This is our first time having chickens, so we are on a big learning curve and wanted some advice on keeping the coop cleaner. We built a 8x8 coop, we have 15 hens that are 5 months old. It has two roosts that are about 7 ft. long and I used 4 collapsible metal shelves for trays under the roosts, sprinkled a little pine shavings on them, and they were in for one day and were covered with mountains of poop this morning! I can get them all out okay and scraped them this morning, but the chicken's poop is so different and the runny ones don't scrape at all, and didn't hose off well. There are also droppings that miss the trays on the sides/edges, but I can't find larger trays than that. There are also droppings on the roosts. So I'm getting poop all over my gloves just trying to pick up the trays because the edges are covered, and it's falling off, then it's on the floor where I need to put the trays back in.
Sometimes the hens all roost on the top one, sometimes they are all on the left half of the coop, so poop has been wall to wall and under both roosts so far. Sometimes they face in towards the coop, sometimes they face out, and sometimes they are half and half, so the poop is going everywhere.
The floor of the coop has some pine shavings, but that seems like it will get very expensive to cover the floor and change it out often. There isn't too much poop in the area out from the roosts, but still some. It's also all over their ramp from the coop.
Is this amount of poop normal? I was hoping for easier scraping, and don't want to hose them off daily, don't really want wetness in the coop.
Do any of you prefer not using trays?
Do you have better ideas for ease of cleaning?
Do you all use pine shavings in the floor of the coop? I read controversial articles about sand as bedding.
Thank you for your help, hope that all made sense.