Pacific Northwesterners - I need your input! Preparing for the rain.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tedabug, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I live in the rainy Pac NW and have a coop along side our house. They used to be on nice lush grass, but quickly trashed it all. I have some straw and pine shavings down, but as soon as the rain hits, I know it will be a mud bath. There aren't puddles, but we are a wet climate and there will be a period of time where nothing dries out. I have the coop and run fully covered, but I need suggestions about what to put down in the rainy part of the coop. Play ground chips? Sand? (which the birds are not fond of), bark dust?

    I don't like walking through all the dirt to get the eggs and clean up. I also want to keep them as clean and comfortable as possible. I can't cover the whole side yard.

    I just fenced off a section of their run and re-planted with grass. See the far end of the picture. I will turn them loose on that in a week or two. It will be turned back into mud to be sure!

    What do you do and can I see some pictures of your outdoor areas?
    Thank you!

  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    I am in the process of sanding my runs (use playground sand, as it's safer for them to eat)...will probably put a large size barkdust in too, to raise them up off the mud, and then I will remove that when it dries out next's already a mud bath here...straw and shavings will decompse VERY quickly, and actually ADD to the smell (that's Pac NW experience talking there). Where 'bouts are you guys?


    CUTE coop, btw!!
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Hey there, where in the PNW are you?

    Well, showing photos of my set-up would be slightly unfair, as I beat most of the muck by having 3 acres for them. . . But at the entrance of their nesting room, there is of course a lot of mud. What I do is place some cinder blocks at the entrance in the muck, then some just a little far back, and top that with a thick plank of wood, preferrably 2 inches thick. Then, just at the doorway of the room, which has a cement floor, I place a wall of cinder blocks. This way, the hens go along the wood plank and not in the mud, then track their feet over the cinder block before sloshing anything into the room. After that, any remaining mud I have no control over. But, I have yet to get dirty eggs. [​IMG]

    I would suggest covering the mud with something like that or gravel. Large peices, say 3/4 inch or bigger, can help. Make it look like a driveway, basically. [​IMG]
  4. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    I suggested covering that area the last time you posted this. If you don't want to cover it or put down sand or gravel, put down drain field rock.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Wellllllll, I USED to live in the PNW, does that count?

    The ground around here, where I live now, is that antediluvian, dang near fossilized adobe mud. Most of the year you couldn't get a pick-axe into it. When it rains, it turns into something slicker'n snot and very very dangerous. Especially for someone who has center of gravity problems, poor balance, and is in a hurry like an idiot.

    I HAVE fallen in the run, during the rain, and landed quite painfully on my back. My glasses slipped off the bridge of my nose, catty-wampas, and suddenly I had a chicken on my chest, looking very closely into my face with curiosity. "Birk?" She pecked tentatively at my skewed glasses frames before I could get it together to ward her away. I was surrounded by other chickens very shortly. My thoughts ran in the direction of, "I sure hope they're not really hungry...."

    Not wanting a repeat of that event, I put pavers down, as stepping stones. When I clean out the coops I simply pull the used pine shaving out the back of the coop(s), rake up the biggest clumps of not-shavings, and then leave the rest on the ground. It gets ground / scratched / stomped into the muck. When I put fresh pine shavings into the coops, and toss around some food grade DE, I also scatter some DE across the ground in the run.

    I also keep the "sun" umbrellas up year round. Sometimes it's quite nice to stand under one of 'em when it's raining, before I make another hop to the next paving stone.
  6. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I'm in Lake Oswego. I like the idea of covering the whole side yard, but it's just too large of an area and my husband refuses to let me poke any holes in the house. We are not particular handy with wood and don't even own an electric saw. I actually ordered wood "shavings" thinking it would be the corse stuff that has been chipped. Boy was I surprised when they delivered a huge pile of saw dust in my driveway. Ugh. Had to put it all on Craigslist and get it moved out of here. The place refunded my $, but wouldn't take the saw dust back! LOL

    I'm just now ready to get back to working on this. I like the combo sand/wood chip idea. I think it's going to cost me though. I can't seem to find anyone to deliver for less that $180 for bark chips alone. Maybe I can buy it bagged for cheaper. Thought I'd take any last-minute suggestions before I dive in! Yes, I did post this same topic a while back, but only got three responses. I had been hoping for all kinds of colorful suggestions.

    Maybe this time [​IMG]
  7. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Thanks for the visual. You made me laugh! I did buy some pavers in hopes of hopping from one to the next to get to the boxes!
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Honestly, that space looks small enough to just tarp or plastic cover over at an angle, from the fence to the side of the house if you can't poke holes in the siding.

    The door way of the tarped areas of the tractors are soggy wet 6-8 months of the year, however, I get away with it largely because the birds get to roam an acre or tow of cleared area within 7 acres of space.
  9. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I needed that laugh today. It was a good one too. Seriously though for $180 U could pave that whole side yard with pavers. Just use rough ones so u don't go sliding. U might could get them evencheaper at ur local Habitat or salvage yard. U probably need to do something quick though.
  10. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    BTW I really like ur coop with the bright colors and the porthole window. I'm sure u need something to brighten up all those rainy days. The umbrella is a good idea too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by