Run Floor for Wet Weather

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EdnaAndEdith, May 19, 2017.

  1. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Just Hatched

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    Hello,
    I am curious if anyone has found a good material to use on the ground of a run somewhere where it rains a LOT? This winter has been Nothing but rain for us and we have been battling with keeping our girls out of the mud and puddles all winter. We had to resort to tarps over the leaky roof and pallets on the floor at times to get them out of the mud. It was terrible. Now that the weather is finally clearing up we will be re-roofing the covered outdoor run we have and I would love to be able to find some good solution for the ground. I like the idea of doing a deep litter in there but my understanding is that doesn't work well if it gets wet? I'm afraid with over ninety inches of rain this year whatever we choose is bound to get wet.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would use mulch, pines cones and branches. Kinda deep litter material but without the leaves, grass clippings ect...so it would drain better. I would make it at least 4 but preferably 6 inches deep.
     
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  3. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For me pine would be hard to come by. I'm planning on straw when I get mine built and investing in a decent pitch fork to turn it to dry when needed.
     
  4. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Just Hatched

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    Thank you. I just don't ever want to have to have them be so wet ever again. It was a rough winter. I was thinking maybe base layer of gravel with the deep litter material on top? Was thinking the gravel might help drainage but then I was thinking how would I turn this over as needed? Has anyone tried that?
     
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  5. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' with the Peeps Premium Member

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    Woah, that's a lot of rain, more than 2X what I get! For that you'll probably need to really consider general drainage issues and like @blackdog043 says, the 'twiggy/brushy, chunkier' type material leaves cavities for drainage and a comfortable surface for people and chicks to walk on. Allows the poop to wash through as well. Best of Luck! :D

    You could try wood chips not shavings...they should be aged. Fresh chips especially with leaves mixed in poses a risk of Aspergillus spores which can be fatal to birds.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    No, on the gravel....long term not a good idea, any bedding would sift down into ti..

    Ditto the 'general drainage issues'.....
    ....might want to cover your run with a solid roof.
    Where are you that you get 90" of rain a year?

    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
     
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  7. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Just Hatched

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    Thanks for all the great ideas. We had a solid roof on the run but it leaked horribly so we are going to reroof with shingles. We also came up with a way to reduce some of the sideways rain by hanging shower curtains on the walls to prevent the large amounts of water coming in and we would open them when it was not raining or not raining as hard to try to dry it out but the wind just shredded them so it would only work for a short time. I think we mainly just have to raise the floor of the coop so the water drains out instead of being level with the ground. I'll have to find out if I can get any coarse material around here. And for those that asked we live on the far northern coast of California and we normally get a lot of rain but this year was much much worse.
     
  8. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Just Hatched

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    Ok, this may be a stupid question... But can I just go into the forest and collect branches and stuff? If so how long and how do I let them age for before exposing my babies to it so they don't get any diseases?
     
  9. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, you can just collect stuff. Just make sure they are clean, meaning, no funky stuff or mold growing on them. You can use them, when you get them.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You could...any plant materiel that's older and/or good and dry.
    But it would think it would be hard to get enough, you want it at least 2-4" deep to ameliorate the poop stink....deeper if you have/get standing water in the run area.

    Many folks get tree trimming companies to dump their shredder trucks, but it's best to let that stuff age at least a few months before putting it in the run to get past the initial Aspergillus and other mold blooms.

    I lucked out big time there! Buddy of mine, an avid food forest gardener, had power company trimmers drop literally tons(pile 8-10' wide and 50-80' long) of it on his land to use as mulch and it had aged for almost a year when I picked up my loads...4-5 yards total.
    [​IMG]
     
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