away from the run, and a trench around the outside of the run (not right at the foot of the run fence; a little back from it) that goes around the run and ideally has an extension to direct water to somewhere else lower.

    If all that has been done, you may simply need to limp along with temporary solutions til summer and then get extra soil and/or gravel in to actually raise the run a bit above the surrounding ground, which is pretty infallible if done correctly (albeit expensive and annoying to do).

    Good luck,


  5. KerryMZ

    KerryMZ Hatching

    Jan 16, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestions. [​IMG] Keeping the run dry is tricky, because of the slope of the yard. A solid wall in the rainiest times of the year sounds effective.

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