muddy runs, hay?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Corey NC, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    My runs are very muddy or they are all dry and hard. I worry about how the hard or muddy ground affect they're feet. Would hay be a good thing the put in the runs? I would love to sand but it is too expensive and shavings I know wouldn't work.

    Any body use hay in their runs?
  2. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Songster

    I use both hay and straw.......... they eat the hay [​IMG] must be cleaned out in damp hot weather...but needs to be cleaned anyway right !
  3. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    I think sand is the best thing for a run like that. I have sand in mine and it drains beautifully and is easy to rake and keep clean. I live in Oregon, it's always raining. My back yard is a mud pit but the chickens run is still in great shape because of the sand.
  4. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    we got hay in the open run and shavings in the covered runn. works out for us.the feeders are in the covered run . then if i feed scratch it toss it in the hay side.
  5. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    I use hay. I started by putting a flake in the corner and they moved it around. I have also used a rake to spread it around. When I start getting wet spots again I add another flake. When it gets kinda compacted I will throw out a little scratch and they stir it up for me.

  6. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Now that it's winter and the ground is frozen here I have been using straw in the run. We get those days where we'll heat up just enough to make things drip some or get drizzle/sleet instead of snow. Since the ground can't drain it just sits there in a icky pool till it freezes. Straw helps with that a lot.

    I find the hens enjoy having something to scratch around in the run too. It's not the same as digging up the dirt looking for bugs but it's a close

    Julie [​IMG]
  7. homecatmom

    homecatmom Songster

    I thought hay and straw were bad. Didn't someone on the board do crop surgery on one of their girls because she had eaten straw and got all plugged up? I have not put anything in my run, which is a muddy mess in this rain because I was afraid that they would start eating the stuff and get impacted. I'm also not sure I know the difference betwen hay and straw....I know, I girl...
  8. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    We were having the same issues with our run getting muddy, b/c of all the rain the end of Nov and then it snowed a few times in Dec and then that melted, so the run was a mess. I put straw in the run to keep their little feet dry. I wanted hay, but couldn't find it at the time.
    I haven't witnessed them eating any of the actual straw, but they do eat the seeds from it. They love scratching all around & spreading it everywhere.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yes they can get impacted from eating the straw and hay... but I use both anyways and have not had an impaction problem with any of the birds gone though here.
  10. doodledo

    doodledo Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    I have sand in the outside run and straw in the inside. they really lov when I get chaffe (?) you know, clean the farmers floor where the straw is stacked. But the sand has been a blessing. I do toss a few chunks of straw out and they kick it around when there is snow. I got my sand at a block company and I got a bucket load for around $30-40, and let me tell ya it was way more than enough. DIdnt look like it in my truck but it was.

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