A lot of people use PDZ for the poop boards. You should be able to get it a Rural King, TSC, Farm and Fleet etc. As for the rest of the coop there are many threads. I have had my coop up and running for 3 weeks now with 9 hens. I started off with one back of pine shavings from Rural King then every week or week and a half I have raked up some grass clippings and leaves from last fall from around my yard. They love to scratch through that stuff. I plan to use the deep litter method, search for it if you have not read about it. My plan is to keep adding leaves, garden waste, grass clippings etc as needed. The clean it out a couple times a year. So far after three weeks with 9 hens there is no smell in the coop, just the grass and leaves. I have a good amount of ventilation which is important.
My nest boxes have a base of pine shavings then I put a layer of pine straw on top of that. The long white pine needles that are like 4-5 inches long, they are soft. Not the real short prickly ones.
Do you have any pictures of your set up. Is it one you built or one you purchased as a kit?
Edited by flyin-lowe - 3/27/16 at 5:49am
Will try to post some pics later of it. I am so happy, been asking hubby for chickens for 12 years!
Yeah, for eight birds, you will definitely need a larger coop. Those little prefabricated ones highly overestimate how many birds can happily live in one of those things. Maybe if they are all bantams they'd fit. Industry standard is 2 sq ft of coop space per bird but realistically, for small operations and backyard chickens 4+ square feet of floor space in the coop is best. If the chickens get cooped up for a bit due to storms, nasty weather, etc, they are less likely to go crazy hurting each other from boredom and irritation. And that square footage needs to be calculated after you subtract nesting boxes, roosts, feeders and waterers, etc. Run space needs to be about ten square foot per bird or more.
Think of I as kitty litter for the poop board. I don't use it but some people do. If you have a poop board then I think it is good. What is the actual dimension of that coop? Like was stated below, 4 square foot per bird. So for 8 birds your coop would need to be at least 4x8. Plus 10 foot of runs space per bird, so 8x10. If that run is 7x4 I is really designed for 2 chicks, 3 would be pushing it unless they are going to be free ranged during the day.
The thing pictured is 7x4 in entirety. This is just temporary. Like I said, twice as big would be nice....maybe like two of these end to end ?? 4 have 56 acres in total and 4 around the house they can roam
But chickens are social creatures so it is best to have multiples. Definitely advise against getting chicks until you have a more permanent setup. Or if you get them now and can work on your permanent setup just a couple hours a day, you can likely get t done before they are done with the brooder. We are about a week and a half into the construction of our coop (1-2 hours every other day or so) and we suspect we can finish it in another week. And do the run in a day or two. Our chickens will be ready to go out sometime 1-3 weeks after that, so plenty of time 😊