Run floor..muddy and nasty

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Socalchef00, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Socalchef00

    Socalchef00 New Egg

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    How do you all deal with your muddy poopy runs?
    Between the rain and the snow, my run gets completely muddy and i feel bad for the girls.
    What so you all put down on your run on the winter to help with this problem?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! I use shavings and plant materals as deep bedding, and last year was finally able to roof the run, which is wonderful! Make sure that the drainage is good, and deep bedding, and then a roof. Mary
     
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Throwing down some form of litter (leaves, grass clippings, mulch, other plant bits) will help with both drainage and the poop (which will fall between layers of litter as the chickens scratch). Even an inch or two will provide some benefit, as long as there aren't other drainage issues going on.
     
  4. Socalchef00

    Socalchef00 New Egg

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    Will straw work? I can easily put down an inch layer in my run
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe straw works as well though I am not 100% sure, hopefully someone pops in and verifies that straw works the same as other litter.
     
  6. moparchicken

    moparchicken New Egg

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    I'm using straw mine was a mess also I put about 4 inches down, I just changed it out last week its working fine it will freeze & get hard though.
     
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    If straw is what you have, then indeed straw is what you should put down - at least until spring when you can address the causes of the wet run! [​IMG] It will help tremendously and they love to dig through it. I've tried a few things in my run, but it never gets really bad because it's been covered. For awhile I used pine shavings, then added straw, and thought I was doing "deep litter". What I was really doing was "deep bedding." But last year we did a total cleanout and went to mostly dried leaves, and that combined with whatever else we can get our hands on - garden trimmings, pine needles, a little chopped straw if we have it, a light load of grass clippings (not too much of that because it can mess up the nitrogen/carbon balance) - and we suddenly have really good deep litter. @Beekissed has fantastic deep litter, and she is the one who got me going on the dried leaves.

    But do get the straw down as soon as you can. You already have it on hand and it's a starting place and will at least help keep their feet dry. Then see if you can figure out a way to at least partially cover the run. If you have issues with bad drainage, you'll probably have to address that too. A little moisture is good with deep litter, if that's the route you chose to take, but if your run is sitting in low spot you'll have more than a little moisture to deal with until you get that remedied.

    Good luck to you. I see you've been a member for a few months, so I'll offer a belated welcome!
     
  8. EEonMain

    EEonMain New Egg

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    I put a large piece of rubber on top of my run (the open roof part is about 7x4 ft). If you can't find one you may ask a roofing company if they have any old rubber you can have. Mine is a piece from a tear off job my boyfriend did and was free.

    As for the litter, since leaves are free I use those and just stick a pile in there and let them rummage, it gets dispersed. I also throw a little straw in there when I'm cleaning out the coop. I was told it's good to use small sticks etc because it helps cut down on erosion. so when I put in the leaves I usually toss a few small sticks in there too. It seems to stay relatively dry in there at this point.

    Good Luck :)
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    When wet weather sets in it can be hard to keep a run dry. Even if it is covered, rain or snow can blow in from the sides. If you have a small run you may be able to wrap it and keep rain and snow out, but the bigger the run the harder that is.

    As others have mentioned drainage is important. If your run is in a low spot where water drains to and stands you have big problem. You may not be able to address that until it dries out this spring or summer. Mine is mostly covered and up on a bit of a rise and drains fairly well but when the weather sets in wet, it can become a muddy mess.

    Bedding is supposed to work a lot like a diaper, absorbing the moisture from the poop so it doesn’t stay too wet. If it gets waterlogged it doesn’t work or it might sink down in the mud and disappear. A couple of people have mentioned they sometimes have to replace it.

    I agree with Blooie, if straw is what you have straw is what you should use. Try it and see how it works. It may work great or you might wind up topping it off or replacing it.

    Something else you can do to get them out of the mud, toss something on top for them to stand on. Cinder blocks or something like that might work though they might soon sink in. Many people use pallets, just put them on top of the mud or maybe on those cinder blocks to help slow them disappearing into the mud. If you have lumber, tree branches, about anything they can stand on to get up out of the mud helps.

    They will walk around in the mud and all that, but if their feet stay wet for extended periods of time they can develop feet problems. They need a way to get above the mud at least part of the time.
     
  10. EEonMain

    EEonMain New Egg

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    Great point!!! I have a few logs, a swing, a roost (the back of an old pallet leaned against the side), and a tire filled with dirt and ask they can stand on also.
     

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