How to keep your chickens out of the mud

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I recently saw a post on one of the chicken groups that I belong to on Facebook. Someone was asking what they could do to help their chickens who had been stuck in a muddy area all winter.

The responses started pouring in from many others.

I currently only have six chickens, but, even so, I know how hard it is to keep them free from mud. My chickens are in two large metal pens and they get about an hour of free range time each day. During rainy spells, they definitely end up with muddy pens. I can move the pens, but it’s a laborious process and hard on the back. And, within a day or two, they manage to peck away at most of the new grass and that quickly turns to dirt or mud too.

I’ve tried many different solutions. Sand doesn’t work. It quickly disappears. Pine shavings don’t last very long. Hay can be okay if you have access to it, but you have to worry about chickens ingesting it and it getting stuck in their crops. Crushed oyster shells are good for them nutritionwise and can help with some of the mud, but they are expensive.

rooster and chicken with feeder

So, in addition to moving them as much as I can, the other thing that has helped is putting down four foot by six foot pieces of wood in their pens. The wood is heavy to move and it doesn’t completely cover their ground, but they really love having something solid to stand on when it gets muddy and I feel much better too. Also, the wood is relatively inexpensive and lasts for a long time.

Still, I was super impressed by and interested in many of the 75 or so responses to the person’s Facebook post. Below are some of the best suggestions. I haven’t tried any of these (except for the pine needles, which was very laborious), but I thought I would make a list, both for myself to possibly use in the future, and for others fighting the neverending battle of keeping their chickens out of the mud.

1) A clear, Plexiglas corrugated roof

2) Pallets

3) Toss in trimmings from cleaning up gardens in the fall.

4) “Wood chips. Best is from a tree surgeon where it’s not treated with anything.”

5) Tractor Supply Pine Pellet Stall Bedding.

6) Dig a trench to let the water drain.

7) Rake up pine needles and put them in the run.


Do you have any other suggestions? Also, let us know if you try any of the above and how well they work! Or, just share a picture of your flock with Wow my pet did That!

Here’s to sunnier skies ahead!

rooster and chickens



A treat your chickens might like; or not

Is your chicken missing? Check under a bucket

How can you tell if your chickens are healthy?

What can you feed chickens if you don’t have money for chicken feed?

Review of Hentastic Protein Bar for chickens

Thinking of getting a chicken? Or, already a chicken owner? Here are some tips for a healthy, happy flock

How to make a swing for a chicken

What can you do with chicken feathers?

Gif for chicken lovers

Chickens are increasingly being seen as pets, and some are even becoming celebrities

Chicken toy review

Does your chicken need a jacket? All about chicken saddles, including why you might need one for your hens and where we got ours

Can chickens and peacocks live together?

Making a chicken feeder from a recycled soda bottle

Product Review: New Age Pet ecoFLEX Fontana Chicken Barn and New Age Pet ecoFLEX Fontana Pen

Not sure of the sex of your chick or peafowl? Company eliminates guesswork with DNA testing

My chicken is broody? Now what? Check out this infographic for what you need to know

How loud are silkie roosters?

t shirt ad

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.