Advice for Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fradytrc, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. fradytrc

    fradytrc Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 18, 2011
    Central NC
    I have an existing chicken coop that used to be a rabbit hutch. The floor is about 3 feet off the ground and it has wire (small rectangular openings) on all sides so that is what the mama and her 9 chicks will be walking on. Is that okay? I'm a little worried about their feet but I like the idea that their "poop" can fall through to the ground below.

    I also have just put cedar shavings in the box that Mama and the chicks will be nesting in at night for a couple weeks until they start roosting. The chicks are 4 weeks old and they are all going to be put outside this weekend. Are the cedar shavings okay? I've read good and bad.

    Thanks for all comments and help!!!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  2. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2015
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Check this link out: I don't think cedar shavings are recommended.

    As far as the wire openings, it is 1/2 or 1/4" hardware mesh? That should be OK, but I'm not sure, and I'd hate to see a chick foot get caught. Hopefully someone else will chime in.
  3. Cheep N Peep

    Cheep N Peep Chillin' With My Peeps

    The oils and vapors from cedar can kill chicks and cause major respitory issues in grown chickens. It is especcially dangerous to chicks because they are so much closer to the ground, and don't roost- instead sleeping right on the bedding. Go for pine.

    Rabbit cage bottoms are typically made with larger openings so that poop can go through but small enough (with thick enough wire) that paws can't become trapped or injured. A rabbit's foot is like one of our feet, with the majority of the foot being solid, even the front ones act more like a shoe and the wire does not usually hurt the foot. A chicken's foot, in contrast, is more like our hand. It has long, bony, independant toes that easily catch on wire floors, and the natural scratching behavior only worsens thechances of nails being ripped off or toes broken from getting caught in the wire and a panicked chicken trying to break free. A smaller foot (like a chick's) can get two toescaught in the same hole, or a whole foot stuck below the wire. It is not a very safe thing to do- and not very effective, either. Rabbits make dry pellets that fall through the wire. Chickens make glue. That sticks to the wire.

    Put down some cardbord over the wire and throw some PINE shavings on top. They should be fine. :)
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My brooder and grow-out coop both have ½” hardware cloth wire floors. I’ve never had one get a foot caught or go through. I’ve never had one with an injured foot.

    Not all wire is created equal. Some of it has sharp spikes coming off of it, maybe from poor welding but normally from the galvanizing process. Gravity usually makes all those run the same way. Rub your hand (carefully) across that wire to make sure the side they are walking on doesn’t have those sharp points. That could chew up their feet.

    I find that until the chicks are about 12 to 15 weeks old the poop falls straight on through. But after that it gets big enough and has a consistency that it starts to pile up. I’s a bit of a pain to clean.

    I agree on the cedar shavings. Use something else.

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