What is best for a muddy pen?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Roy Rooster, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All, [​IMG]

    This is my first time with a winter flock to care for.

    Being in East Tennessee our winters are mostly wet in nature. That being said I need
    some ideas of what to put down in the pen to keep the mud under control.

    I have heard that straw is good but I have also heard some speak against it, leaving me confused.

    What do those who have winter flocks use in the chicken pen. Suggestions would be great! [​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  2. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of old wood pallets are helping me keep the mud under a little more control in my run. I can just spray off the mud with the hose. Now the chicks and I both have a clean place walk (until it falls apart [​IMG] )
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I was raised in the Cumberland Gap area, so I can appreciate your weather. Winters are pretty much wet over here too.

    You might read this article. You might get some good info out off it.

    PatÂ’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    I
    don't put anything specific in it but it is on a bit of a rise and I fixed a swale to keep water from running into it when it rains. It still gets wet when it stays wet, especially where they have dug holes for dust bathing. If you have yours in a low spot where water does not drain out, well good luck.

    I hauled in some dirt for my coop floor to start with so it was raised even higher than the natural ground. That made a big difference in there. In the run, I covered part of it to keep rainwater out, which helps a lot. I also got a couple of bags of pea gravel and dumped that at the gate where I walk in which is also at the door to the coop. I just try to build the ground level up a bit where I normally walk and keep as much water out as I can, but I don't worry too much about it. For me, I think the best thing is to build it up and get as much to drain out as you can. If you can, I'd really think about lots of sand. It will work into the mud, but it will help drainage. It will add volume too to help raise the level.

    Good luck. Wet can be a real pain.
     
  4. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say DONT use straw...I heard that suggestion, and when I came across some cheap straw, I tried it. I hate it. It's soggy, smelly, and overall, just gross. It holds water longer too. The rest of my yard is dry from our two days of rain. My coop? Still wet and soggy. Bleh.
     
  5. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
    Make your chicken pens so that they get as little water in them as possible. If you can't, then it sort of depends on what type of ground you are working with and how muddy it is. I would suggest straw if it is soupy, then follow it with wood pellets or wood chips. If it isn't too bad, then saw dust, shavings or pellets. All those things will breakdown into the soil eventually. I would take mudded straw to clean out over soupy, nasty mess.
     
  6. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you so much for your suggestions, the article was very helpful.
     
  7. animaladdictions

    animaladdictions Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in east Tn toooo!!! [​IMG] Uggh! I'm already so sick of this seasonal goopy guck I can hardly stand it! I have ducks, chickens, and geese. My birds free range during the day, but go to their individual pens at night. I've managed to keep the inside of the pens pretty dry (except when it rains non-stop for three days!) by covering them with tarps. I use the thick pine shavings method inside the pens and that works well. My problem is right outside the doors of each pen. It's so disgusting! Just a horrible soppy wet stinky mess! I laid straw down this morning which I know I'm going to regret, but I had to do something because I'm slippin and sliding on one spot and sinking down into the mud in another. I think in the spring I'm going to try and make professional like walkways in front of each coop. I'm thinking a layer of sand first, then pea gravel, then either larger gravel or a thick mulch layer. I just hope I can make it through this winter without breaking my neck! [​IMG]
     
  8. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Okay, that is what I heard about straw from another source, that is just gets nasty. I just have a earthen run nothing special, I am glad
    that I never invested in straw I think I would regret it.
     
  9. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hey there fellow East Tennessian, I tell ya this last system that came through and dropped all the rain has made
    a mess out of my backyard where the chickens roam free. My pen in an absolute mess, soggy and muddy. I agree with you
    I am going to make a gravel walkway to the pen and around the pen for better drainage. This winter has been so wet and the best
    part is it has only begun. Who knows what January will bring. Glad to know that I am not alone.
     
  10. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you can afford it, sand in the runs might be the best solution.
     

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