Too much rain = Damp coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PunkerTechnoRoo?ter, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. PunkerTechnoRoo?ter

    PunkerTechnoRoo?ter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like everyone else in the southeast, it seems that we've had more rain in the last four weeks than we had all last year. With this being the first time Ive had a flock of chickens in a coop, Im freaking out over the the dampness in the coop. I mean I have a concrete floor that I poured for them a week before the rains started and it had hardened. But the issue is that with the rain moisture started to collect on the wooden walls and condensed under the pine shavings.
    There isnt standing water, but in the corners of the coop you can definitively tell that the pine shavings are really moist. Then today I dropped a gallon waterer in the coop ! I raked the shavings as much as I could. Do I need to lay down more shavings or scoop out what I have and add fresh shavings ? I have a hanging feeder and waterer so Im good there.
    But is a damp coop bad for a chicken in the short run ?
     
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think there is much point in putting new wood chips, on top of damp ones.. If I were you, I would go ahead and take out the old and put in new. Now, that it isn't cold out, I am only putting a couple inches in mine, and cleaning it out every couple of weeks. If you are having that much condensation, I would recommend reading Pat's Ventilation page. It may be that you don't have enough air moving in there.... a little dampness is not the end of the world, but it would probably be best to figure out the problem...Good luck!
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Aren't newly poured concrete slabs producers of water vapor for the first months? I wonder if that is maybe a lot of your problem?

    You may have to increase your ventilation, maybe change out the shavings more often than you'd like (although if you have somewhere they could be spread to dry, you could rake out the wet parts and dry them and then reuse). If it gets to the point where no further ventilation is possible (or is pointless b/c you're having a week of 100% humidity) and you are concerned about mold and health issues, you might "have" to run a heat lamp in there (in which case you might need to shut some of the vents back down)

    To whatever extent it is the slab's fault, I suppose you might try covering it with something impermeable (stall mats, vinyl flooring, heavy plastic topped with a *lot* of bedding, I dunno) and see if that helps.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  4. PunkerTechnoRoo?ter

    PunkerTechnoRoo?ter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Lesa and Pat. For the time being I have a #50 bag of sand Im going to spread out on the floor then put down more pine shavings. I figure why buy stuff Im only going to use just this time when I have plenty of moisture absorbing sand that I can throw down and replace the shavings.
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have a concrete floor in the coop, and we planked it with huge boards from the former horse stall then used about 6 " shavings on top with a dressing of food-grade DE and Stable Boy. I spot-clean it daily and even when we have prolonged rains it stays dry. Do you have another source of moisture coming down those walls? Leak in the roof or porous wall coverings? I know it's difficult to work in the rain but you need to solve this before spores start lifting off molds in the wet bedding and your birds get ill.
     
  6. flopshot

    flopshot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you need to pull some moisture out you can fill some cloth bags with calciuim chloride (ice melt) and place them on the slab. cover them so the birds can's get at them. toss them when they become saturated.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Sand doesn't absorb much moisture though...

    Whereas shavings do, and can then be removed from the coop to dry.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Quote:I agree. I also think it might be a ventilation issue. Maybe you need more ventilation. Do have any pics you can post?
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I'm not sure any amount of ventilation can totally offset evaporation from curing concrete plus a spell of humid weather.

    Obviously having maximal ventilation will *help* though [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  10. PunkerTechnoRoo?ter

    PunkerTechnoRoo?ter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

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    I hope these help for now.
     

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