Another question about "Poop Decks"


11 Years
Feb 6, 2010
Orange County
Ahoy Swabbies !

I know I'm probably driving most of you all nuts with my questions, but I dont know where else to ask, so I hope you'll bear with me and tolerate another newbie question.

As you all know, I'm building my coop, and trying to be mindful of every detail, for the purpose of Poop Management and ease of cleaning.
Once this project is complete, it needs to be as "User friendly" as possible, due to my 2 kids will be maintaning the coop as much as possible.

My 10 year old son, Nickolas, has Down Syndrome, so I have learned that the easier I make certain tasks, the more likely he is, to be able to accomplish the tasks, without getting too frustrated and giving up on it. I'm trying to use this whole "Chicken Adventure" as a way to help develope better "Life Skills" with Nickolas, as well as it just being fun to have the birds.
Hopefully it will help to accomplish some of those intentions.

ANYWAY,... so on to my Newbie Question...

I have just built my roost's, and am about to build my "Poop Decks" under them.
What I would like to know is,...

How far past the edge of the 2x4 roost, does most of poop fall?

The reason I'm asking this is, my coop is only 8' x 4', and I want the layout to have as much access space as possible for cleaning purposes,... while still functioning properly and effectively for the birds and Poop containment.

therefore, if most of the poop falls only 4" out from the edge of the roost,... I dont want to build it 12" past the edge of the roost,
in other words, I Do want to build it big Enough, ...But not bigger than it needs to be.

Heres a couple of pics...

The Roosts are in, and the Poop Decks are next to come...


This is a close up of the left side Roost. The dark brown board is only there for refference, and to hold the measuring stick. The small piece of 2x4 on the right is just to represent how far the Poop Deck, should or will, extend beyond the edge of the roost.

Thanks for all your help, and patience with my Newbie questions,
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Eight inches out from the roost should be fine. I don't think mine are much wider than that and mine cathes all the droppings.

Make sure they are far enough below the roost to comfortably reach under for cleaning. My boards are 8 inches below the roost. lower roost (my two are slightly stepped) is only in maybe 4 inches from the dropping boards edge, and I never have poop on the floor (from roosting). However, they almost always face forward when they roost, so that makes a difference. IMO, six inches would generally be good, because they DO tend to face forward rather than face the wall. Mine does butt up against the wall though, and is deeper on that side. As mentioned, do put it low enough to have no problem scraping the poop into a bucket. I think mine is about 5 inches below my lower rooster...about 10 inches below my upper roost. Are you going to have a ladder up to your roosts? My perspective may be wrong based on the photo, but it looks kind of tight for flying up there. The deeper your dropping boards are, the tighter it will be for the chickens to fly up there (ladders will help).
I'm hoping that I can get away with 4" to 6" out from the roosts.
8" is a little farther than I'd really LIKE or WANT to push it out,.. but I cerainly don't want to make them TOO short either.

I will have them be low enough to access, but I may be able to have them higher the most of you have yours, due to, I am going to make removable plastic "Lines" for the Poop Deck surfaces, from some hard plastic sheet material, that I have lots of.
I will be able to slide the whole sheet off of the top of the Poop Deck, bringing all the poop with it, and then scrape it straight into a bucket, or compost bin.
The entire Coop Floor, will also have the removable plastic liners too, and then covered with shavings or straw.

Yes, there will be at least 1 and possibly even 2 ladders for them to climb up to the roosts. I'll just have to see how much room I have to work with once the Poop Decks are in.

I had considered building and installing a little "Chicken Elevator", ....but for some strange reason, my wife seems to think that it would be a bit excessive. go figure !

She says that the Chickens don't deserve to have an Elevator, before She does !

I also need to be considerant of the size and placements for a inside Feeder and Waterer, and still have enough comfortable space for the birds to move around.
It's funny how at first, the coop seemed to be PLENTY large enough,... but now it seems to quickly be becoming "Tight Quarters, and somewhat crowded !
I suppose you could always do a trial run or two, with mock-ups of the size boards you were thinking of (especially if they were going to be removable) That way, you could see what the smallest, yet still effective size, would be...
good luck (I'll be watching! In the planning stages myself!)
You seem to be getting answers to your question about poop boards, and my experience is limited to deep litter and not using any poop boards, but I would suggest that the actual roost need only be a 2x2. I have 4 that are 8' long and they work find when full of birds. Also the wider the areas available to the birds the more poop will accumulate on the areas (meaning the top of the 2x4 roost. Also round the corners of the roosts and make sure all splinters and rough areas are removed to protect the birds feet. Hope this digression helps.

Good Luck!

This is my experience and I only speak for what I have done and what has been successful for me.

Here is a link to a photo of the roosts in my coop. Photo is not good - it was taken through their window, but you will get the idea.
Droppings boards give you something that has to be cleaned. Deep litter does not. No disrespect to those who use them. Goodness knows there are many, many chicken farmers more experienced than me who swear by them, but I can't avoid the thought that they only give the perception of greater cleanliness. After all, with deep litter, all that poop stays in the coop for months or years. BUT....if done properly, your coop won't smell, you won't have flies and you won't have a daily chore, except to gather your eggs.

Good luck on whatever you do.

I agree. It seems when someone builds their first coop, they wish they would have made it bigger. My first coop is 8'x8', my second coop is 8'x8', my third coop is 8'x16'. I do use the deep litter method. I also have my roosts over poop pits that I can rake out occasionally.
deep litter, cut door stops for the litter, hang a short rake outside, easy chore. It sounds like a good plan to this fellow. ETA. poop boards would look great in there, It also looks like you can remove the sides, so maybe deep litter would be no good for you.
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The only problem I see with having a poop pit below these roosts is that it appears the nest boxes are below. The chickens would be walking through the poop on the way to the nests.

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