muddy run!

deldeer

Chirping
Oct 24, 2019
71
118
96
Northern MD/ DE
What is the best way to prevent this muddy situation and can this cause health issues with my ladies? we have had so much rain lately, its ridiculous! Their run has literally turned into a pig pen! I do have a partial roof on half of run and im considering wrapping the sides with plastic, Im not sure how to handle this. I worry about this mud freezing to their feet at night
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EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,983
832
California's Redwood Coast
way to prevent this muddy situation
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

Yes, it can cause health issues and stink to high heaven eventually.

One issue is the slope of the coop roof drains towards the run instead of away from it. I might add a rain gutter back there to send the excess water off to the sides instead. As well as increase the roof to full length on the run..

Consider using LARGE chunk bark as the medium that won't disappear into the mud or get too compacted and drains well.

I TRIED washed river sand under my covered run here in the PNW, and the edges still stunk something awful when wet. :sick Since adding in other material.. grass clippings, pine needles, dry leaves, pine shavings, tree bark, etc.. the smell is NO longer when it starts pouring.. All the adding debris makes a semi deep litter otherwise called cold composting.. which invites good bacteria AND bugs to the party to balance things out. Think forest floor.. thick, soft mulch.. as opposed to bare dirt or festering mud holes.. which can quickly become over saturated with harmful bacteria and nothing else thrives.

Side wrapped plastic can be an option and some folks do utilize it. Be sure not to diminish ventilation.. trapped moisture or ammonia build up would be undesirable.. On my small run similar to yours.. I wrapped 2 sides and left 2 open. The wrapped sides were where the most water fell with a rain gutter added on the side I left open and access when needed.

There are lots of threads and discussions on this exact subject, so I'm SURE you will find a reasonable solution! :)

If I were going to invest in a plastic for the side.. I would go with the corrugated clear plastic sheets (or lexan/plexiglass) which could be put up and taken down seasonally but rather easy to work with, store if needed, and much longer lasting and resilient than roll type plastic.. and can even be painted or marked with decorative and fun things to see/peck at.

If you wrap all sides.. maybe leave a crack for ventilation near the ceiling.

Straw by itself will just become a disgusting, soaking, rotting, mess also in my experience.. and poo sits smashed on top instead of filtering down.

Your birds are pretty! Maybe look up some enrichment for them if they aren't able to be out ranging.. like hanging corn on the cob or head of cabbage.. something they have to work the mind AND their body for.

Switching to the deep litter method or semi deep litter in that small run space with that many birds, YOU might be able to get them to turn it well enough for you by tossing in treats. My birds DON'T turn it and neither do I so, "deep litter" doesn't work for MY flock.. but that's a term you can search and see what YOU think as far as YOUR set up. Great job providing pictures already! :thumbsup

I hate it when my ground is like that my feet. Aside from it being wet and possibly causing trench foot, it's slippery. So I worry mostly about injuring myself but I've seen a dog do the splits on slippery surfaces. Overall, I think your on the right path already searching a solution.

Hope you get good food for thought and even better solutions quickly! :fl

P.S. I think I have about 3, maybe 4 days rain free before the next round bares down. Coop freshening is in order and I'll be happy do be dry while doing it! :yesss:
 

deldeer

Chirping
Oct 24, 2019
71
118
96
Northern MD/ DE
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

Yes, it can cause health issues and stink to high heaven eventually.

One issue is the slope of the coop roof drains towards the run instead of away from it. I might add a rain gutter back there to send the excess water off to the sides instead. As well as increase the roof to full length on the run..

Consider using LARGE chunk bark as the medium that won't disappear into the mud or get too compacted and drains well.

I TRIED washed river sand under my covered run here in the PNW, and the edges still stunk something awful when wet. :sick Since adding in other material.. grass clippings, pine needles, dry leaves, pine shavings, tree bark, etc.. the smell is NO longer when it starts pouring.. All the adding debris makes a semi deep litter otherwise called cold composting.. which invites good bacteria AND bugs to the party to balance things out. Think forest floor.. thick, soft mulch.. as opposed to bare dirt or festering mud holes.. which can quickly become over saturated with harmful bacteria and nothing else thrives.

Side wrapped plastic can be an option and some folks do utilize it. Be sure not to diminish ventilation.. trapped moisture or ammonia build up would be undesirable.. On my small run similar to yours.. I wrapped 2 sides and left 2 open. The wrapped sides were where the most water fell with a rain gutter added on the side I left open and access when needed.

There are lots of threads and discussions on this exact subject, so I'm SURE you will find a reasonable solution! :)

If I were going to invest in a plastic for the side.. I would go with the corrugated clear plastic sheets (or lexan/plexiglass) which could be put up and taken down seasonally but rather easy to work with, store if needed, and much longer lasting and resilient than roll type plastic.. and can even be painted or marked with decorative and fun things to see/peck at.

