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What to do in the wet weather?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NamasteJu, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. NamasteJu

    NamasteJu Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2015
    I have 3 rescue chickens. We have a coop with small run and a pretty large run attached to it. We had them on a patch on the grass which was fine in the summer but now it's autumn in the UK it's very cold and wet. The grass/mud has turned to sludge and the girls were unhappy and dirty so we moved their coop and run onto our patio area. With all this rain the concrete ground just turns to sludge with their poo getting wet. I have to constantly move them over on the patio and scrub it.

    Any ideas for how to keep them sludge free under foot and warmer? This weather is brutal, cold and wet. They have a nice warm coop inside but they always come outside into their run area. I have a waterproof sheeting over the top but the water still gets in from the sides.

    Any advice appreciated. I am worried about them not being warm enough and it's such hardwork for me always having to scrub outside lol!

    Thank you

    Julie
     
    2 people like this.
  2. grimalkin182

    grimalkin182 Just Hatched

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    Nov 8, 2016
    Bournemouth UK
    Hi Julie

    I bought a coop with 9' run attached for my 6 silkies. It sits on a rectangle of sleepers which are set into the grass. The shallow "hole" this creates is filled with wood chip, about 4" deep. I rake this about a couple of times a week and their poop gets taken underground by worms etc. When it rains ( admittedly not much yet here in Bournemouth) it obviously gets wet, but not enough to cause serious sloppy poo problems! Do you have a place in your garden where you could site such a thing permanently? We bought it all from Flytes So Fancy - you can see this sleeper/wood chip combo on their website. We also went for a raised coop so they have shelter under it at the back of the run.

    Hope this is useful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
    2 people like this.
  3. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

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    I have that problem as well in my run, I use bark/wood chips and so far it has worked great! You could also try leaves (since it is fall :) or pine needles if you have some nearby.
     
  4. NamasteJu

    NamasteJu Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2015
    Great advice, thank you so much. I shall take a look now for what you've suggested.
     
  5. NamasteJu

    NamasteJu Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2015
    Oh so if I spread bark on the patch we have on the grass for them that will absorb their poo and not turn to sludge when it rains? How do you keep it clean or does it not cause that much mess?

    Thank you
     
  6. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

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    I use the bark so they aren't just walking in mud/sludge, that and the wood chips (I use grass clippings in the summer) help so they can scratch and mix it up.
     
  7. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture where you can see my run with the wood chips/bark in it:
     
  8. NamasteJu

    NamasteJu Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2015
    Brilliant, thank you. So when it rains the ground doesn't go to sludge? Ours was grass where we put the chickens then the grass died and it became a hardish mud patch but as soon as it rains it goes all boggy.
     
  9. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

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    That is exactly what happened to ours. No, with the bark/wood chips in the run its all good (we had rain the other day and worked great!). You will have to replace the bark/wood chips though over time.
     
  10. grimalkin182

    grimalkin182 Just Hatched

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    Nov 8, 2016
    Bournemouth UK
    [​IMG]

    And here's a pic of my run so you can see the sleepers and wood chips.
     
    1 person likes this.

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