Question about dirt in the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Baxter's Chickens, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Baxter's Chickens

    Baxter's Chickens In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Hi we have finished our coop and run.(pictures soon!) But I have a question. We put sand in the coop (love it!) but the run is just dirt. The run is about 5'x12' the last 4' is covered.

    Since the chickens (4 girls) went in about 3 weeks ago we have had very wet weather. The coop is nice and dry but the run is a muddy mess!
    I am worried about the chickens being on the damp mud. They have a perch under the covered part an hang out there much of the time.
    So my question is should I be worried? If so what should I do? Put sand down? It will get wet.
    Thanks for the help.

  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    If they have a dry place to hang out, all they have is muddy feet and that not a safety or health issue. If you are still concerned, cover the whole run and with no rain being added, it will dry out and they will start dust bathing in the area. Mud doesn't hurt, same run as with boys. [​IMG]
  3. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Songster

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    Since you already have mud, you could put down some gravel to raise the floor a bit and you want to make a trench to let that water drain out, like a French drain that is filled with gravel leading outside, then put four inches of sand over the gravel in the run. There is a good thread that details dealing with muddy run. Wet dirt for a period of time will harbor disease, grow fungus, and provide a home for bug larvae.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    See my 'fixing a muddy run' page for suggestions on a multi-pronged attack on the problem.

    There is nothing wrong with them walking on damp ground e.g. wet sand; the thing you want to avoid is mud or having everything be chronically puddle-y.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. bluebird

    bluebird Crowing

    Feb 4, 2008
    My Coop
    Our fenced enclosure has a sand/paver base mix. The paver base is more like gravel and is great for drainage. Even after heavy rains, it is never a muddy mess.

  6. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I personally like a covered dirt run with a thin 3-4" of pine shavings. The little ones keep it all turned over and mixed up by scratching, dirt baths, etc.
    Lots of good information on this forum.
  7. Baxter's Chickens

    Baxter's Chickens In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Great help! Thanks for all of the good advise.
    Pat, really helpful "mud page"!

    I really appreciate all the help. BYC rocks!!
  8. turbodog

    turbodog Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Quote:This is exactly what mine is, a couple of inches of gravel topped with four inches of sand. Had a pouring storm yesterday and you wouldn't know it today. No mud, just packed sand.
  9. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Songster

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    Quote:Aha! It was your page I was referring to! I loved it, and have incorporated it into my glad you posted the link [​IMG]

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