Muddy coop

littledog

Free Ranging
10 Years
Aug 7, 2011
632
3,203
557
Puget Sound area, WA
I absolutely love chipdrop.com, but the quality and timeliness definitely varies a lot depending on where you live. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where most of the trees people are pruning are Alder and Doug fir, and not many harmful species like poison Ivy grow around here. Even better, I live close to where two highways meet, so every time I've signed up for a chip drop I've gotten it the next day!

Another thing to consider, all those fallen branches (within a reasonable size) don't have to all be chipped up, you can put them in the chicken run as-is. I dump wood chips in the middle of the run, and place larger branches, even some log pieces, around the edges. They help keep the chips from washing away, but extra rainwater drains through them to the outside. And, the chickens like having larger branches to jump on and hide between.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,223
37,016
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Another thing to consider, all those fallen branches (within a reasonable size) don't have to all be chipped up, you can put them in the chicken run as-is. I dump wood chips in the middle of the run, and place larger branches, even some log pieces, around the edges. They help keep the chips from washing away, but extra rainwater drains through them to the outside. And, the chickens like having larger branches to jump on and hide between.
Good as an anti-dig barrier too, if your flock loves to excavate the fence line.

coop8.jpg
 

Choo-Choo

In the Brooder
Oct 28, 2021
8
44
34
Someone from high-desert Arizona here.

We don't have many opportunities for things to get muddy here, and when it does the chickens tend to LOVE the change of ground, from rock-hard dirt to squishies. Indeed, I have to water the runs with sprinklers now and then to keep the runs from becoming rock-hard dirt, and we have occasional hose water flowing under the lilac bushes which offer shade to the free-rangers in the summer--giving rise to the "Lilac Springs Chicken Resort"!

AGRICULTURAL lime (crushed limestome) *can* be beneficial for coops. What we use comes from Tractor Supply Co at $3.39 a 50-pound bag; it's certified crushed limestone, varying from fine pellets to . Limestone is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO 3)--and guess what's in the oyster shells or crushed eggshells you're probably feeding your hens? It helps reduce odors and balances out the acidity from the chicken poop. I spread it on occasion (a couple times a year at best) with a grass seeder/fertilizer spreader I got from a thrift store for $10.

Another factor: We use used coffee groundfs in our coops as "chicky litter" for easier cleaning--literally, 2-3 5-gallon buckets a week. (I live down the street from a coffeehouse that conveniently leaves its spent grounds in big filter bags that allow for easy drying.) The droppings AND the grounds go into the mud and the compost heaps, and a bit of lime gets dusted over the compost as it's turned, to balance out the acidity as well.

We are fortunate enough to have massive access to a HUGE amount of mulch. A connection with the county public works department got them to dump some of a literal mountain of mulch on my mother-in-law's ten acres--literally 25 dump truck loads! (It had to be disposed of because it was under threat of catching fire from composting!) We shovel up the well-seasoned stuff from a year ort two ago and lay it in parts of the runs that are laying low from a lot of dirt-bath scratching, and use it also to cover up areas of the runs where lime has been laid, just in case there is something to that line about lime affecting their delicate feet. Free mulch can probably be had in the right places; others will know more if "native woods" are any hazard to chickens (here it's mesquite, juniper, pine, etc.).
 

Kennas_Kritters

Songster
Dec 30, 2019
420
819
176
Polk City, FL
My Coop
My Coop
I have the ground in my coops raised up so the water drain off into the ditch area in our yard. It stays nice and dry in there. Took alot of work but I don't have any problems with it being to wet. ❤ They don't even have bedding in the run. That's all dirt that they bathe in. The coop part is usually filled with hay (grass dried at home) or leaves/pine needles.
 

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