1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Sorry to ask this again

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by I have WHAT in my yard?, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    I know I saw a thread on this before but I can't find it....

    My run is very muddy these days. It has been raining all week and the yard looks like a swamp.

    (I can certainly tell who the roo is favoring from the muddy backed hens!! LOL!)

    Is there anything I can put in the run, should I bother??
  2. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Songster

    Nov 7, 2007
    Good Mornin'.....I have read some ideas like sand and shavings....In the late fall when the run was really muddy I threw alot of leaves in the run with some shavings.....It entertained them and kept the eggs a little cleaner....PLUS come spring it will be excellent compost for the garden....
    This past week my daughter put pieces of fire wood in the coop so the girls can hop from one to the other and more roosts in the run....they dont like to touch the snow that much ...they actually fly out to the roosts sometimes....
    I have a neighbour when she cleans out the coop in the winter months of dirty shavings she throughs it in the run....a large run ...and come spring she removes it for her garden....doesnt smell that much because it freezes...plus her manure pile is a distance awy from the coop....hope that helps....
  3. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    I'm having the same problem. We're going to use some bark mulch or wood shavings. I suppose u could use sand or leaves too. [​IMG]
  4. SunAngel

    SunAngel Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    I split 5 tons of sand between my 3 runs this summer and it works great!

    No mud, drains quick, dries up the poop, easy to rake up dry grass, leaves, or anything else that I toss in for them. I am planning on adding more sand in the Spring, just to raise up some low spots and counteract the settling from Winter.
  5. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    I second the sand - I have it in my run as well and it makes it alot easier on the girls; dries alot faster and much easier to rake the poo out.

    Before I put it in there - they were getting all mucky.
  6. UrbanChickenMama

    UrbanChickenMama Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    I put hay to soak up the mess. It keeps the girls entertained, a bit warmer, and definitely less muddy. then I can just rake it up at the end of the rainy season, plant something, and compost the hay.
  7. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Thanks for the replies! I had heard straw could cause leg problems and impacted crops?? Is that only when they are little? I had straw but didn't use it after I read that....

    I can certainly use the dirty bedding from inside the coop! But, if straw is really OK I have that too....
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't recall seeing anyone with crop impaction problems from *straw*, it is *hay* that sometimes causes that.

    DO NOT dump sand into already-muddy ground, unless you have no alternative. It is a waste of money and labor, because the sand will disappear into the mud within weeks or months and you'll be right back at square one. Same with gravel. Sand or gravel do work well (IMO they are the best fix) if put down IN THE DRY SEASON. *Then* they will not mix with the soil below, not even when it gets wet. I do not know exactly why but this is how it works and worth respecting [​IMG]

    Personally I'd chuck in some sort of coarse organic material, whatever I could get easily and cheaply, like coarse bark/wood chippings (NOT shavings) or coarse mulch or even straw if that was all I could get. Put in a good thick healthy layer. If mud starts to return in a few months, add more. Then -- and this is important -- as it dries out in midSpring or whenever, rake all that stuff out! Quick while you can, before the soil hardens. It will be great on your compost pile or garden. THen let things stand til the ground is very hard and dry next summer, and apply sand or gravel to prevent the problem in future years.

    Oh, also do whatever you can to minimize water input. Put gutters on your coop roof, with downspouts leading well away from the run. And possibly trench around the outside of the run (a couple feet away) to give water somewhere better to go.

    Good luck,

  9. chicksalot

    chicksalot Songster

    Sep 20, 2008
    I hadn't thought of trenching, but may have the need to utilize that in the spring after the birds destroy the 'natural' groundcover...it would be a great way to direct all the runoff from snow & spring rains out of the run. I will use sand though, when I need to put a barrier between the birds & the dirt. I love the ideas spread over these threads...[​IMG] Keep up the networking folks!
  10. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Sand, and lots of it!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: