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I know there are lots of topics on this subject but can't really trawl through them all. I have an eglu go up which has a plastic sheet covering it during winter. I have straw in the open part but it constantly gets wet through in only a few days of cleaning it out. The coop is on paving slabs. There are areas where the rain gathers in puddles which doesn't help. Any advice would be much appreciated as I have arthritis and finding it harder than I thought it would be to clean them out so often.

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I would order some hardwood woodchips and have a deep layer of them.

I used to have just patio slabs and would have to clean them every day from the poops.

I would also get puddles on the patio slabs.

Some of my woodchip does get wet where one run meets the other but it is generally dry and the girls love digging in it.

Perhaps change the straw for some Aubiose or something similar. Mites can live in the tube bits of the straw and straw does like to stay damp once it is wet.

Do your girls have a covered run ? Or do you just have your GO UP stood in the garden - I'm trying to understand what you mean by the open part.

 

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Its the run part that is attached to the go up. I have it covered with a plastic sheet too so it is annoying that it's still getting so wet so quickly. I tried garden bark chips at one point but they were already wet out of the bag!

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That's what I was imagining but wanted to make sure.

Bark chips are not so good for chickens as they often go mouldy and the chickens can breathe in the spores.

You can get hard wood woodchips from  Flyte so Fancy. There are other places too but that is where mine came from. I've had mine for about 4 years now and not changed them.

How strong is your plastic sheet ? Lots of us on here tend to have tarpaulin. Do you think yours covers enough of the run to keep it dry ? Is it tied down enough to stop the wind blowing any rain in ?

Edited by Luvachicken

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It's a fairly good plastic sheet and it ties pretty much right down to the bottom apart from maybe a few centimetres . It is held down by bricks on one side as it does get quite windy where we are.

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If you do as Luvachicken suggests and put a thick layer of hardwood chip (at least 4 or 5 inches), then even if some water comes in, the top layers will still stay be reasonably dry except when the weather is really awful and rain blows in. With hardwood chips though even if they get wet they don’t get muddy or anything so it’s not so much of a problem as with other substrates. 

If you do go down this route I would suggest some sort of ‘kick board’ around the bottom of the run to stop all the wood chip falling / being kicked out. I have a mixture of un-needed kitchen plinth and random bits of planking that are just held next to the run by the bricks that also hold the run down.

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Well, that seems to be a good enough sheet of plastic then 😊

I would think it is more down to the straw and some kind of capillary action between it and the rain.

I think for it to stay dry you would need a huge thickness of straw to keep it dry.

Personally, I would still get some hard wood wodchips.

 

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I am definately going to look into the woodchips so thanks for that. So what do you about cleaning it as I cant really spot clean due to the run and coop being low down. I have the go up wheels attached which means the whole thing has to be moved to clean. And I have been thinking about putting something else around the bottom to try and keep it drier. I don't have any spare wood so will have to look into buying some.

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I too have a Go-up.  And my  run is low down but ‘walk in’ in the middle.  So I took the eglu run away and just left the Go-Up on the wheels.  Then moved the coop to the middle so that I can stand up to clean the coop.  You could try using some kind of plastic or tarpaulin around the outside to keep it dry inside just make sure you tie everything down! Good luck.   

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The 1 m Cube clear cover covers most of a Go Up run. It leaves about 15 cm free on the bottom. Might the water come in by the run bit under the coop? There are clear plastic wind breakers for that too.

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6 hours ago, Debbie1962 said:

I am definately going to look into the woodchips so thanks for that. So what do you about cleaning it as I cant really spot clean due to the run and coop being low down. 

I would get some children's tools.

They are the perfect size for getting in a run.

To be honest, I don't do a lot with mine - I rake it over every now and then and sprinkle it with some sanitiser but that is about it.

Somehow the poops disappear but it never smells.

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That is definitely a good enough cover.

Obviously any rain is just going to travel along your patio slabs and into the run and make the straw wet.

