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Sliding Dropping Board.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I have been designing my first coop based largely on information you all have shared.  One of my goals is to make it as easy as possible to do the morning chores since I will more than likely be dressed for work.  I will incorporate outside access to nest boxes and put the food and water as close to the door as possible.  I don't really want to walk through the bedding each morning.

It occured to me that it would be great if I could do something similar for the dropping board.  I am considering putting the dropping board on drawer slides and being able to pull the whole thing straight out the side of the coop to scrape it off each morning.  The wall of the coop would look like it had a drawer front on it.  Secured of course.  Has anyone tried this?

6 RIR hens
5 BR hens
1 Araucana/Americana hen
1 Araucana/Americana roo
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6 RIR hens
5 BR hens
1 Araucana/Americana hen
1 Araucana/Americana roo
Reply
post #2 of 27

We have a droppings board that is removable, but not exactly what you're describing.
Here's a link to Horizon Structures, where we bought our coop. Their new "droppings cage" wasn't available when we ordered our coop last July, however knowing what I know now, the caged off area is valuable floor space for the chickens to walk on and I don't like the design of it for that reason. They could just as easily put the droppings board HIGHER under the roosts and still use the exit door for the board, it'd just be higher up.
http://www.shedsandgazebos.com/clean_coop_insert.htm

Here's a photo of the droppings board my husband installed recently. It just rests on top of the boards on the walls of the coop and removes easily. Although I only remove it for periodic deep cleaning; I scrape it off into a bucket each morning, which works great, then straight to the garden or compost heap!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/43104_2-15-10_new_droppings_board.jpg

I hope this helps conceptually even though it's not exactly what you had in mind. smile

post #3 of 27

I think that is a great idea! I was going to build a slider that slid inside my coop by the door. Now however I'm going to build it so it slids outside next to mu compost pile. Thanks for the great idea.lol


Edited by squiqwe - 3/27/10 at 4:55am
One great wife,  2 dogs, 4 australorps, 4 slw's and 1 silkie. Nature is one of God's greatest gifts take time to appreciate it.
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One great wife,  2 dogs, 4 australorps, 4 slw's and 1 silkie. Nature is one of God's greatest gifts take time to appreciate it.
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post #4 of 27

You're welcome! Make sure to keep us posted with photos of the project!

post #5 of 27

I'm one of those folks that doesn't use a dropping board, and am really happy with how our litter management is working out. We do deep litter - I started out with about 6 inches or so and haven't added any yet. We got our chickens at the end of February, so I haven't got lots of experience, but I can't imagine switching to dropping boards and having to scrape them daily. Our coop is a walk in 7'x8' coop and we've got 10 chickens. I turn the area under the roosts every other day or so. I keep a long handled cultivator in the coop and turning the bedding takes about 2 minutes. It might not work as well if you had a smaller raised coop, but for this size coop, it's been great so far.

When we built the coop we decided we'd try it without the dropping board, knowing that we could put them in later if we needed them. For me, morning chores consist of letting the ladies out to free range and checking food and water. Our pop door is automatic, so really, if I didn't want to let them out to free range, I wouldn't have to do anything in the morning. They've got a gravity feeder and waterer, so if I checked them at night, I'd feel comfortable not checking on them in the morning. That being said, I'd want to check on them in the morning, if only to say hello. I really love having chickens.

I guess my point is, you might want to consider trying your coop without the dropping board and if you're not happy with the way your litter management is working, putting one in later. The other option I've seen is building something box like under the roosts in which you put quite a bit of litter and then cleaning that out weekly. From what I've read, most people clean their boards daily, but the box thing doesn't require cleaning as frequently.

Good luck with your build!

post #6 of 27

I neglected to mention that in my mind, another great benefit to using droppings boards is that there is A LOT less bedding required. This keeps costs down AND my compost heap is much smaller and consists more of actual manure/fertilizer & less shavings. Love mine & would never go back to any other system (we tried several!).

post #7 of 27

The drawer slide dropping board sounds quite inventive! smile  I am in work clothes (slacks/blouse) when I do my quick morning cleaning, which involves me stepping inside to scrape, and 99% of the time I'm good to go.  Of course there's always that 1% where I walk back to the house and find poop on my shoes...lol! tongue I don't mind, because I like to do a quick spot check of the coop anyhow.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #8 of 27

Why does the board need to slide out the door?  why not open the poop-door and just scrape it out into a bucket?  You wouldn't need drawer slides - just a piano hinge

post #9 of 27

I use a removable plastic boot tray under the roost. I pull out the tray, dump the contents into my composter, and hose down the tray every morning. The only thing that sticks to the plastic are the cecal poops, and they wash away with the water.  Takes me all of three minutes. I only wish my bird chores for our indoor birds went as quickly!


Edited by elmo - 3/27/10 at 7:02am
post #10 of 27

For those of you who scrape the boards, what do you use to scrape?

Teresa
Momma to 3 kiddos,  2 dogs and 10 assorted gals, rulin the roost in the California Foothills!  *phew*

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Teresa
Momma to 3 kiddos,  2 dogs and 10 assorted gals, rulin the roost in the California Foothills!  *phew*

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