Muddy coop

Kenzie22

In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2021
32
22
26
I just read the news letter that came through from backyard chickens but I had a more in depth question. If my coop gets muddy, can I put powdered limestone down? I know we have used it in barns to keep everything dry but I didn’t know if it would hurt the chickens or if anyone has any input!
 

MROO

Enabler
Feb 26, 2018
7,627
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The North-Eastern Corner of Maryland
I don't know about limestone, but my farmer-friends tell me I can use food-grade lime (maybe the same stuff?) in my run. I haven't tried it, yet, mainly because they follow the recommendation with a warning to cover the lime with other bedding. Apparently direct contact of lime on chicken feet can cause irritation. Seems counter-productive to me!
I conquered the mud issue by adding pine needles and leaves to the floor of the run and building a small berm along the back end to block drainage. I also added some 3-6 inch high tree stump pieces so my birds could climb up if it gets wet again. So far, so good!
 
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Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,293
16,015
832
Nevada County, CA
My run is VERY muddy today. And we're expecting 11 inches of rain on Sunday. I did my best to set up my run to divert the water, but there's not much I can do when faced with nearly a foot of water- haha!

For this current situation, I'm using wood pellets. They are doing a great job absorbing the water! I'm also laying on lots of pine shavings just to try to keep the biddies above the water.

We'll see how well that works on Sunday....
 

Kenzie22

In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2021
32
22
26
My run is VERY muddy today. And we're expecting 11 inches of rain on Sunday. I did my best to set up my run to divert the water, but there's not much I can do when faced with nearly a foot of water- haha!

For this current situation, I'm using wood pellets. They are doing a great job absorbing the water! I'm also laying on lots of pine shavings just to try to keep the biddies above the water.

We'll see how well that works on Sunday....
If the coop is getting muddy you're better off finding the source of the issue and fixing it. Putting in lime or another additive is just a bandaid, and doesn't address the core problem (leaks, drainage issue, coop location, etc.)
I don't know about limestone, but my farmer-friends tell me I can use food-grade lime (maybe the same stuff?) in my run. I haven't tried it, yet, mainly because they follow the recommendation with a warning to cover the lime with other bedding. Apparently direct contact of lime on chicken feet can cause irritation. Seems counter-productive to me!
I conquered the mud issue by adding pine needles and leaves to the floor of the run and building a small berm along the back end to block drainage. I also added some 3-6 inch high tree stump pieces so my birds could climb up if it gets wet again. So far, so good!
Thank you all!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,590
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SW Michigan
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If the coop is getting muddy you're better off finding the source of the issue and fixing it. Putting in lime or another additive is just a bandaid, and doesn't address the core problem (leaks, drainage issue, coop location, etc.)
This!!^^^
Then good bedding.

If my coop gets muddy
The coop or the run?
Pics would help here...if you want help.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,525
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North Carolina Sandhills
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Mud in the run has several possible causes that must be addressed or it cannot be corrected:

If water is entering the run by flowing off buildings or across the ground the drainage pattern must be addressed with guttering, diversion ditches, French drains, or the installation of grass swales to direct the water around the run.

If the water is pooling in the run because it's a low spot in the terrain then move the chickens to higher ground. Alternately, have the area professionally filled and re-graded by someone who actually knows what he's doing and won't create a worse problem somewhere else.

If the water is coming from heavy rain in a wet climate, roof the run.

Rock does not absorb water, organic material does. :)

Coarse wood chips, the kind you get from a tree-trimming service, are commonly held to be the gold standard for dealing with a wet or muddy run.

Here in the US southeast I have pine straw available, which I find excellent in wet weather because it doesn't pack/mat and because the top dries out quickly after even tropical storms.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,040
22,678
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Southeast Louisiana
I didn’t know if it would hurt the chickens or if anyone has any input!
I don't know either. I'd be nervous. Lime and limestone has a lot of different uses, especially in construction. I'm not sure what form it is in, has it been treated in any way? My understanding is that lime is limestone that has been heated in a kiln and has a lot of absorption properties. That may be what you are looking at. My understanding is that it can be corrosive. If is is truly limestone it may not be bad but limestone is not as absorptive as lime. That's kind of what worries me.

If you are located in the US I'd suggest having the label handy so you can identify exactly what kind of lime or limestone it is and call your county extension office and chat with them about it. If you are not in the US you might try your agricultural ministry. I don't know what services they offer.

I meant to add this. You might find something useful in it.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-to-fix-a-muddy-run-chicken-coop.47807/
 
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raingarden

Songster
Apr 12, 2021
264
417
101
Windward Oahu
For us, adding leaf litter and such to make the ground less muddy is a fool's errand. It looks great and works for a while. But, as that organic matter breaks down it just turns into more mud. A year later, the problem will be worse than it was before.. Soil and/or rock does not appreciably decompose and will raise the elevation. Raising the elevation is the long-term solution.
 

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