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Chicken enclosure turning into mud pat.

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Fairly new to chicken keeping. We have a 6mx6m enclosure for our 2 silkie and 2 hybrid chickens. Originally it had grass that he all gone and since the rain has started it’s turning very muddy. I am worried about my silkies getting very muddy with there feather feet. They are also making the coop very dirty. Any idea how to help without costing a fortune? Is it bad for chickens to have a muddy enclosure? We have ordered some slate to make a path from the door to the coop but any ideas what to do with the rest or the area? Thanks.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

You need to cover the run first.  Use clear tarpaulins on the top and sides, leaving some uncovered for ventilation.   Look at Tarpaflex for heavy duty clear covers. Hold in place with bungees.   If you’re on a limited budget get clear shower curtains.  Theyll only last a season but are about £9 last time I looked.  Then  put log roll or similar round the perimeter. That keeps run covering  in when they scratch around,   If it’s very soggy now, I’d put hardwood woodchip down first, then aubiose on top.  If you’ve got time, and the resources you could slab the run.  Then you could just put aubiose down.     Don’t panic.  Many of us have been there too!  

Edited by Patricia W
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I agree with Patricia: get some tarps. If I were you, I'd use cable-ties as opposed to the bungee cords which don't seem to last much time at all, and spend the money on some good, heavy duty tarps or you'll be replacing them after each high wind!

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Bungees allow for a certain amount of flexing which stops the tarps tearing I find.  I use cable ties for most everything else. 

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I don’t understand the aubiose over wood chip in the run? Does it not go soggy? 
 

my run is wood chip on ground, I poo pick every day and use ground sanitising powder once a week. If I put aubiose over top will it not just mix in when they scratch/dig and rot/smell?

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It’s either aubiose or woodchips. And never aubiose on earth, but on slabs like Patricia said.  But to use aubiose, your run needs to be dry, from top and bottom. If you don’t have a dry run, woodchips is your alternative.

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Actually Cat Tails, I have aubiose on compacted heavy clay.  Because the run is covered it’s like concrete.   The trick is a good clear cover.  Why  aubiose and not woodchip?  Aubiose is easier to clean and maintain. The poo dries and disappears.  Rake sanitiser in once a week and I only need replace it every 4 to 6 months.   It composts beautifully too.  I use hardwood chips in the external area which is not covered.  

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Wouldn't go for that. Unless you have very dry hard clay, the woodchips will start to mix with the earth and will turn into a big clumpy mess. Best to keep wood chips on paving slabs and a covered run is always a good idea.

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Covering the run, or at least a good part of it is really the only answer if you want to leave it on earth.   If you slab it, I would still cover it because I like to use aubiose, but if you preferred woodchip you could try it uncovered.  

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