best material for guinea coop floor

trailhiker

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2021
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I am getting my guineas in a couple weeks and am about to start building a coop. What is the best material for a guinea coop floor to keep it clean and not have a build up of ammonia from the urine? If they spend most of their time outside free range is ammonia build up even a problem?

Also, can they go outside to free range in the winter? We won't have much snow and it would generally melt within a few days. Do I have to have an enclosed run?
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
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Stillwater, OK
I am getting my guineas in a couple weeks and am about to start building a coop. What is the best material for a guinea coop floor to keep it clean and not have a build up of ammonia from the urine? If they spend most of their time outside free range is ammonia build up even a problem?

Also, can they go outside to free range in the winter? We won't have much snow and it would generally melt within a few days. Do I have to have an enclosed run?
I just use bagged large flake pine shavings for the coop floor. I shovel it out and replace once a month… or less… :oops: All of my coops have a lot of ventilation so I don’t smell ammonia. The chicken coop is treated differently because it has poop boards with sand and zeolite (sweet pdz).

My guineas almost never stay all day in the coop in winter. If there are big storms, they will hang out inside the coop for awhile then go out when the storm passes. They often stay outside and forage during ordinary rain. We don’t get much snow, but none of my birds like it. If we get a lot, then I shovel some walkways. I’ve had a guinea run off and on. I’ve been trying to build a replacement run for months. So, lots of people keep guineas with no run but I think it’s important enough to be working on it. I want to be able to lock them up someplace safe after a predator attack, when I’m out of town, and when I’m raising keets.
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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My Coop
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I am getting my guineas in a couple weeks and am about to start building a coop. What is the best material for a guinea coop floor to keep it clean and not have a build up of ammonia from the urine? If they spend most of their time outside free range is ammonia build up even a problem?

Also, can they go outside to free range in the winter? We won't have much snow and it would generally melt within a few days. Do I have to have an enclosed run?
My coop has a dirt floor (sand because I live on a sand dune). Good ventilation will prevent ammonia build up. Doesn't matter how much time they spend outside, they will relieve themselves while they are on the roosts.

The first snow that your guineas encounter will be a problem. If allowed out with the ground fully covered with snow, don't be surprised if they take to the trees or anywhere that they can get up and away from the snow. They will not voluntarily come back down.

My first snow with my guineas, I had to make a landing strip by spreading hay on top of the snow. Before I did that they just flew from tree to tree as I tried to shoo them out of the trees. Once I made the landing strip, they flew down and went in the coop.

After years of snow filled winters I can normally safely let them out with snow on the ground. They try to find areas where the snow is melting but don't normally take to the trees now.
 

Sydney65

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
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Indiana
I am getting my guineas in a couple weeks and am about to start building a coop. What is the best material for a guinea coop floor to keep it clean and not have a build up of ammonia from the urine? If they spend most of their time outside free range is ammonia build up even a problem?

Also, can they go outside to free range in the winter? We won't have much snow and it would generally melt within a few days. Do I have to have an enclosed run?
For the actual flooring material? I think it depends on what kind of coop you plan to have. R2's is on the ground, he has sandy soil, so that works for him. Above ground, it's suggested to use hard cloth so the droppings fall through. Problem with that is there has to be a plan to protect the birds feet. I wouldn't want to stand barefoot on wire all the time. -which leads to the other issue - my coop is a walk in. I tried walking on the support beams for a couple of months that were set in 2' squares and covered w/hardcloth. Aside from the number of times I lost my balance carrying something, abt broke my neck and bent the wire..I decided this wasn't going to work and put plywood on top of the wire, which stays remarkably dry with the hemp bedding over it.
Some have them in the barn, they sleep in the rafters and they don't do anything else.🤷‍♀️
The ammonia build up is dealt with via ventilation- that's why it's so important. Mixed has a much larger set up than I do. I do have drop boards, but do a poop scoop every day, otherwise the young ones would be wearing poop boots.
free range - They hate snow. That's usually the only thing that keeps them in, although my hen seems to be struggling with cooler temps this yr. She takes the young ones out to forage, but she doesn't spend much time out there.🤷‍♀️ could be the sky predators; the boys always did sky watch while the hens were oblivious, so she's had to up her game.
 

Sydney65

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
1,411
2,965
266
Indiana
My coop has a dirt floor (sand because I live on a sand dune). Good ventilation will prevent ammonia build up. Doesn't matter how much time they spend outside, they will relieve themselves while they are on the roosts.

The first snow that your guineas encounter will be a problem. If allowed out with the ground fully covered with snow, don't be surprised if they take to the trees or anywhere that they can get up and away from the snow. They will not voluntarily come back down.

My first snow with my guineas, I had to make a landing strip by spreading hay on top of the snow. Before I did that they just flew from tree to tree as I tried to shoo them out of the trees. Once I made the landing strip, they flew down and went in the coop.

After years of snow filled winters I can normally safely let them out with snow on the ground. They try to find areas where the snow is melting but don't normally take to the trees now.
Lol..last year they flew out, went to the picnic table and screamed in demand that I carry them back. -and you know I did it. 🤣
 

Unicornlife3316

Songster
Apr 21, 2018
461
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Bryan, TX
I have dirt - it’s in an old cattle lean to. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I shovel it out a few times a year because they spend so little amount of time in there. Sometimes I just turn the dirt over a bit and let it do it’s thing, I like to add hay to the dirt.
I don’t have an enclosed run here. They free range. If I need them up they go in their coop. Plenty of ventilation so no ammonia smell.
 

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