1. Momhen

    Momhen Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2011
    Our hens are in a run that is mostly soil with a little area of rocks. Coming into the wet winter months here I'm realising how messy this will be not only for me going in and out to feed, water & chill out with them but also for their little feet! What is a good type of ground cover for a run which doesn't turn into a miry, mucky, mess in wet weather (we live in Northern Ireland so in the winter we would get rain instead of snow!) Would I be smart to put small stones down? Wood chip? or just leave the soil...and risk ending up on my backside!
  2. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    I laid sand down in the entire run. It's still messy when wet but not muddy and much easier to knock off your shoes. It dries quickly and is easy to clean up poo when dry. Just like a cat's litter box. So far I've been happy with it. With winter approaching, I imagine it will work pretty well too.
  3. the3ofus+oursixchicks

    the3ofus+oursixchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    i put sand in half of mine and i LOVE it. the other half is regular soil so they can scratch. and sand to get rid of the just plain dirt. you walk in there and its sand on your shoes plus keeping the poop cleaned its like cleaning a liter box for a cat. mine free range 95% of the time anyway. i noticed you said you were from ireland. i have always wanted to go to ireland. whats it like there?
  4. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    I just redid my first run, moved it spread medium sized gravel then sand, replaced the run and filled it with sand. So much better than the stinky muddy mess that we had! Better drainage and sand is the way to go!
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello there Momhen, all the way from Ohio in the US! Glad to have your with us! I would put a load of sand down, if your run isn't covered. It drains well and isn't muddy.
  6. AV Brahmas

    AV Brahmas Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2011
    The Great White North
    To make a long story short about a bad neighbor who hates chickens and some land contouring to make the watershed hit my buildings....

    I have a pen that is muddy in the winter. I was doing some cement work one year and had a lot left over so I made some drop biscuits out of the leftover. I scattered these around the pen and they made for some nice footing with the rough side down and the bottom up. Some sand helped a lot also added to the mix. I also ran a drain tile on the downward side to collect puddled water and take it off into the woods.
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I use sand.
  8. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Check out my mud eradication page (see my sig) and the one I link to on that page by patandchickens. LOTS of info on various ways to fix a muddy run.

    Basically, you want gravel and/or landscape fabric, with sand on top of that. Just sand will probably disappear pretty quickly. Also consider covering the run (see my page).

    Sand is WONDERFUL. You will never regret doing that, esp. if you do it right.
  9. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    I mixed enormous amounts of sand in with the soil. It is much better now.

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