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. 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

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    Oct 21, 2007
    usa
    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.

    Tonya
     
  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 second...lol.

    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 know....city girl...
    Cathy
     
  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 Premium Member

    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

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    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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