Coop Floor Advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by urban orpington, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I've spent the better part of three days sifting through a ton of the information in these forums, but I couldn't find exactly the information I was looking for. Admittedly, I may have just missed it. (As an aside, thank goodness for you people. This site has helped me and my wife out with our chicken adventure so much.)



    But here's my question:

    The floor of our coop and run has a tendency to devolve into an awful muddy and poop strewn mess. It's a small coop so, in the past, we've just lifted it up and moved it to a different part of the yard whenever our chickens destroy the area they are in.

    But this solution is leaving giant dead squares of grass in my back yard. So, I am looking for a more permanent option.

    My wife and I have discussed installing the coop in a fixed place with a base that can be cleaned instead of moving the entire structure. I think we're going to try sand first, if that matters.

    We have these elaborate plans in our head about creating a base by digging a foundation and having pavers with the sand on top.

    Cutting to the chase: Are we over-thinking this?

    Could we just use a piece of plywood and spread the sand in a thin layer over the entire floor? Cause that sounds like a much easier solution to me.
     
  2. leetfreq925

    leetfreq925 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 7, 2012
    Ipswich, MA
    We have a coop that has been predator proofed by digging down about 2 feet and lined with chicken wire. On top of that we've filled in with crushed stone to the very edge. I rake it every so often and the poop seems to sift through the stone and break down. After the winter, we'll put a new fresh layer on top. I don't know about the sand, but i'm guessing that, too, may just turn to some sort of sand/poop mess after a while?
     
  3. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN

    So, like a drainage stone? Or a gravel of some sort? I guess it needs to be big enough for them not to eat it right? So no pea gravel?
     
  4. leetfreq925

    leetfreq925 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 7, 2012
    Ipswich, MA
    right - it's a rough big gravel like what is used on roads. i've never seen them eat it, although they may have, but it hasn't caused a problem thus far. they have a sand box inside that may distract them from the bigger stuff. they're perfectly fine with walking on it, so it's not uncomfortable for them. as they walk on it, it tends to shuffle down a bit, too, which saves some raking work :)
    how big is your floor?
     
  5. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN
    The run is maybe about 12 foot by 4 foot. It's just a place for our three hens to have some room to stretch their legs when my wife and I are at work. Then there's a little 4 by 2 coop connected to it.

    Based on what you're saying, I think I might dig a six inch foundation and fill it with crushed stone. We've not had any predator problems yet. Our neighborhood has some feral cats, but they are scrawny and scared of our chickens. They used to come into our yard all the time, but ever since Henrietta's lived with us we see less and less of them.
     
  6. chynasparks

    chynasparks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Texas
    I have sand in my small set up. I scoop every 3-4 days. It is said that sand can be changed out once a year. It's only been one 3 1/2 weeks.
     
  7. leetfreq925

    leetfreq925 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 7, 2012
    Ipswich, MA
    yeah, that's about the size of ours so it takes no time at all to run a rake through it to shake the poop down. i do it morning and night. it doesn't smell at all, either. it seems to work great for us.
    you're lucky you have no predators! at our old property we would daily see random things waiting to snack on the girls, so when we moved we continued the method to avoid any messes. i guess i hope it proves to be unnecessary...
     

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