What I Use to Fix a Muddy Smelly Chicken Run – Cheap and Fast Fix

It is really absorbent – a lot more absorbent than I actually thought it was going to be. We've had a lot of rain here lately, and this was just a complete disaster yesterday.

I'm going over what I use in the chicken run, especially to cut down on smell when we have a lot of rain. So I'm going to show you what I've got going on here. All right. So this is pelleted bedding you find in like the horse section of stores like Rural King.

It is really absorbent – a lot more absorbent than I actually thought it was going to be. We've had a lot of rain here lately, and this was just a complete disaster yesterday. It starts smell and it's amuddy mess. You got to worry about sliding when you walk in it. It's terrible. We decided we had to put something in here. I try to go the free route.

Wood Mulch Can Be Toxic For Your Chickens

There's a lot of different things you can get to put down in the chicken run. We use dried leaves a lot, but if you don't get the leaves collected before it rains, then you know you don't want to just put a whole bunch of wet leaves in here. So that was kind of out.


Some people use wood mulch which you can get for free, like. I have a big pile of wood mulch that I got from a local tree trimming service and I got it for free and they even delivered it to my house. The problem with that is, you got to keep a few things mind. Number one is that you have to know whether or not those trees were treated with anything, because if they were, it could be potentially toxic to your chickens. You also need to know what kind of wood you're getting–uh mulch from, because some woods are potentially toxic. There are studies that show that Cedar can be toxic to chickens.

If you don't know what kind of wood you're getting because you're getting mulch for free and it ends up having some sort of Cedar in it or something that has been chemically treated, you could potentially be causing a lot of respiratory issues for your chickens. among other things, you could actually poison them depending on what's on the wood.

The good thing about mulch, and why a lot of people consider it, is because it breaks down so slowly it will. It will last a long time in your run and it's free. You also need to keep in mind if you fill the floor with-oh that wasn't cool. If you put wood mulch down and your chickens are walking around on and they get a splinter or step on a a sharp stick or something.

Bumblefoot – What You Need to Know

Now you got to worry about dumbfoot. Bumble foot's an infection. They get a hole or something in the bottom of their foot and it gets infected and it'll have this big. It's just no good. Once you have bumblefoot, you need to treat it as quickly as possible. You need to get the infection out and put antibiotics and wrap it.

Um, I've also heard to soak them in Epsom Salt first to help loosen it up. I have never had to deal with bumpfoot knock on wood, but um, that is another reason I don't want to put. I don't want to put any mulch down in.

The other thing that a lot of people use is sand. There's a lot to consider with Sand.

Horse Pellet Bedding

It doesn't have any insulation properties, so if you're in a colder climate it might not be as good for protecting their feet from frostbite if you're in direct sunlight or your run is. It also can get really hot and they can burn their feet. It does a much better job of letting the water drain through it instead of getting soaked, so you don't end up with muddy pools. I've also heard it's really easy to clean, and that it doesn't, uh,, tend to smell as bad. I've never used it, so I really can't speak to that. If you have used it and you have experience, please leave me a comment.

let me know what you think, because I am interested in it. uh, but for right now I like the horse pellet bedding. It is really affordable. It's a $40pound, a $40pound bag for $5 dollars. At my local Rural King here in Missouri and I put well, my husband put down two bags yesterday and that was enough to turn this from what was basically amuddy swamp to what you see today, which granted we could probably throw another bag down in here. But even so they're five dollars a piece and they last a long time, and it will get you through the rainy season.

And uh, it's a quick thing. So that's what I use. I hope this is helpful to someone. I know I had a lot of trouble researching all the different things you can put down and choosing what to try, and I ended up trying some different things. But when I can't get dry leaves, this is the red I go, and with the leaves, yeah, it's free because I get it from my yard and generally my kids help me make it in here. But you got to keep in mind that the leaves break really fast. So it is a very, very temporary solution. It will only work for a little while.

I still do it and it was nice in the winter because I so many leaves in here from the fall that they had insulation to keep them warm and itlasted a little longer because it was so thick. But for the most part, when, like yesterday, when it was already a swamp in here and we knew we had a bunch of rain coming last night, we didn't have the time to go out and raise up leaves. nor did we have dry leaves to raise up?

So horse pellet bedding at Rural King or Tractor Supply–they all sell it or whatever–is local to you and sells farm goods. I'd recommend it. It hasn't failed me yet, and it smells way better in here and I'm pregnant. So you know, I have a very sensitive nose right now, but this is not.


Tanya is going over what she uses to keep her chickens clean. She uses pelleted bedding, which is available in the horse section of stores. She also uses wood mulch, which can be bought for free.

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