1. KensingtonHens

    KensingtonHens Songster

    Nov 30, 2010
    Ok, I've read some of the posts and given it some thought but still...when and how often should I clean out the coop/run. We live in San Diego, close to the coast to weather isn't an issue. The coop and run are all in one enclosed set-up. Eight feet long, three feet wide, and four feet tall. Fully enclosed with wire cloth (I think that's the name), including the bottom for predator protection. I am currently using straw and food grade DE. The girls are pooping in their nest box, too. Is that normal?

    My husband build it two weeks ago when we got our hens. Now, to make matters difficult...he forgot to build a door in the run! The lid of the coop opens but only from the top! I think you can see my dilemma. So my only option is to move the whole thing after scraping it out. But, what 'da ya know...no wheels!! We will of course be making improvements in the future but for now any suggestions?

    I'm open to all ideas.

  2. DianeS

    DianeS Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    There are MANY different theories on coop cleanout timelines.

    In my case, I got my chickens in August, and haven't cleaned the coop even once. I use pine shavings, and DE, and every day or two I use a rake to stir the poop into the shavings (although the hens do a good job of that themselves). And a few times I've added a couple inches of shavings when stiring the dirty ones up did not result in a cleaner top layer.

    Come spring, I'll rake it all into my compost pile, scrub the whole coop, and start over. It's called a deep litter method.

    Sorry I can't help on the pooping-in-the-nest-box thing. Mine don't do that so I haven't had to figure it out.

    Hope this helps!
  3. KensingtonHens

    KensingtonHens Songster

    Nov 30, 2010
    Quote:Ok. Where the run comes in contact with the dirt I can understand doing it this way (I have been reading up on it here) but up in their actual coop can I do the same? I'm going to guess yes. It makes sense. I think I may need to get the box up off the floor of the coop. Maybe nail it to the back wall?.

    Anyone know where I can get pine shaving here in San Diego? Just Petco near me.
  4. geeber

    geeber Songster

    May 3, 2009
    Not familiar w/ the San Dieago area at all, but could you do a google search for feed & seed stores in your area? Or if you know any horse people ask them where they get their shavings for the stalls & barn.

  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I use a different approach. I have sand in my coop and run, and use a poop tray under the roost. Every morning, I dump out the contents of the trays into my composter, hose down the trays and replace them in the coop. I use a reptile litter scoop taped to a long handle to pick droppings out of the sand. The whole process takes me 10 minutes or so every day, and because droppings are removed daily there's no smell and less possible fecal contamination of feed, etc. Personally, I prefer this to having to face a big (and quite nasty) deep cleaning once or twice a year.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You really, really wanna make an access door into the run. Seriously. It is not hard, and *not* having it is just *asking* for floor eggs or sick chickens lyin' around out there, as per Murphy's Law [​IMG]

    IMO there is no one right answer about how often to clean the coop. Just find what works best for you. It's not something you have to get right in one try. Do it one way a couple times, whatever seems reasonable to you at the moment, see how ya like it. If you're not satisfied, try it a bit differently the next few times. Etctera. You will soon arrive at a schedule/method that suits your particular circumstances. It's different for everyone.

    They will occasionally poo in the nestbox as an accident while laying, but if it is happening frequently or if they are doing it but not laying yet, you should look at whether they are really roosting properly on your roost... they may be sleeping in the nestboxes, which tends to make the boxes pooey and thus pooey eggs. If that were the case you'd probably want to rejigger things to make the roost more appealing, or retrain them by manually putting them on the roost every day after dark til they clue in. Otherwise you'd just have to replace the nestbox filler as frequently as required (you may well be able to simply "promote" it to floor litter, as it is likely not to be *that* pooey, just pooier [is that a word?] than you want eggs sittin' on).

    GOod luck, have fun,

  7. KensingtonHens

    KensingtonHens Songster

    Nov 30, 2010
    Update on the coop situation...the husband built a door so I and the chickens have better access to each other! He also cut and hinged a poop door in the back of their coop. I removed the nesting box and replaced it with a 2x4 for roosting, which they seem to love! I'm going to do the daily clean out as we've started a compost hole right near the coop. It'll be easy to do. Now I've left them without a true "box" and just placed straw in each corner of the enclosed space where they sleep. Should I put up some type of build-in box? or is the corner ok?

    Thank you for all your ideas and input! It REALLY helps. I've also got to find a feed store near me...well close anyway. The pine shavings at petco were very expensive.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

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