If you wrap all sides.. maybe leave a crack for ventilation near the ceiling.

Straw by itself will just become a disgusting, soaking, rotting, mess also in my experience.. and poo sits smashed on top instead of filtering down.

Your birds are pretty! Maybe look up some enrichment for them if they aren't able to be out ranging.. like hanging corn on the cob or head of cabbage.. something they have to work the mind AND their body for.

Switching to the deep litter method or semi deep litter in that small run space with that many birds, YOU might be able to get them to turn it well enough for you by tossing in treats. My birds DON'T turn it and neither do I so, "deep litter" doesn't work for MY flock.. but that's a term you can search and see what YOU think as far as YOUR set up. Great job providing pictures already! :thumbsup

I hate it when my ground is like that my feet. Aside from it being wet and possibly causing trench foot, it's slippery. So I worry mostly about injuring myself but I've seen a dog do the splits on slippery surfaces. Overall, I think your on the right path already searching a solution.

Hope you get good food for thought and even better solutions quickly! :fl

P.S. I think I have about 3, maybe 4 days rain free before the next round bares down. Coop freshening is in order and I'll be happy do be dry while doing it! :yesss:
Thank you, I appreciate it, I do have corrugated plastic sheeting on 3/4 of the roof and halfway up on sides on half of the run. My run is L shaped with several perch bars to get on. im thinking of maybe just covering sides with tarp to at least get thru the winter here. I do add treats hanging from roof. My lady love pumpkin, cantaloupe, squash, and their meal worms.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,722
27,543
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
What is the best way to prevent this muddy situation

Add lots and lots of dry organic material as litter.

Wood chips, wood shavings, straw, dry leaves, pine straw, rice hulls, etc. -- whatever comes readily to hand in your local area.

Also, if groundwater is running into the run across the surface of the yard dig diversion ditches.
 

deldeer

Chirping
Oct 24, 2019
71
118
96
Northern MD/ DE
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

Yes, it can cause health issues and stink to high heaven eventually.

One issue is the slope of the coop roof drains towards the run instead of away from it. I might add a rain gutter back there to send the excess water off to the sides instead. As well as increase the roof to full length on the run..

Consider using LARGE chunk bark as the medium that won't disappear into the mud or get too compacted and drains well.

I TRIED washed river sand under my covered run here in the PNW, and the edges still stunk something awful when wet. :sick Since adding in other material.. grass clippings, pine needles, dry leaves, pine shavings, tree bark, etc.. the smell is NO longer when it starts pouring.. All the adding debris makes a semi deep litter otherwise called cold composting.. which invites good bacteria AND bugs to the party to balance things out. Think forest floor.. thick, soft mulch.. as opposed to bare dirt or festering mud holes.. which can quickly become over saturated with harmful bacteria and nothing else thrives.

Side wrapped plastic can be an option and some folks do utilize it. Be sure not to diminish ventilation.. trapped moisture or ammonia build up would be undesirable.. On my small run similar to yours.. I wrapped 2 sides and left 2 open. The wrapped sides were where the most water fell with a rain gutter added on the side I left open and access when needed.

There are lots of threads and discussions on this exact subject, so I'm SURE you will find a reasonable solution! :)

If I were going to invest in a plastic for the side.. I would go with the corrugated clear plastic sheets (or lexan/plexiglass) which could be put up and taken down seasonally but rather easy to work with, store if needed, and much longer lasting and resilient than roll type plastic.. and can even be painted or marked with decorative and fun things to see/peck at.

If you wrap all sides.. maybe leave a crack for ventilation near the ceiling.

Straw by itself will just become a disgusting, soaking, rotting, mess also in my experience.. and poo sits smashed on top instead of filtering down.

Your birds are pretty! Maybe look up some enrichment for them if they aren't able to be out ranging.. like hanging corn on the cob or head of cabbage.. something they have to work the mind AND their body for.

Switching to the deep litter method or semi deep litter in that small run space with that many birds, YOU might be able to get them to turn it well enough for you by tossing in treats. My birds DON'T turn it and neither do I so, "deep litter" doesn't work for MY flock.. but that's a term you can search and see what YOU think as far as YOUR set up. Great job providing pictures already! :thumbsup

I hate it when my ground is like that my feet. Aside from it being wet and possibly causing trench foot, it's slippery. So I worry mostly about injuring myself but I've seen a dog do the splits on slippery surfaces. Overall, I think your on the right path already searching a solution.

Hope you get good food for thought and even better solutions quickly! :fl

P.S. I think I have about 3, maybe 4 days rain free before the next round bares down. Coop freshening is in order and I'll be happy do be dry while doing it! :yesss:
 

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