Chicken coop directly over compost bin?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GreenThumb19, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. GreenThumb19

    GreenThumb19 Out Of The Brooder

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    This summer I want to build a chicken coop suspended (on legs) directly over a compost pile. I was thinking of making the floor chicken wire or something, so there droppings will fall directly underneath, which will be the compost pile (which I'm also starting this year). This is my first time having chickens and my mom is only letting me have two. I live in Ontario and we have VERY cold winters so I will be bringing them to my uncle's larger scale coop in quebec during the winter, as he is much better equipped than I am haha. I was wondering if you guys saw any faults in this or if any of you have done it before?? I am open to any tips and tricks on owning chickens and any advice you could possibly have for me. In the future I would LIKE to keep them in the winter and have more then two but that is the current status soo it is what it is. Also this is my first post on here so bare with me hah.
    Thank you so much in advance I really appreciate any help! [​IMG]
    -Pascal
     
  2. GreenThumb19

    GreenThumb19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Really... Not one reply? ahha
     
  3. mstrrlm

    mstrrlm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds good
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not a fan of wire bottoms in coops. It's done quite often and used a lot in conjunction with a drawer under to collect everything. So you can pull out the drawer and dump in compost. It seems what your thinking would work just fine as long as you can still access the compost to turn it and shovel it out. I'm assuming the run will be to side of compost bin and coop.

    Why I'm not a fan of wire bottoms is I keep chickens year round. I use pine shavings as the liter, which composts well, and serves as a dry floor in winter. You may end up keeping the chickens all winter so may want to go with a deep liter coop from the start. There is no need to add heat to your coop but you'll want a heated water dispenser or heated dog bowl for winter if you keep them. The water and food can stay in the run. Chickens only use coop to sleep and go to nesting boxes to lay eggs.

    Others will chime in I'm sure. Activity on week days is slower than nights and weekends.


    Cheers and welcome to BYC.
     
  5. laura625

    laura625 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a cool idea. I like the way you are thinking . People do this with rabbit cages over worm bins. Fresh chicken manure is too Hot for worms though.

    The thing is, you couldnt use chicken wire,(well, I wouldnt anyway) because predators could get in. Also, I'm not sure how comfortable it would be for chicken feet.
    Any thicker kind of mesh that would keep predators out, wouldnt let everything fall through, and the stuff that didnt fall through would be hard to clean offf.
    Maybe you can find ways around these issues.
    Also look up "deep litter method" and see if you like that idea. it works best without a floor on the coop.
    I live just a little south of your border in VT. I have my compost bin fenced in with the chickens, and they love to eat the greens and everything that I throw there. I dont think that would be so good if All their poop went there.This when I shovel out the coop I bury it in the compost pile.
    I don't have electricity to the coop. I keep Granite rocks hot on the woodstove, and put them in the water to keep it from freezing. I have two waterers and switch them out twice a day. The chickens have been fine down to -31C!
    I have to build a new coop this spring, and I am going to build the roosting part up on tall posts too. I want to have a dirt floor (properly protected from predators) for deep litter. I still have to figure out the best design for allowing me to shovel out the litter/compost in the spring.
    welcome to the forum have fun!
     
  6. GreenThumb19

    GreenThumb19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah that's correct if I DO have a run it will be on the side. You make a good point when you say there droppings will be in the same spot they are likely to hang out but does that actually possess problems for the chickens? I would really love to keep my coop over the winter. I really didn't think it was an issue to have a wire bottom?
     
  7. GreenThumb19

    GreenThumb19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Also I'm in a very urban area and I'm not TOO stressed out about predators. (No foxes, possums, bob cats anything like that)
     
  8. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think this sounds like a good idea. Not to mention compost piles generate a lot of heat...a whole lot. So the heat rising off of the compost could potentially help to heat your coop, but I would think that the chickens would need some spots with an actual floor so they can give their feet a rest. And so they don't have cool air coming up from underneath the coop all over. But having like a trap door that goes directly to the compost pile, and then you can go up and just sweep everything into the compost every once in awhile. We use straw bedding and it is the staple of our compost pile. You idea sounds good to me because a lot of bugs really like compost piles, and chickens really like eating bugs, so you could cut down on bugs in your compost, and also have a quick and easy chicken food...Circle of life and all that jazz.
     
  9. GreenThumb19

    GreenThumb19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow thank you! That sounds awesome! So maybe make the area underneath the roosting part of the coop wire and the rest solid board? Would having a wire bottom on a small portion be disastrous during the winter months? Also does compost heat the coop regardless in the summer and winter? It gets very cold here ,-30C isn't the coldest we see.
    This forum is so helpful! [​IMG]
     
  10. Ehirning

    Ehirning Out Of The Brooder

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    I just picked up a coop with a slide out bottom. Pull out the board, and all the plop falls down. Then I scoop it up and give it away to those who want it for their garden. I know you're not supposed to use fresh poo in the garden because of the high nitrogen content. I wonder if that would also affect the compost? Unless our main compost is the poo...
     

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