Any suggestions on coop care?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by biretta, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. biretta

    biretta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, I'm pretty much a novice in chicken keeping and am struggling with keeping the coop clean. I have 5 chickens in a 7'x13' pen (and a hen house) which I placed on my back patio. I wanted them on concrete to discourage predators digging into the pen. At first I left the concrete bare, but the poop stuck to the floor, making it difficult to clean. Since I don't have a roof over the pen, I didn't think straw would work, as it'd get soaked every time it rained so tried sand instead, likening it to a giant litter box from which I could just rake out the poop. This isn't working well either as when it rains the poop just disintegrates making it impossible to remove, and the odor and flies are increasing which is not good as they're located right outside my patio door! I am now considering moving them out onto a section of lawn. Would this provide for the easiest upkeep? Can I use hay, even if there's no roof over the pen? I'm thinking that when the grass is gone, I'll again have to put something down. Also, since I let them have the run of the backyard a few times a day, poop is accumulating all over. I'm considering a shop vac. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Find a part of the yard you don't mind losing the grass on, and put them there. When the ground is bare, you can put hay down, if necessary. That would blot up the mud, when it rains. You might need to put some wire--chicken wire, or similiar, around the pen on the ground, and turn the edge up against the fence, and attach it to the fence, to keep things from digging under. soon grass will grow up thru it, so it isn't noticable. Good Luck.
     
  3. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] I have just dirt in my coop now, well right now it is MUD...... it started to stink really bad.......especially since I apparently have VERY finnicky hens........everything I try they turn their beaks up at.so it sits and rots.... I noticed it starting to smell today......so I raked it.......and put some hay down......no mud ......and will just rake up the hay or dirt once a week since it is now hot......and that is great for compost bin ! I was wondering myself if there is a way to disinfect a coop with no floor? I think it would be wise to move yours farther away, mine is in the back part of my small back yard and I can smell it from the house.... they are stinky.!
     
  4. TreyClark281

    TreyClark281 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    from what i hear put FOOD GRADE DE (Diatomaceous Earth) gets rid of bugs and stuff like that and for the smell you could put umm.... orange oil.
     
  5. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Look into Sweet PZD. It is used for drying up the urine and smell in horse stalls, etc and is supposed to work marvelously. Also works anywhere a drying agent and "smell remover" is needed. I just got my first sack, and it states on there you can also sprinkle it in the cat box, pet areas, etc. It said it helps with flies, etc, in animal or chicken areas, as it dries up the feces, which is what draws the flies.
    So far I have only gotten to sprinkling it on the sand in my cat boxes, and it seemed to really kill the odor there. It says there is nothing in it to hurt anything--can be used anywhere. If you have a smelly rug, sprinkle it then later vacuum it up. Anyway, I am going to clean out my chicken house today, sprinkle a light layer down, then put the usual pine shavings on top. If it is as good as it says, and as people on this list have said, it should work great. Something for you to check into, at least.
    You can e-mail them at:
    [email protected]
    and give them your state and zip code, and they will tell you where their product is sold near you. I had never heard of it before getting on this list, but they let me know it was sold by our local farm supply store. They like to never found it for me at the store, as they had it in their computer under "odor neutralizer" instead of the name. Good Luck.
     
  6. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    As Judy says, put them on the grass until it becomes bare, then add a thiick layer of sand with DE or PZD mixed in. If it is not wet, you can rake the poo out with a garden rake every few days or once a week. When it rains and gets yucky, let it dry a little, rake off the top layer, add some agriculture lime or more DE or PZD, then mix it in with a rake or pitchfork.

    Rain happens, and there is no way to keep your run from getting yucky at some time or another. You just have to adjust and find what works best for you most of the time.

    Straw has a tendency to harbor bugs and get moldy when wet. This can cause problems for the chickens.
     
  7. biretta

    biretta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the helpful replies! I called a local feed store and they do carry Sweet PDZ at a very reasonable price of $15.00 for a 50# bag.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007

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