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Coop under deck?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

We are looking to put build a run and coop under our deck.  The deck is 10 x 14, and about 5'5" off the ground (I have to duck just slightly to get under it).  My main question is, will we be able to keep the smell down so it won't be unpleasant for us to eat on the deck just above the hens?  How often will we need to clean it to keep it nice?  Thanks!

post #2 of 5

If you could post a pic of the deck area in question, that would help with opinions.  There are a number of folks who have built their coops/runs under a deck with success.  Try searching the forums for those and compare with the area you have.

 

Evaluate the area - does it get or stay damp/wet - if it does, then IMO look for another location.  If it stays dry then you can make it work.   Sand IMO is the best option - easy to clean by sifting or raking - add a little PDZ if an area does get a water spill from the fount or rain.   But sand doesn't work for all locations - and a deep litter bedding will be more difficult to manage under the deck.

 

Also the location of the deck can help you decide - you need at least some sun part of the day to reach the run to help keep it dry and an area for dust bathing.

 

If you cannot stand up comfortably, then cleaning chores will be a real pain in the back.

 

How often to clean will depend on how many are in the flock - I personally clean my coop/run weekly and often scoop poop in the coop more often.  

 

 

 

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post #3 of 5
How many chickens you have is important, the more you have the more poop you have to manage, but moisture is the real key to keeping smell down. How water-tight is that deck? Will water leak through to the coop? How does the water drain off the deck? If it stands you will either rot the deck or coop top or it can leak through a flat roof. Wet poop is going to smell.

It can be done, some people do, but look at your drainage and how you would keep it dry.

How often you have to clean it will depend on your standards of clean, how many chickens you have, how the coop is built, and how you manage them. Some people clean something daily, I’d guess most people on here follow something close to Sunflour’s schedule, some of us clean a lot less often.

One way to make that a lot easier and extend the life of your bedding is to use droppings boards. There are many different ways to do this but they are basically something under the roosts to catch the poop so you can remove it from the coop and keep the total volume of poop down in there. Some people use boards or trays, with or without something in it to absorb the moisture. Some use bins like you can get at Walmart to sit under the roosts. You’ll find we do all these things so many different ways that it creates a problem for you. You have so many options to choose from it’s hard to decide which one to go with.

Chickens poop a lot all the time but they are not moving around at night, plus during the day they are probably not going to be in the coop much. Since they are not moving around, the poop really builds up in volume under the roosts. That can create a small problem but also concentrates it so you can remove it.

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the thoughts.  We will start with 2 and if things go well, expand to 5 in the fall.

 

I do not have a picture of the deck handy, but it is on the west side of the house, and has a roof over it.  I believe it stays pretty dry there as a result.

 

The deck is high enough that walking around it is not bad.  It is also the furthest spot from anyone else, so if we can manage the smell, then it is probably the best spot.

 

Thanks for the welcome, we're excited.  A friend will be giving us a pair of already-laying Red Stars, and helping get us set up.

post #5 of 5

Good luck with the project and your new flock.

 

Do get some PDZ horse stall freshener,  it is safe around the gals and helps keep down odor.

 

Even with a spotless coop, chickens will smell like birds - a wonderful odor IMO.

 

Get ready to hear those egg laying songs:)

 

 

Also study up on adding to your flock to be prepared for the newbies in the Fall.  Best to plan space for the see but cannot touch method and not expect to just put them together.  There is a great article on adding to a flock in the Learning Center.

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Reintegrating a Recovered Hen to a Small Flock:

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Raising Hens in Georgia!  Limited experience, but a lot of opinions.  

Reintegrating a Recovered Hen to a Small Flock:

Don't be Chicken, Even a Cat Can Bake a Gingerbread House

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