Help! It’s a mudbath
QOur three chickens have turned their run into a disaster zone over the winter! All the grass has gone, leaving only mud and puddles. It looks like a scene from a First World War film, and doesn’t smell too great either. Should we buy some sand or straw to soak up the wet? Help!
AAnne Perdeaux says: Oh dear! Well you do need to do something and quickly, before your chickens become ill from living in these conditions. The mud is now likely to be full of worm eggs, which the chickens will be picking up as they scratch around and drink from the puddles. Other diseases will also be ready to come forth and multiply as soon as the weather warms up. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix once the run has reached this stage, and whatever you add to it will quickly sink into the morass, making matters worse. Time to put on your wellies and start digging – you’ll need to dig out all the mud until you reach solid ground again. Treat this with ground sanitiser and fill the space with hardwood chips (not bark). You could also use sand or even shredded rubber which is sold specifically for chicken runs. Whatever you use, keep it clean by picking up droppings and disinfecting regularly.
Keeping the chickens clean – this run is on hardwood chips.