Some chicken run questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tnvarmint, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. tnvarmint

    tnvarmint In the Brooder

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    I have a 16ft long by 8ft wide and 7ft high fully enclosed run for my chickens. There is also a section that goes under the roost itself that is about 6ft deep and 18in high. We have 7 hens and a rooster that use this. The problem I am running into is with the ground of the run itself. Obviously the chicks have eaten every bit of the grass from the run. We do let them graze outside of the run some. The problem I am having is that it is so muddy in the run. I recently moved the water and feeder to the run door so that I could get to them easier.

    The ground in the run is ever so slightly sloped but still does not provide any run off of water. I have literally seen pig pens less muddy than it is in there :eek:. It makes it next to impossible to get into the run and do anything with the chickens right now. We tried spreading some hey and that worked for a bit but seemed to only make it worse after the hey started mixing in with the mud. I could keep adding hey and such but that would get pricey in the long run.

    Luckily I thought ahead when building the coop and run and can access the layer boxes from a door on the outside of the coop so I don't "need" to get into the run often. We do like to get in with the girls though and hang out with them. Not so much now during the winter months but definitely in the summer.

    So I guess my long winded question is, what do others do to prevent the muddy ground in the run during the winter wet months or is there even anything we can do? To give a perspective, there is currently about 1.5 to 2 inches of extremely slick mud in the run right now.
     
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    Deep litter will keep a run fresh and clean. We add things like grass clippings, shavings, hay, fall leaves, pulled weeds, sod clumps from edging, and old mulch to name a few items.
     
  3. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

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    :welcome I'm guessing you have a similar situation to mine. Clay, gravel and a slight slope essentially. We're going to try adding some fill dirt to raise and level the ground out. Then we'll be saving and aging some wood chips from the downed trees to raise the run level higher than the surrounding ground.

    If you don't have the means to make your own untreated mulch there might be some saw mills around you that you can get truck loads from. Just make sure it's not treated with anything.

    Noticed your avatar :D my husband was a nuke em.
     
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  4. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

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    Also do a search for chicken grazing frame. With that large of a run you can give them some dedicated "pasture" area.
     
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  5. tnvarmint

    tnvarmint In the Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2019
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    Thanks, we have lots of places around here that sells fresh mulch. May even be able to get it at our farmers co-op. I had thought about mulch but wasn't sure if it would make a bigger mess or not. Might give it a try.

    Thanks on the avatar lol. The Navy tried to get me to go nuke. I even took the test and passed it back in 95 but decided against it. Most nukes went to subs back then and I really didn't want to be on a sub. Preferred to keep my head above water thank you :lau
     
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  6. Suzi18

    Suzi18 Crossing the Road

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    I use sand in my 32 x 16 covered run. $90 per ton delivered. It is so easy to keep clean. Drains easily so its never wet or sloppy.
     
  7. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

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    Yep works out and by deep, go DEEP. Usually increased mess is not going deep enough.

    Haha yep knew lots that didn't like the idea of not being able to step outside now and then. He was actually disqualified from sub duty for being "too tall" (6'5").
     
  8. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Try locating some free wood chips.
    Tree trimmers usually dump for free.
    Start with about 6-12 inches deep.
    As they disappear, add more until you have a dry surface.
    Keep adding as needed.
     
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  9. JDN

    JDN Songster

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    Mulch is fine, but I'd use the cheapest wood chips, leaves, grass clippings, whatever.

    The chickens are just going to poo on it, scratch it all over, dig in it, dust bathe, etc, it all ends up compost.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Wood chippings.....it doesn't need to be deep, just few inches should do the trick.
    [​IMG]
     

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