run mud smells like a pig's sty and low tide....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mylulusmom, Feb 27, 2012.

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  1. mylulusmom

    mylulusmom In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2008
    long island Ny
    I have a terrible problem with dense clay soil. I have posted this question once before a few years ago, and am hoping that this time someone can make a suggestion.
    It is awful! The smell would gag a maggot! It is not the ammonia smell that happens , but a totally different smell. Have used Lime, Sweet PDZ, DE, It seems to come more in the springtime after the winter thaw.
    My neighbors must not be very pleased with us at this point.[​IMG]
    Any suggestions? I have also tried Barn Odor /digestor , but the bottle says to use with 70 degree water. I doubt my hose water is anywhere close to that!
    My lulus Mom

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Have you tried sand? I don't know if that would help or not.
  3. wren

    wren Songster

    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    If you are serious about it you could put weeping tile and gravel covered with soil for drainage. Also add more soil until the run is higher than the ground surrounding it.
  4. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    What are you putting in the run? (other than chickens...)

    We have dense clay soil here also. It's wicked stuff. I had used grass clippings in the run over the summer but once the grass quit growing, I had to use something else. So, I have put... gosh, I don't know how many cubic feet of raked leaves in. I raked leaves until my arms just about fell off and squirreled away bags and bags of packed leaves. When it starts looking the least bit muddy in there, I dump in another giant sack of leaves and they spread it all around nicely for me. Between their scratching and pooping, the leaves are composting and the run has NO ODOR AT ALL. Seriously, it doesn't smell. And those leaves that are normally so very slow to compost are being turned into some good looking soil!

  5. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    I would do whatever it takes to make sure it drains well, such as digging in a french drain/adding gutters, then cover the clay with several inches of compacted gravel, then a few inches of compacted ag lime (non-caustic), and then put a top layer of your choice on that. Top layer could be sand or something organic that you would refresh or replace as it got soiled. Search for Pat's solution for muddy runs here on BYC.
  6. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Songster

    Dec 22, 2011
    Greater Kansas City, MO
    The leaf idea sounds really promising. You might also try an enzyme product called Earth Right (I believe it may also be available at Walmart in the garden section and at local garden centers). It really does work to improve drainage (you can drain a pond with it if you use enough). It sounds like you have sour, nondraining soil that is just an anaerobic bacteria fest. Get the drainage started with Earth Right, throw in some leaves, and I think the problem will be on it's way to being solved.
  7. Rockyriver

    Rockyriver In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2012
    Take out as much of the dirt as you can out of the run.
    Get regular old sand like brick masons use and put about 3 inches of sand all the way across the run.
    If you can get some lime put it down first and then the sand.
    Then place on top of the sand straw or hay for the chickens to poop on.
    Rake up the hay whenever it gets smelly or a lot of poop on it and put down fresh straw.
    Problem Solved.

  8. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Songster

    Dec 22, 2011
    Greater Kansas City, MO
    BTW, somebody suggested sand..... NOOOOOOOOO. At least not just sand alone, because if you mix sand with clay you will have something akin to concrete (talk about no drainage!). You need organic matter, lots of it; a way to work it into the "soil" (chickens); and some good bacteria to get everything starting to "cook" (again, chicken poop, but it wouldn't hurt to throw either some good biologically active compost or a box or two of compost starter in there too). You might even try pounding a piece of rebar or a t-post into the ground in several places, then pulling it back out, so you have some good deep holes for your "materials" to fall into so it will work even faster.
  9. jackson41

    jackson41 Songster

    Jan 25, 2010
    We also have heavy clay soil. We put down about 4 inches of sand and top dress it every year with about a fresh inch of sand after raking out the top layer. No smell what so ever!

  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

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