Hoping to get some advice with this.
First time chicken keeper but have kept quails before now. I'm currently working on converting our 6 foot by 4 foot standard british garden shed into an integrated coop and run for two pekin bantams. I'm constructing a raised coop at the rear of the shed and I'm cutting open panels which I'll cover in weldmesh along the walls and front of the shed to in effect transform it into a run. There'll also be a mesh door to allow walk in access. The birds will also be allowed free range of the garden at the weekends when we're at home, or if I have any time off in the week and weekday evenings in the summer when it's still light later. So they should have a pretty good life.
I'm pretty confident on the construction work except for one thing: the floor of the shed. It's currently chipboard, with a few holes knocked into it from previous owners. The shed is placed on bare earth (no concrete base). I'm wondering whether I can leave the floor on, cover it with a layer of weldmesh and then put a good deep covering of earth or sand on top to act as their run litter, or whether I should somehow attempt to take the floor out altogether and then put the run litter in.
What do you think? For ease, I would rather leave the floor in if you think it would be okay? If I put enough litter on top then surely it won't make much difference? Or do you think I'll have drainage problems?
Many thanks for any help! :)