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Need advice on coop run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by poultrylady, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. poultrylady

    poultrylady Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Delano, Tn.
    I have 4 coops with large outdoor runs attached. The coops are nice, large and dry but my outside runs are a muddy mess, we have had alot of rain and they are really muddy. I hate to see the chickens in this mess. All of my new coops and runs have a roof over them, and this works so much better, I wish my old runs had roofs but the way they are designed it would just be to hard to do. Anyway a friend told me to put small gravel in the runs and it would help, we live close to a quarry so I could easily do this, but my husband says it will not help at all. Anybody tried this?
  2. kick'n chick'n

    kick'n chick'n Songster

    Nov 18, 2008
    i have this same problem, i'm gonna add sand to my runs for better drainage. i put tarps over them for the time being.
  3. Momo

    Momo Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I recommend road base, something like 1/4" crush with fines. I added that to my horse paddocks which were a muddy mess and hey presto no more mud for several years now. It packs down into a nice flat surface and water drains off readily.
  4. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    If you don't ever go in the run you could keep it tilled up to help the water drain off the surface but it would be to soft for you to walk on.

    Gravel an sand would help in pens that you walk in.

    The thing is if the water has no where to go nothing helps.

    If your soil don't drain well you need to run a mole plow over your property to give it drainage.
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Sand and gravel and be certain the water has a place to drain to.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    First dig a ditch around the outside of the runs (a couple yards away from the fence, preferably, so you're not undermining it), with an additional part of the ditch leading the collected water away to lower ground.

    Then make sure the coop itself is not dumping water into the run -- install gutters and downspouts if you don't already have 'em, and watch where the downspout water goes.

    Gravel or sand or a sand/gravel mix WILL help a lot (we're talking a significant amount, here, like 3-6"). HOWEVER it won't help for long if you put it in now when the ground is muddy. Sand or gravel dumped onto muddy ground will just sink into the mud and disappear, within months or a year, wasting all that money and work. Ideally, put gravel in when the ground is firmly dry. If gravel and labor are cheap you *could* put some in now as a stopgap measure, but be aware you're almost certainly gonna have to add a bunch more next summer.

    An alternative stopgap measure would be to get a bunch of shredded bark or tree chippings or like that, preferably coarser stuff rather than finer. It will gradually start to decompose, and as it breaks down it will start making the mud WORSE, so you need to make real sure to rake/shovel it all out of there before then... but for a short-term solution, it can help keep the birds up above the water level.

    Good luck,


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