concrete floor in coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lambeke1, May 3, 2011.

  1. lambeke1

    lambeke1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2011
    I ordered 26 chickens (my first ever) and they are due on May 20. I am enclosing an existing open shed that has a concrete floor in it. I've been reading for over a month now and I'm getting a little over-whelmed with information overload. I am really looking forward to raising them but I don't want and can't afford to spend a lot of money on pine shavings and such. I'm not doing this to save money on eggs but I don't want it costing me either. I think I would like to put something down on the concrete but I've read sooo many options I just don't know what. I have many more questions I will post in the near future but I have to get past this one first.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
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    The only CONCIEVABLE way bare concrete is practical is if you live in an always-warm wet climate where you can hose the floor out every day. Although it will still be hard on the chickens' feet and I wouldn't do it personally.

    Shavings are not nearly as uneconomical as people tend to think -- they expand from those bales they're sold in, so that one $6 (or whatever your local price is) bale will do a 6x8 coop pretty thickly, or a 8x10 one somewhat thinly.

    Then, if you use a droppings board under the roost, that will intercept almost half the daily poo output right there, so it never even affects the shavings.

    And, if you use one of the many many DIFFERENT varieties of deep litter type management (you have to experiment to see what strategy works best in your particular situation) it is easily possible to use very little shavings on a yearly basis. I would say that I probably use about 1-3 bales of shavings per year per pen (most are 6x10 ish in size) although please note that I have far less-crowded chicken populations than most people, which helps a lot too.

    You can also experiment with "found" materials like dried grass, dry leaves, etc... however you have to be able to get them REAL DRY before putting htem into the coop, unless your coop is largely open-sided, and this can be a problem for many people, as can getting them in sufficient quantity. Or, some people use shredded paper (waste from office, etc) although personally I find that to turn into a particularly nasty form of paper-mache, but, some like it.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  3. lambeke1

    lambeke1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Thanks Pat for replying. I live in South Louisiana and the climate is very mild here. My coop is going to be 8x20, basically enclosed on all sides; I will have plenty of ventilation. The concrete is already there so not having it is not an option. I do agree that I can't just leave it bare. I have read a lot about DLM an got TOTALLY confused. I'm thinking about putting a layer of sand down than covering that with shavings, grass, leaves, etc. and just raking it every now and then. I was also thinking about not using poop boards because I don't want to have to deal with it every day. With 160 sq. ft. and 26 chickens, I think I should have plenty extra room so hopefully I won't have to clean it as often. Am I thinking correctly. By the way, I will have a 24 x 30 pen attached to the coop.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A lot of people in your climate think sand in the coop is da bomb. YOu might try it, see how you like it, worse case scenario you say "phooey" and put it out in the run instead [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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