1. SallyAR

    SallyAR New Egg

    I am new to having chickens, only had them 4 months and I have 4 hens, we had about a 1/4 of our chicken run cover, big mistake, we have had so much rain here in Arkansas that I haven't been able to get in to even clean out the waste of these girls for weeks.

    Well we finally covered the rest of the chicken run today, but now I am dealing with gettting the dirt to dry out but what is even worst is the smell.......I have sprinkle PDZ on the soil and raked it in and I keep racking the soggy soil and even have a fan oun it so it will start drying out.

    Will that awful smell eventiually go away or am I going to have to shovel it out and put in some new dirt?

    Am I just wasting my time wiht the PDZ and mixing in with the wet soil. Any advice would GREATLY be appreciated!!!

    The chicken run is about 14x8 but there is only about a 4x6 foot section that is still very damp and when I put a small shovel into the soil I smelled it and it will knock you off your feet.....

    Look forward to any suggestions you folks might have [​IMG]
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    If drainage is good, it will dry out. Ugh! You could add shavings/ wood chips, to make deep litter, which will be much more user friendly. I've never had to deal with your problem with chickens, but with cattle and horses, drying it out and then using shavings works. Mary
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    You could remove the top couple of inches of dirt, but that's a lot more work. Mary
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Throw a thin layer of straw or dry grass or wood chips down, should help right away.

    Long term....drainage is important, make sure no standing water can remain in run....mix of sizes, shapes, and materials of dry plant matter...as deep as you can get it.

    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.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On dry runs and such, I adopted some advice we used to use when explaining to Boy Scouts where to pitch their tents. Basic theory is this.......gravity works. Pitch a tent / put a coop on high ground or at least some type of mound. Water will run off in all directions away from this spot vs. into it if it is low ground. Think of a bowl that would collect water......then turn it upside down and see how water runs off and away from it. So gravity works to get drainage. High is dry.

    Second is what you put on top of it. We too have had a lot of rain........maybe 10 inches or more since the first of August alone, yet the birds are running around outside on top of dry litter. How is that possible? First it is on top of the highest ground I could find. Second, the litter base started out back in late May / early June as a foot of fresh cut grass / clover hay cured a couple days to dry out. Dry hay was then piled in loose. It sat there doing nothing until the birds started using it, after which it started to pack down from them walking on it, then rotting down from the contact of the hay with the dirt beneath, plus their nitrogen rich manure, which is the N to the Carbon in the hay. That foot of hay quickly became only a few inches. The first day it stays sorta wet after the sun comes out is the day I add a bit more hay to it. Just another bale....a few more inches. The birds spread it and it becomes another couple of inches of rotting down litter. It further elevates them and gives the water something to drain through. Since that is outside, that process can continue for a long, long while before I will need to either clean it up or more likely move the process somewhere else and leave that as a well drained future garden site, rich in organic matter and N.

    So long story short, pile up a lot of coarse organic litter on a well drained site and the mud and smell should magically disappear.
     

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