Bedding for Coop/Run on Concrete

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MWright936, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. MWright936

    MWright936 Just Hatched

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    I apologize if this has already been covered in another thread, but I'm new here. I recently finished (well, almost finished) building this coop for our 4 young hens:

    [​IMG]

    The birds aren't in there yet (they're only about 4 weeks old). Yesterday, we had some rain, and I went outside to check and see how everything looked after some rainfall since the coop had been under cover during construction. Everything looked great, but I noticed some water puddles on the slab, and some water ran under the coop. I was planning on using pine shavings as bedding in the run and inside the coop, but I got to wondering if I would have to change it all out in the run anytime it rained. Is it ok for pine shavings to get wet? If not, is there a better bedding option for a run sitting on concrete like mine? I figure it's normal for stuff to get wet when it rains since all chicken coops are outside in the elements, but I want to make sure I do things right. Would it be beneficial to create a water barrier around the base of the coop to keep water from running underneath? I'm new to all of this, so any advice is appreciated!

    Matt
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Matt: I think you are good to go, with a couple caveats. The rain and puddles on top of your slab will be fine, except if you may want to consider going "deep litter" or "built up litter", which would mean deeper than you have allowed for. Where you appear to have 2 x 4 lumber around the perimeter of you base on the slab, you may want to swap those for 2 x 6 or even 2 x 8 or even 2 x 10 lumber. The litter can be as much as a foot deep with no problems, so allow for that.

    (Edited: Option B would be to use some landscape blocks or cement blocks of 1/2 thick blocks (4 inch) and set what you have on those to elevate the entire thing to make a deep pool for the deep litter. You could also use landscape timbers or similar. )

    Second, and perhaps more important depending on your location and climate, on the coop itself, how is that ventilated? From the photos, it looks to be well enclosed.......maybe TOO well enclosed. They will need light and fresh air and lots of both if they are to do well in there.

    BTW, it looks like you did an excellent job on building your coop. A coop of that size and design, or one similar to it, is on my short list of near perfect designs for a small flock of 3 or 4 birds.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  3. MWright936

    MWright936 Just Hatched

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    Thank you for the info! It wouldn't be hard to build a secondary frame with 2x6's and set this on top of it and attach it. I'll have to read up on that deep litter method. I thought that was only done when the coop is over dirt, not concrete, but I guess not.

    The coop is pretty well ventilated, but could possibly need more. The small door on the right side will remain open (that's where the ramp will be). I just made it a door instead of a hole in case I ever need to close them inside the coop. There's also a 4"x8" hole cut on each side toward the top that's covered by a screened soffit vent (it's painted so you can't really see it in the photo). I also drilled a series of ~1/2" holes across the back toward the top. Plus, a few of the seams didn't match up perfectly, which create impromptu ventilation. All that being said, I've thought about putting a thermometer in there to see what the temperature gets to. I need to do that. Is there a target temperature I need it keep it below? Would it be practical to get a small, maybe solar powered, fan to put in there. I'm in East TX.

    Thanks for the compliment on the coop! This coop build was a modified version of the "Country Acres" plans that are on this site. I made mine a bit longer and did a single pitch roof with roofing tar where the original plans called for a gable roof with shingles (saved quite a bit of money). I also used a pocket hole jig to butt most of the pieces together where they used lots of brackets. The rest is all pretty similar. It's taken quite a bit of time, but only a little more than $300 in materials. It's definitely solid.
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Target temp? Ideally, it won't be much hotter inside than out. In your climate, birds will suffer far more from the heat than any cold. In fact, you could probably replace both front doors with door frames with the same hardware cloth as you used for the run, making them solid screen doors, and it would not only be OK, but likely an improvement.

    The natural tendency is to want to make a coop tight and secure. Secure is fine and desirable. Tight is not. As far as the birds comfort and health are concerned, in a warm climate, the more open the better.
     
  5. MWright936

    MWright936 Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the tips! I bought some 2x6's and plan to build a frame that's the same size as the base of the coop, and then set it on top of that frame and secure it so we can use the deep litter method as you suggested. That would give ~10" or so of depth. I still need to research that to see exactly what I need to do from there.

    I also bought some more hardware cloth and plan to cut large holes in the existing doors and cover them with the hardware cloth to create the extra ventilation you recommended. That way I don't have to build all new doors.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! Nice coop. I would also recommend large hardware cloth covered openings in the doors, and on all sides of the coop, higher up, with hardware cloth. Light and air flow are most important! Mary
     

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