We’ve been having some very wet weather lately so we thought we’d do a quick post about the flooring in your run. It’s important to try and keep your chicken’s feet mud free, particularly if your birds have feathery feet as they can become infectious if not cleaned. Balls of mud can build up over a chicken’s nails and need soaking and carefully removing or they can take the nail off.
The most obvious thing that will help is to cover your run to help stop the ground getting wet in the first place. A piece of corrugated roofing, secured tarpaulin etc.
If you are able, regularly move your run to a new piece of ground so that it doesn’t become too muddy. This also helps to prevent a build up of worms on the ground and hence infestations in your flock.
If this isn’t possible, or your run is in a fixed position, put down a deep layer of hard wood chip or bark to keep the mud at bay (soft wood chip is more porous). Alternatively, a few concrete slabs are handy and easy to keep clean or you could consider astro turf. Another idea is to split your run in half (if it is big enough) so one side can recover whilst the other is in use.
Provide extra perches so your hens can get their feet out of the mud – this could be an old half tire, a straw bale, an overturned crate etc.