Help! It’s a mud­bath

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

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.

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