1. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    Can I put straw in my run to help with the mud issue? It is really bad and living in oregon rain is going to be around for many more months. The run in a huge mess right now and is only going to get worse. All I have on hand is straw
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Yep, throw down some straw if that's all ya got. The best thing you can do though, is get a load of sand and pour that in there. It will make an excellent flooring for your run.
  3. sunnyvera

    sunnyvera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2010
    NE Ohio
    We use straw, wood chips, anything we can find. It starts out very fluffy, and by the end of the week, it is all trampled down anyway. It helps with absorbing wetness. My run is HUGE, so I have dry spots under the trees, and of course it is the wettest by the gate where we come in. By Spring, you won't even see the straw, all decomposed - bugs love it. Also, gives the chickens something to scratch around in.
  4. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    I need to figure out a way to cover the run. I had a tarp over it but the weight of the rain collecting on top was causing issues. My ex-husband is a bad carpenter and did a real number when constructing the run. I have thought about tying a rope to the coop and tree so I can make a brace sort of for the tarp to rest on. I am sort of at a loss on what to do with these ladies.
  5. wvchickenhouse

    wvchickenhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    Pax, WV
    Try the straw, that's what we use. I was up to my ankles in mud yesterday so I put some new straw down. I'm going to try the sand suggestion someone had too.
  6. kuntrychick

    kuntrychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    I've been doing A LOT of raking leaves. I put the leaves in the run. The chickens absolutely LOVE scratching around in the leaves!
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You might try reading this.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):

    what you have to in the short term. Maybe putting something out there to act as dry islands above the muck may help. Any long term fix probably requires dry weather. You may not see that for a while in Oregon.

    There are a couple of different general principles to follow. Try to keep the water from getting in there to start with. Use drainage ditches or berms to keep rain runoff from going in there. Make sure your coop roof does not slope so rain runs in there. If you can cover the run, fine. The problem with a big run is that they are hard to cover.

    I used to camp a lot. Putting up a rope and draping a tarp over that works real well to help keep rain off. A possible problem longer term is that high winds can cause damage, but do what you have to. There is a trick to tying it off so the wind does not pull out the grommets. Take a small wood chip or gravel and fold and twist it into the corner, then tie around that. It is a bit hard to explain, but that is a lot stronger than tying to a grommet.

    The longer term fix is to set it up so it will drain. Dumping a lot of sand in there will work for a while. Sand drains real well, but it will wash away or work its way down into the mud. You might need to put something around the fence a few inches high to keep the sand from washing away. Putting a layer of gravel down under the sand will help keep it from getting worked down into the mud, but I suggest trying to use rounded gravel, like pea gravel or the gravel you get from a stream bed if you can. Crushed gravel with sharp edges can cut their feet when they are scratching and cause bumblefoot. It does not happen that often, but it happens often enough that if you can economically use rounded gravel, you are better off. But you need to do what you need to do.

    Good luck. It is not an easy problem to solve with a decent sized run. Mine still gets muddy in many spots when it sets in wet.
  8. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    I have a ton of leaves I am going to rake into the run first and then lay the straw down for now.
  9. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I use pallets. They can hop on top, and it keeps them up off the ground in muddy weather.

    Straw is okay, but remember to get it ALL out come spring as it harbors mites.
  10. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    Oh my what a long day. I got some sand down, on top of that a thick layer of leafs, and on top of that a bale of straw. I also fixed the tarp to keep the rain out, laid a new thing of pine in the coop, cleaned it out, and got things ready for winter. Its a good thing I have back surgery in a few days cause my back is completely broken now.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by