Need advice on muddy run...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mr Beaks, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Mr Beaks

    Mr Beaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,108
    397
    206
    Jan 13, 2015
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    It's raining like crazy here and our outdoor run is extremely muddy. We have tons of eucalyptus leaves piled on the side of the house and was wondering if it was okay to use those to line the run. This is our 1st rainy season at our new home and have lost one already to a neighborhood dog so free range is not an option. Ive tried researching the topic but get conflicting information. Some say eucalyptus leaves are toxic and some say they're fine so any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance :).
     
  2. R3dnck

    R3dnck Out Of The Brooder

    60
    9
    48
    Jan 2, 2016
    South Carolina
    I find that leaves do pretty well with drying up and keeping pens mud free but they aren't great, I sometimes put cheap hay in the coop but after a while it starts to smell. don't know if that helps you any.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. R3dnck

    R3dnck Out Of The Brooder

    60
    9
    48
    Jan 2, 2016
    South Carolina
    .
     
  4. Mr Beaks

    Mr Beaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,108
    397
    206
    Jan 13, 2015
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    Thanks for your quick response! Just wondering if you've used eucalyptus? This is just a quick fix for the moment and I don't want to expose my chickens to a potential toxin.
     
  5. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,875
    5,638
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Leaves didn't work well for me, however I don't have eucalyptus, just an assortment of various hardwoods. Since my run was large enough I simply dropped a bale of hay to give the chickens a non-muddy place to roost on outside of the coop. The mud around here has a tendency to swallow up anything that doesn't move and the leaves created a rather slimy surface. Eventually I ended up using sand in my run which has worked well for me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,502
    7,707
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I don't know specifically about eucalyptus toxicity.
    But i
    f in doubt, don't do it.

    Can you use other leaves, grass clipping, twigs, ramial wood chips, straw, hay?
    A good mix of sizes, shapes and material of organic matter should help.
    Start with thin layers and add more in slowly, watch for any nasty rot of the straw, hay, grass.


    Is there water run off from surrounding area into run so there are running rivers and/or standing puddles?
    If so, try and do something to reduce that.


    Here's kind of a go to article on BYC about muddy runs.


    Ooops forgot linkhttps://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-fix-a-muddy-run-chicken-coop
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  7. Mr Beaks

    Mr Beaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,108
    397
    206
    Jan 13, 2015
    Valley Springs, Ca.

    Thanks for the advice! I wish we had a bale to throw out there but I don't :(. I will definitely take the sand into consideration for the future as our run is fairly large and I don't want to go through this again. I also worry about mold with the hay, leaves and shavings. This area was supposed to be "hard packed" but it's all mush. We're unprepared and have lots to learn. I guess I'll go put a big pile of leaves out now and hope for the best. Ah, never a dull moment. ;)
     
  8. The Chicken Fan

    The Chicken Fan Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    6
    66
    May 26, 2015
    Oregon
    I have had a ton of rain this past month, and my run was extremely muddy. Sand did the trick. I put it pretty thick and now I don't go sliding anymore :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Mr Beaks

    Mr Beaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,108
    397
    206
    Jan 13, 2015
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    Yes there is some cuddling. Not really any running streams through the run but you never know. I don't have any other type of leaves then the eucalyptus we have a lot of these trees on our property. I'm all out of hay. I don't truly have a doubt about the toxicity of eucalyptus other posts on backyard chicken has basically said that they are not toxic and the birds won't eat them anyway. We just don't have the opportunity right now to do much else and I'm looking for options. I like the sand idea will be looking for some bags of sand we might be able to put down.
     
  10. Mr Beaks

    Mr Beaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,108
    397
    206
    Jan 13, 2015
    Valley Springs, Ca.

    Thanks so much for the response and suggestions! They are much appreciated :). Unfortunately we don't have any other stuff to put in the run at the moment (I went over budget this Christmas :oops:.) Just eucalyptus. So, I loaded up the wheelbarrow with the leaves and wheeled 'em to the run and realized I needed to dig a trench to redirect the water. There WAS run off as we are on a slight slope and the coops & run are down below. I don't think the leaves would have made a difference really so I didn't use them. So far the trench is working well and I look forward to checking out the link you posted. Thanks again!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by