Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > General DIY Discussions

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1
Share |
Question

Outdoor coops/pens filling with puddles, mud and muck. Help w/ solutions? (Pics)


I raise a variety of game birds in a few separate outdoor pens and also have a dozen chickens in a chicken coop. The big issue with all of the pens as well as the chicken coop is that in the spring time and especially after a heavy rain the ground inside the pens will become pure mud or will fill with excess water, forming giant puddles. It's okay once they dry out, but when it rains a lot or when the snow/ice is thawing it can be a real mess. All of the birds are supposed to be kept on dry ground (esp the game birds) so it's a big problem when the pens end up looking like this:




All of the pens have wire ceilings; I've already tried covering the tops of the pens with tarps when I know there's going to be a lot of rain but there are several problems with this. First, sometimes holes will form in the tarp after only a few days and all the rain will come in through the holes and make just as much of a mess as if I'd left them uncovered. Second, the tops of the pens are flat so if holes don't form then it's not long before the rain water will collect in a mini-lake on top of the tarp which weighs down the wire ceiling to the point where it looks like it's going to cave in. This can be solved by manually going out with a ladder and a bucket and bailing out all the water on top of the tarps every time it rains but this is a big hassle. Third, there are many large tree branches only a few inches above some of the tops of the pens which makes it difficult to put any sort of cover over them and I'd rather not have to cut down some of the major tree branches in my yard.

I also looked into creating a drainage system of some kind for the pens but after asking two different professionals about it and being given quotes in the thousands of dollars by both, I believe that's way out of my price range for something like this. Right now I have three methods of dealing with the water and mud and none are ideal by any means; the first is covering the pens with a tarp (impractical for the reasons listed above), the second is going in and manually scooping up all of the water out of the pen and into buckets with a feed scoop (can take hours; not at all efficient and difficult to get all of the water/muck out of there) and the third is putting down boards or other things as temporary "bridges" over the water and muck until it dries up or freezes.

So I'm coming here in hopes of getting some ideas for what else I can do to solve this problem. Each outdoor game bird pen is 11 feet long by 4 feet wide by 6.5 feet tall and the outdoor section of the chicken coop is 8 feet long by 8 feet wide by 6 feet tall. Does anyone have any recommendations for solutions? My budget is pretty tight so inexpensive solutions would be best.

P.S.
I've been thinking that an easier, quicker and more efficient way to get all the excess water out of the puddles in the pens or off the top of the tarps would be a Wet-Dry vacuum that I'd plug in to an extension cord and use the hose to suck up all the water instead of having to try and scoop it all into a bucket by hand. I've never used a Shop-Vac or anything before though so I'm not sure how reasonable of an idea this is and I don't want to end up buying one and ruining it if it can't handle that sort of task. Would a $40 - 80 dollar Wet-Dry vacuum work for this sort of thing? I had something like one of these models in mind: (#1: 2.5 gallon, 2HP) (#2: 5 gallon, 3HP) (#3: 8 gallon, 5.5HP)

gshepard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 26,248
Default

Outdoor coops/pens filling with puddles, mud and muck. Help w/ solutions? (Pics)


Far better to spend the time and money to raise the grade with fill dirt then gravel and relocate the pens on top of the raised grade.
No vacuum is going to work trying to do that every time it rains.

joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
Member
 
creeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: As always..beside myself.
Posts: 4,226
Default

Outdoor coops/pens filling with puddles, mud and muck. Help w/ solutions? (Pics)


It looks as though you have good fall away from those pens so the solution should be easy. Dig a trench 10-12" wide running the length of the pen. I would do it just inside the fence line. Start at one end dig down 6-8 inches and gradually go deeper as you run the length. Place in the trench, a 4" corrugated pipe with a sock. Buy the one with holes on half. Surround the pipe with round drainage stones. Place the earth back. Don't forget to have the soil in the pens slope from the hut out to the fence. Daylight the pipe somewhere down the slope. Should not cost much
After a heavy rain of course its going to need time to dry a little but the pipe will whisk it away faster. Maybe you could keep the biddies in for a spell.

Viva la DIY
creeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,469
Default

Outdoor coops/pens filling with puddles, mud and muck. Help w/ solutions? (Pics)


Does the floor need to be dirt? Fill the pen with 3-4" of screenings.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #5
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,044
Default

Outdoor coops/pens filling with puddles, mud and muck. Help w/ solutions? (Pics)


Just wear a pair of muck boots, when you go out there. Talk to any farmer, and they will tell you how to deal with it. One thing is, the birds need a dry floor, so that means possibly building a raised coop with a wood floor, or concrete floor. Plus putting straw or saw dust helps, but need to get the pen so that it is not a mud pit, unless you want to change to raising pigs.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
Master General ReEngineer
 
Bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chaumont River, Ny.
Posts: 3,682
Default

Outdoor coops/pens filling with puddles, mud and muck. Help w/ solutions? (Pics)


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Far better to spend the time and money to raise the grade with fill dirt then gravel and relocate the pens on top of the raised grade.
No vacuum is going to work trying to do that every time it rains.
Ayuh,... Joe's got it,...

Water flows downhill,...
The pens need to be higher than the surrounding grades....
Not a Hole the water runs into, 'n seeps in....
Bondo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 09:25 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pacific North west
Posts: 1,237
Default

Outdoor coops/pens filling with puddles, mud and muck. Help w/ solutions? (Pics)


If you want it dry you need drainage. Start with 2 inch minis crushed rock then back fill with 3/8 crushed rock. In all reality My chickens have a nice dry coop the rest is mud in the winter it is just the nature of farming Rais the coops up of the ground.


Last edited by Nailbags; 02-19-2012 at 09:27 PM.
Nailbags is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.