1. brooky

    brooky Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    Hey Folks,

    We have had our chickens about three months and we love them to bits. The run has started to get quite muddy now the grass has all gone. Is this a problem for their feet? Should we be laying hay or something in the ground?
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I had this problem. I went out and got a big load of masonary sand ( or concrete sand ) and laid it down in all the runs, no more mud. I don't think the water was draining and thats why it was getting really muddy.
  3. brooky

    brooky Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    Thanks for the tip. The ground isn't that bad but just a bit muddy (no water pools).

    I saw another post about fern or something?!
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Yep, I use sand too - - the kind you can get for sandboxes works pretty well. It mixes in with the clay soil here and really helps the drainage. I have to add more every so often, no biggie.

    It makes the pen much easier to clean, too - - I just use a kitty litter scoop, whisk broom and old bucket.

    If your pen is small you might also be able to install a roof over it; my small pens have tinted polycarbonate roofs. We purchased the materials at Lowe's; it's similar to the material you can use for a greenhouse. This goes a very long way toward keeping things clean and dry.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    I place the fall leaves in my nesting and feeding area before it rains and i never have a problem with a muddy mess and it smells good too.

    Ps. i have over 400 birds of various types
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Check out my "fix a muddy run" page, link in .sig below. Readers Digest version: there are things you can do to 'band-aid' fix the mud (although some can backfire if not removed before they start to decompose) but by far the most effective long-term solutions involve doing things to limit how much water goes into the area and increase the rate at which water leaves. Read the webpage [​IMG]

    Adding leaves or other organic material will work in some particular climates on some particular soils, but is not a *general* long-term solution.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. brooky

    brooky Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    Thanks All. [​IMG]
  8. HarperFarm

    HarperFarm New Egg

    Oct 31, 2010
    Pendleton, SC
    Another suggestion is to go to your local feed and seed store and get a small bag of annual rye grass and a bale of straw, fence off the muddy part of the run toss the rye grass out and scatter straw over and its green in no time!
  9. 72elizabeth

    72elizabeth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern FL
    Some where on this site or maybe Guinea Fowl Internation, someone suggested using a eel net. I was using a kitty pooper scooper, then I went to Walmart and bought the eel net, $4.50. It works great! Picks up the smallest pieces and leaves the sand. So much fast to clean. The sand stay white and beautiful. Now I just need someone to tell me how to keep the sand nice with the ducks. Boy oh boy, are they messy.
  10. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    pat, I am so glad you included that info re. drainage/water prevention. I always forget to suggest this to folks, LOL! It really is the most important thing of all. I have used landscaping bricks on the sides of my pens where water drains down a gradual slope, and this really helped in all four pens. It also has the added benefit of helping deter predators.

    72eliz, thanks for the info on the eel net. Good idea!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by