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Need ideas for run (mud issue)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickmomma03, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I built my coop and run this summer. When I put my chickens out there was grass in the run. Not anymore though, and usually it's fine, but it's been raining the past several days, so it's a mud pit right now. I don't want to put gravel or anything in where they can't scratch, free ranging isn't an option (too many predators that will come after them), so I'm trying to come up with an idea where they can still dig through for bugs. I was considering buying some extra bales of straw, but I'm not sure about mold/staying wet or whether it would be slick to walk on. Any suggestions that don't break the bank or make it where they can't dig around and get their dust baths? Not only do I worry about the chickens with the mud, but it's slick, so I go out there and I almost fell a few times yesterday. Last thing I need is to fall while working in there lol
     
  2. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a thick layer of wood chips about 6 inches deep. My girls love it and constantly turn it over themselves so there's no smell. I got mine from a tree company. Most will drop them in a pile at your house for free.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    A mix of organic materials, mostly dry stuff, in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials should create a good surface, habitat for organisms that will break down the poops and a haven for bugs the chooks will enjoy scratching for.

    Even a depth of just an inch or 2 will help with the mud and they can still scratch down to the dirt to bathe....
    ...or you could go deeper and set up some kind of barrier, like and old tire, for a dusting area.

    Mine was grass then dirt for about 2 years now and I'd throw down a thin layer of straw after heavy rain or during snow and melt season to cut down on the mud tracked into the coop and to help with the stink....but have now started adding some bedding like I described above.
     
  4. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tossed some straw in there for now. So much better AND the chickens actually really enjoyed "treasure hunting" today. I swear they goofed around with it on and off all day after I put it out, it was hilarious.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Great!
    I just keep an eye on things, go in there once a week and stir things up a bit looking for any wet slimy anaerobic spots...but they keep thing stirred up pretty good.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I use bagged shavings, some hay, straw if I've got any; anything like that works fine. Mary
     
  7. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: I'm not sure yet if it will be a long term solution, but for now it's kept me from falling flat on my rear end, which is extremely important. Last thing I need is to land on my back/hip which I already have problems with.
     
  8. bluema

    bluema Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't forget to add some cut grass from your mower. I actually ended up buying a manual grass mower with grass catcher just for my chickens. My girls love their daily grass salad and anything they don't eat contributes to the run as long as you don't over do it. Since I started feeding grass more regularly, they seem much happier and I see less meat spots in their eggs.
     
  9. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do, but it's been raining for 9 or 10 days straight now. It's been icky!
     
  10. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In other words, I haven't been able to cut the grass. My mower doesn't have a mulch bag, I bought it used, but I should search for one.
     

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