muddy mucky mess

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by peony07, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. peony07

    peony07 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2009
    Ferndale WA
    I have done some reading here and think I have the answer, but a few opinions never hurt...
    Our run is uncovered and is dirt (now that the rains have started, mud) and I spread some straw down over the extra muddy parts and it has turned to muck.
    I give them kitchen scraps daily and just throw them on the ground.
    wondering if I should be concerned about them scratching around in their poop/mud (mold) mess?
    It sounds like we should invest in sand, lots and lots of sand. The problem there is that our coop sits on the top of a bit of a slope. Wonder if the girls would just dig and shift the sand down to the lowest point?
    Also, they do dig some pretty impressive holes, would they do the same in sand and just get to the dirt under the sand?
    Lastly, they do have dry space under their raised coop, 4x6 foot space for 5 birds. Do we NEED to give them more covered space than this?
    Thanks for your thoughts.
  2. Cypress Hen House

    Cypress Hen House Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 27, 2009
    Milwaukie, Oregon
    I am a newbie, and we have similar probs. We have an upside down aluminum boat in the pen, so that is dry, and stepping stones for humans to get to the nest boxes. I put down a lot of straw and that helps for a while.

    We are in the rainy NW, so the mud won't go away for quite a while.

    It's not totallly muddy, but enough that I get concerned.
  3. Big C

    Big C J & C Farms

    Dec 15, 2008
    Vernon Texas
    Since you mentioned that your coop sets at the top of a slope...
    You could do some runoff drainage excavation around the coop. Just make the outlying area a few inches lower and channel off the water flow to where you want the excess water to go.
    Also add some native soil or sand to elevate the coop or run "floor" area above the surrounding runoff area.
    By channeling of water flow you should be able to keep your coop and runs drier if they are at a higher elevation than the surrounding ground level.
    Our coops and runs are built at the high level of our land and water runoff is channeled outside this area. Unless we have excessive rains that can flood most anything we have no problem. Straw will just absorb moisture and not easily dry out unless it is used on a higher elevation than the surrounding ground area with plenty of natural air flow over the surface.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by