Uh, hadn't thought of planning for mud problem...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickieNikki, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. ChickieNikki

    ChickieNikki Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...which I don't have, but anticipate now, especially having read Pat's page...

    I'm going to end up keeping probably 20 chickens. We will have movable fencing and will be able to create 2 run areas of about 4000sf each. They won't be covered, although we may even be able to add a 3rd. One is uphill from the yard, and the rest is down hill from the house, but not a real hill. We are also uphill from our neighbors (but on a 3 1/4 acre lot, so far enough away). We live in MO, where there is plenty of rain in spring and fall, plenty of NO RAIN all summer, and plenty of squooshy clay soil in my yard. In fact, although we have been here 4 years, and have a reasonable yard grown in (no trees, all grass), water still doesn't drain into the soil well in the rain, and it's very spongy ground. It may be unavoidable, but I'd like to try to avoid having 1/3 acre of mud. Will 2 runs that size rotated keep the wreckage to a minimum? How often would that number of chickens need to rotate between runs to keep them from turning to muck? I know I can plant annual rye or winter wheat between rotations to keep things growing for them. Any suggestions would be great!
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    4000 x 2 = 8000 sq ft, divided by 20 chickens = 400 sq ft per chicken (!)

    which is pretty impressive [​IMG] and should easily avoid generalized mud. You may still experience local problems, e.g. right around the coop (esp the popdoor) and other high-traffic areas, but can deal with them on a 'spot treatment' basis, IMO.

    Have fun [​IMG],

    Pat
     
  3. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have/had a similar problem with mud. most of our 8 acres is designated as wetland, though we have trees and gardens and 2+ acres of open grass areas. when we put in our run (20x15), we did it in an area that was alongside a small woods/pond that dried up by mid-summer. we found that after a rain it was pretty muddy and that the water didn't drain well.

    a local farmer suggested we spread 1-2 yards of sand in the run area to help with the mud and wet chicken waste. what a difference. we have done it twice now and are glad we did. we still have mud after a rain, but it drains away much sooner that before.
     
  4. They Call Me Pete

    They Call Me Pete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read spreading leaves in run also helps. Not only with mud but odor problems also. Probably is what I'll end up doing then just move leaves/poop to compost pile.
     
  5. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    I put play sand down in my run as well - just put 6 bags down and mixed it with what the girls dug out along with some DE so they can dust and prevent any bugs/mites/etc.

    My girls are in a 12X12 dog kennel for their run but are let out daily (supervised - hawk issue [​IMG]) but even with the tarp over their pen, it still gets a little muddy. The sand absolutely helps with this (and I dont know about ya'll but my chickens LOVE to play in the mud for some reason!). Nothing like seeing 6 birds' feet covered in mud [​IMG] Makes it very easy as well with the sand to rake out the droppings.
     
  6. SophieLain127

    SophieLain127 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The area I'm planning on using doesn't get really that muddy but I figure it will once the girls arrive so I'm planning on a mixture of dirt/sand and pea gravel. I'm actually planning on doing the run area and about a foot or two around the whole structure and run area.
     
  7. Firefyter-Emt

    Firefyter-Emt Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could roll down some hay for the muddy season. It made a big difference in our run this winter/spring. I had some sand, but they turned that into dirt, so I will need to add some more when I clean out what is left of the hay. I added a few flats at a time and let then have fun digging in it until it was all over the run. [​IMG]
     

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