Run floor gets flooded, how to deal?

Chickmamajessica

Chirping
Aug 1, 2021
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Hey everyone, I’m a newbie to chickens and where we have placed the run, it gets very flooded when it rains (we’re in florida). My husband is adamant that we keep it there because it’s under an oak tree and we don’t have any other shaded places. When it rains, the run can be filled with several inches of water. It almost always gets really wet by the exterior run door and my husband wants to use what we have instead of buying run flooring. Right now, that’s just leaves and dirt. So when it rains it gets really muddy.
My husband thinks the water is good for them because it rinses the poo off but I’m worried about mites. Am I being irrational? Hubby says if the chickens don’t like it they can go in the coop or a different side of the run. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 

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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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Is the coop/run set up in a low spot in the yard or does the water collect there on the way down a slope?
If it's in the low spot it either needs to be moved or the spot must be elevated to keep the run dry. It is NOT good for the run to routinely get flooded whenever it rains. It will promote heavy parasite reproduction, stench and mold growth. It needs to be kept dry.
 

Chickmamajessica

Chirping
Aug 1, 2021
73
110
96
Is the coop/run set up in a low spot in the yard or does the water collect there on the way down a slope?
If it's in the low spot it either needs to be moved or the spot must be elevated to keep the run dry. It is NOT good for the run to routinely get flooded whenever it rains. It will promote heavy parasite reproduction, stench and mold growth. It needs to be kept dry.
That’s what I thought! It is in a low spot. It usually drains/dries out within a few hours but i didn’t like the idea of standing water. I will have to see how we can elevate it.
 

U_Stormcrow

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Jun 7, 2020
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Berms and swales, to redirect the water. French drains are nice, but you can't dig them where a root system exists, and you are likely to find it very difficult to get 5-7 drainage rock at good price right now, or in qty, and you really don't want to be paying $4 per 1/3 cu ft for one of those bags from Lowes right now, when a cu yd (27 sq ft, or 81 bags) should run about $40 from a gravel yd...

I'm a BIG fan of deep litter/deep compost method mangement, because its so low maintenance and cheap. Unfortunately, by being under a tree, you can't just add a hill and place the coop on it, or you risk preventing the oak roots from breathing. I'm in FL too, remember shallow water tables, shallow root systems.

If the tree is big/old enough, you can still do it, because only a tiny part of the root system is then buried deeper, but worst case you can still build a small rise of dirt in the run to encourage water to run out more rapidly as it seeps into the soil.

Run flooring, BTW, is a mistake. Sometimes a necessary mistake, but if you have bare earth and a source of leaf litter (and you do!) that makes a better floor for the chickens and your long term maintenance costs, in my view.
 

Chickmamajessica

Chirping
Aug 1, 2021
73
110
96
Berms and swales, to redirect the water. French drains are nice, but you can't dig them where a root system exists, and you are likely to find it very difficult to get 5-7 drainage rock at good price right now, or in qty, and you really don't want to be paying $4 per 1/3 cu ft for one of those bags from Lowes right now, when a cu yd (27 sq ft, or 81 bags) should run about $40 from a gravel yd...

I'm a BIG fan of deep litter/deep compost method mangement, because its so low maintenance and cheap. Unfortunately, by being under a tree, you can't just add a hill and place the coop on it, or you risk preventing the oak roots from breathing. I'm in FL too, remember shallow water tables, shallow root systems.

If the tree is big/old enough, you can still do it, because only a tiny part of the root system is then buried deeper, but worst case you can still build a small rise of dirt in the run to encourage water to run out more rapidly as it seeps into the soil.

Run flooring, BTW, is a mistake. Sometimes a necessary mistake, but if you have bare earth and a source of leaf litter (and you do!) that makes a better floor for the chickens and your long term maintenance costs, in my view.
Wow! I am so appreciative of your time and willingness to share your expertise. The oak is very large (and not on our property, either. It just hangs over the fence and above our coop.
My husband is a handyman and flips homes for a living. He has definitely seen an uprise in costs regarding home maintenance at those stores and doesn’t want to spend unless it’s necessary. But Deep litter method seems like one of our favorite ideas too. I will look into berms and swales, but I also like the idea of making a hill for the water to trickle down from the run. Thank you so much!
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
4,625
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North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Wow! I am so appreciative of your time and willingness to share your expertise. The oak is very large (and not on our property, either. It just hangs over the fence and above our coop.
My husband is a handyman and flips homes for a living. He has definitely seen an uprise in costs regarding home maintenance at those stores and doesn’t want to spend unless it’s necessary. But Deep litter method seems like one of our favorite ideas too. I will look into berms and swales, but I also like the idea of making a hill for the water to trickle down from the run. Thank you so much!

Of course. Berms and swales are just broad, shallow ditches and hills - our ground (unless you are in the northern part of the state where I am now or over in the Ocala area with its sugar sands) isn't really conducive to more significant elevation alterations.

Definitely agree deep litter, and your topographic alterations can be made either slowly with some spades, or more rapidly with a track hoe/skid steer - or even just a few deliveries of top soil and some new seed as we come out of the heat of the year.

and since the oak isn't yours? I'd definitely start by building a hill inside the run to help encourage it to drain water away.
 

Chickmamajessica

Chirping
Aug 1, 2021
73
110
96
Of course. Berms and swales are just broad, shallow ditches and hills - our ground (unless you are in the northern part of the state where I am now or over in the Ocala area with its sugar sands) isn't really conducive to more significant elevation alterations.

Definitely agree deep litter, and your topographic alterations can be made either slowly with some spades, or more rapidly with a track hoe/skid steer - or even just a few deliveries of top soil and some new seed as we come out of the heat of the year.

and since the oak isn't yours? I'd definitely start by building a hill inside the run to help encourage it to drain water away.
Thank you! I’m in the gulf coast near Tampa area. I will definitely look into all of that! I am so grateful for you! Thanks!!
 

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