muddy, poor draining backyard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by heidinrob, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. heidinrob

    heidinrob Hatching

    Mar 14, 2011
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Hi! My husband and I are first time chicken owners and having trouble managing the mud in our side yard where the girls hang out. Our pullets will be a year old in April and are doing well, but have torn up and eaten EVERYTHING on their side of the yard. Our soil is pretty hard-packed and drains poorly, and living in Coastal California we are having trouble this rainy season with poopy, muddy puddles everywhere. We have been putting down straw in some areas, but after it gets wet, I worry about mold/mildew bothering them. Wondering if we should put down wood chips or something? Has anyone heard of sheet composting, and is that a good option? I appreciate any advice for this problem! Thanks!
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    I would try sand that seems to help here with the mud. I let our girls free range the whole backyard last year and now I have just dirt for a back yard.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I'm gonna eventually bring in a whole boatload of sand to fix my muddy back yard. Meanwhile, it's a mess.
  4. EssexGirl

    EssexGirl In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    Hmm, I've heard of sheet mulching ... is that what you mean? You put down sheets of cardboard or fabric, then pile wood chips on top. And usually you would plant through the cardboard, but the chickens will probably eat anything you could plant. We are just putting fine bark chips in our chicken pen as I think it will help with the puddles but I haven't put anything underneath as I know the chickens will scratch it all up eventually (there's a slope below the pen and everything ends up down at the bottom sooner or later!) We're also hoping that the bark chips will compost down with the poop and keep the flies down as the weather warms up.

    Good luck ... [​IMG]

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