Coop Confusion From a NOOB!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thekatbus, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. thekatbus

    thekatbus In the Brooder

    I have this chicken hutch....or coop...or whatever it may be. It is in my yard, sitting on grass. I have three chickens (who I got today) and they have eaten a lot (almost all) of the grass in the underside in less than 12 hours! I figured, I would let them finish eating it until it is all dirt underneath....but then what? Do I leave it as dirt underneath or do I add shavings or??? I am totally confused as to exactly what the underneath is supposed to be like. It's weird, I thought I knew what I was getting into and now the simplest things are stumping me! Please forgive my ignorance! Here is a pic of my little chicken "house." Any suggestions?

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  2. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Songster

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    doesn't take them long at all to tear up all the grass. Whatever you do is up to you. some people leave it dirt some use sand to clean it easier. Mine is just dirt and i throw some grass clippings in it after i mow the yard for them to nibble on.
     
  3. thekatbus

    thekatbus In the Brooder

    Thanks! Does it just being dirt underneath make it difficult to clean out the poop under there? And also, how often/what method of cleaning? Sorry for all the questions, I am brand new to this lol
     
  4. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Songster

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    I don't think i've ever cleaned my run. Lol. But i also only have 4 hens in a 6ft x 31ft run. i'm sure someone else will chime in to some specifics. Also your set up looks small enough have you ever thought about turning it into a chicken tractor and moving it around your yard every so often.
     
  5. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

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    Sand is the best and easiest to clean kinda like a big cat litter box, I sift out the poop with a cat litter scoop, sand won't turn into a mud pit plus they will love dusting in it.
     
  6. thekatbus

    thekatbus In the Brooder

    the coop is about 3.5 to 4 feet high and 6.5 feet long and heavy! Too awkward to use it as a chicken tractor. But I intend to allow them free range in my yard once they've adjusted to living with me. So, that might help reduce how much pooping actually happens in the run. I'm also worried if I were to move the whole thing around, if the areas under the run end up picked so dry of grass that it doesn't grow back and then I end up with a bunch of dirt patches in my yard.
     
  7. thekatbus

    thekatbus In the Brooder

    I've read that sand harbors a lot of bacteria and gets terribly wet and hard sometimes and is bad for winter?
     
  8. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

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    False, I probably clean my run more than most would, I sprinkle a little DE in the sand, no smell and no problem in the winter, I wrap 3 sides of the run with a heavy canvas and a clear shower curtain on the front, the sand doesn't freeze as it can't get wet and acts like a greenhouse it is surprisingly warmer inside. I suppose anything you use and don't clean on a regular basis would harbor bacteria.
     
  9. thekatbus

    thekatbus In the Brooder

    I have two trays inside the house portion of the coop to catch poop and I have pine shavings in there right now. Do you recommend sand in that part, as well? Or just for the run?
     
  10. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

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    I had sand in the coop but didn't like it in the winter, I thought it was to cold on their feet, now i use shavings my coop is a walk in so I leave them about 5 inches deep, in my opinion it keeps them a little warmer.
     

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