I think if you want to stick with straw, then the only way to avoid it getting wet from the ground, would be to put an extra layer of plastic inside the run so that it came up the sides like a giant waterproof container. You would have to attach the plastic to the sides of the run so the chickens wouldn't dig it downwards

You could also do the same and fill it with woodchips.  

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I am not bothered about sticking to straw I am quite happy to try some of the wood chip if it works better.

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I have never and would never hose down my woodchip. In normal times I clean out by using a child’s beach spade to remove obvious poo around once a week. At the moment I try to do it every day.

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 Aubiose or any similar hemp equine horse bedding is, in my experience, better than wood chip so long as your run is well covered.   It magically dries out the poop.   I rake ground sanitiser through it regularly and so change it only 2 or 3 times a year.   I use it in the nesting box and poop trays also.  

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1 hour ago, mullethunter said:

I have never and would never hose down my woodchip. In normal times I clean out by using a child’s beach spade to remove obvious poo around once a week. At the moment I try to do it every day.

I can't really do that as the run is low down. I could kneel and reach the front part but not the back. Also I bought the go up so I wouldn't have to kneel down due to arthritis.

 

7 minutes ago, Patricia W said:

 Aubiose or any similar hemp equine horse bedding is, in my experience, better than wood chip so long as your run is well covered.   It magically dries out the poop.   I rake ground sanitiser through it regularly and so change it only 2 or 3 times a year.   I use it in the nesting box and poop trays also.  

I have already ordered the wood chip and as it was expensive I need to use it.

So do people with wood chip basically just spot clean and/or throw some sanitiser over it?

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1 hour ago, Debbie1962 said:

I can't really do that as the run is low down. I could kneel and reach the front part but not the back. Also I bought the go up so I wouldn't have to kneel down due to arthritis.

I have already ordered the wood chip and as it was expensive I need to use it.

So do people with wood chip basically just spot clean and/or throw some sanitiser over it?

Aubiose is only useable if you have a completely dry run. In my experience this is hard to achieve with a Go Up. Wood chip will do fine. If I need to reach the back, I take the poop drawers out. 
But most leave it like it is for the most part and use sanitiser powder once in a while.

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Debbie try not to worry about it too much. I think we’re probably all guilty of thinking and sometimes promoting the way we do things as the best way or the only way. Put the wood chip in, maybe get a long handled rake and some sanitising powder to use when you think it looks too bad, but just see how you get on. If it doesn’t work out exactly how you plan, nothing awful will happen.

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1 minute ago, mullethunter said:

Debbie try not to worry about it too much. I think we’re probably all guilty of thinking and sometimes promoting the way we do things as the best way or the only way. Put the wood chip in, maybe get a long handled rake and some sanitising powder to use when you think it looks too bad, but just see how you get on. If it doesn’t work out exactly how you plan, nothing awful will happen.

I absolutely agree! And don’t forget to enjoy them too!

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1 hour ago, mullethunter said:

Debbie try not to worry about it too much. I think we’re probably all guilty of thinking and sometimes promoting the way we do things as the best way or the only way. Put the wood chip in, maybe get a long handled rake and some sanitising powder to use when you think it looks too bad, but just see how you get on. If it doesn’t work out exactly how you plan, nothing awful will happen.

I understand what you are saying. I am just trying to make things easier for myself having arthritis and comfortable for the chickens too. Hopefully I will get there with the wood chips.

1 hour ago, Cat tails said:

I absolutely agree! And don’t forget to enjoy them too!

I will get to enjoy them once I am happy with the substrate and this cold weather goes away lol.

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23 minutes ago, Debbie1962 said:

I understand what you are saying. I am just trying to make things easier for myself having arthritis and comfortable for the chickens too. Hopefully I will get there with the wood chips.

I will get to enjoy them once I am happy with the substrate and this cold weather goes away lol.

Maybe as a tip, you could get rid of their ladder and give them one or two perches in the run to hop on and get in the coop. Mine almost never use the ladder. And my perches are just leftover pieces of wood from a square metre garden. But I also have a perch that is just a long stick tied to the wire with zip ties.

Without the ladder, it will probably be easier to get a long rake etc in. 

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