Newbie with Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SH18, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. SH18

    SH18 New Egg

    Nov 10, 2015
    I've only had chickens for about five months. I rescue layer hens after they've stopped laying, and I currently have five. They have a 5x4 raised coop in an uncovered run and I also let them out to free range. I live on the Oregon coast and we get a significant amount of rain in the winter. They are able to stay dry in the coop, under the coop, and under a bush in the run. So the run is pretty muddy and damp right now. Should I lay down some straw in the uncovered run or not? And after reading on here, don't think I need to insulate my coop because we rarely get below freezing here at night.
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I always put organic matter in my run to help combat the mud. I'm not as wet as you, but still on the wet side of the mountains. I use wood chips, some straw (straw tends to mat down, though, so I don't use a ton), leaves, pretty much whatever I can get my hands on. The birds love scratching through it, it gives them good exercise. Plus, they're designed to spend most of their time foraging for food, so I figure it stimulates them mentally somehow. I toss scratch grains or scraps in the run and let them spend the day mixing up the bedding.
  3. blumenmadchen

    blumenmadchen Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 4, 2015
    I'm in Washington, so I understand the mud. I've been trying to add leaves and weeds to the run to help a bit with the mud. Its been working sofar, but I am worried when the real rains come, for days and days.
  4. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State
    I haven't even built my coop or bought my chicks yet... But I am in Washington state and have been talking to several chicken owning friends. They have suggested laying down coarse sand 4 -6 inches deep for the ground in the run. Not only does it provide plenty of grit, but it drains well, dries quickly and is easy to clean. They suggest the coarse "river sand" type as opposed to like playground sandbox sand. I have also heard of people using pea gravel or a combination of pea gravel and sand. Someting to think about anyway. Hope this helps.

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