So I originally started a thread about the ventilation on my chicken coop. I got some great, helpful responses. However, questions about other things are starting to pop up and so I thought I would start a new thread as they do not have to do with ventilation. I posted a picture of the coop I am building below (plans and pictures come from http://steamykitchen.com/20640-the-palace-chicken-coop.html ). Right now it is just in the skeletal phase. I am hoping to have the roof done this weekend so I can then start on the house part. And that is where my questions come in. I would like to have it planed out before things are cut and up and harder to change.
The house part is 4 x 6 and the run is 6 x 12 The run will be covered in hardware cloth and have plastic around it in the winter. The floor of my run is dirt. I am wanting to get 5 chickens. I have three chicks now and will be getting the other two tomorrow.
So here are some questions:
What do I use for the floor of the coop? I was going to use laminate flooring till I read on here that that is not good to use. I saw someone mention Rubberized Roof Coat, that will not harm the chickens? I will have a drop board under the roost with shaving on the floor, and the water will be outside.
For the drop board can I just use a cheap piece of paneling that does not have grooves? And how wide does it need to be? I mean it will run the length of the wall so four feet but how wide? And will a foot below the roost be enough room? That will be a foot above the opening of the nesting box, a foot to the roost, and two feet to the roof. And one and a half feet below the vent at the top. I plan to have no wood there, just a 6" strip with harware cloth.
Can I just have one roost or will I have to have two? If I had to have two I am not sure where it would go....
Can I put the door on the tall side where the roost will go? He has it in the back on the short side, but if I have the drop board under the roost I will not be able to reach across 6 feet to clean it easily. Maybe a door on the side wall that leads into the coop? Might be better to have it there anyway so the chickens do not fly out when I clean. As long as the run does not get to messy... Ideas?
And if it is the wall right in front of the roost I can still open it in the winter to clean the poop boards? Seems I would let in big drafts opening the whole side.... Kinda confused on that.
I am just putting a deck stain on the outside, is it ok to use that on the inside as well? If not what do I put on the walls?
How do you cover the walls of the run with plastic without ruining the wood? After a few years of stapling the plastic wouldn't the wood be full of holes or staples?
I know these are a lot of questions. It seems the more I think about it the more I have. If you can answer any or all of these I would be very grateful. I really need some help from those of you who have had chickens and had time to figure out what works and what doesn't. Thanks so much!