1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I just bought a great wooden playhouse at Loew's. It's very cute- about 4'x4'x7' at the peak. Looks like shakes on the roof, dutch door, little windows with shutters. Adorable! The problem is that it doesn't include a floor. Do you think I need to add a wooden floor or just put it on the ground and do the deep litter thing on top of the dirt? Either way I was going to try the deep litter method. Which would be healthier for the chickens?
    If I add a floor, should I put the whole thing up on a pallet? Should it be elevated higher than that? Is it healthier/safer to have air circulation under the coop?
    Also, we have a serious mole issue in my area. The tree I was going to put the coop and run under is overrun (underrun?) with what seems like a million moles. Will they cause trouble with the chickens? (Any chance the stupid moles will hate chickens and leave my yard for good?)

    I was going to put the house/coop inside an 8'x8'x8' run. I even thought about putting a hardware cloth floor on the run to keep snakes/etc out. This would be on top of the grass. Will this hurt their little feet? I figure the grass won't last terribly long inside the run.
    Also, I'm planning on getting 4-6 amerucanas. Is this enough space for them?

    I am sooooo excited that this spring I can FINALLY get my chickens! WHoohoo for me! I've had the very devil of a time getting someone to build a coop for me. Finally this is one I can build and it is terribly, terribly cute! [​IMG] Doing the happy chicken dance of joy!

    CG
     
  2. lyndatu

    lyndatu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations! Nice sounding coop! [​IMG]

    Hmmmmmmm.........mole issue..........I think you should go with wooden flooring because the mole can grab the feet of chickens.......They might be curious on the chickens and sample on them........I'm not quite sure......we don't have moles here.....ground flooring is good also except for those good-for-nothing moles! [​IMG] Yes, deep-litter method is good to use to help warm up the coop. Elevating the coop floor is fine for the chickens, just make sure that they won't be blown away by the wind!

    Hardware cloth for run flooring........I'm afraid the chickens will have difficulty walking on raised hardware cloth flooring..........They say it's hard on chicken feet because their weight will only be on one point of the cloth.........you can dig a fence deep underground to keep the critters out from digging.......6 inches deep, they say. Oh and it's ok for the chickens to destroy the grass..........They will scratch and dig all parts of the run, leaving no living plants in their wake. They will enjoy it better on ground than hardware cloth. After they dig up the run and there's no grass, you can use sand or wood chips or dried grass/leaves as run bedding, or no bedding at all.

    Yes, 4-6 chickens will be happy on your coop. The rule is: 2 square feet of space for a chicken.

    Good luck with those lucky chickens! [​IMG]
     
  3. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I highly recommend a slightly elevated wooden floor with a layer of linoleum or something else waterproof over it, and bedding over that. You'll want it to stay clean and dry. Mine is just plywood, and I'm having a devil of a time keeping it dry -- the chickens spill their water and track snow in, etc. In the spring I'm going to renovate and put in linoleum.

    Don't put hardware cloth on the ground unless you cover it with a deep layer of soil or sand. Chickens' favorite hobby is scratching, and that would be impossible on hardward cloth. You can dig a trench all around the run and extend your run walls down into it, a foot or 18 inches -- that's what I did, and no one's broken in yet (knock on wood).

    Two square feet per chick might work, but four is better!
     
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Floor it is then. But only in the coop and not in the run.

    Pattycake- How will the linoleum keep the floor drier? I can see that it would be easier to clean, for sure. Is your current plywood floor painted? Does the plywood absorb water,etc? I read somewhere about putting a pan of some sort (like what comes in some dog kennels) under the roosts so that chicken poo drops into it instead of just onto the floor. I thought about building a drawer type thing that would slide out for easier cleaning. Or is it just enough to do the deep litter thing all through the coop?

    Thanks for the help!
    CG
     
  5. Zylphrix

    Zylphrix Out Of The Brooder

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    I saw that in the store the other day but I had already started my coop so I couldnt buy it ... I would tack a floor on it and set it on cinder blocks ... still would need a few things but dang .. thats one cute playhouse.

    Mark
     
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Thanks! I am sooooo excited to finally have a coop-to-be! Of course, now it is getting cold and I'm going to have to wait until spring to get my chickies. But at least they now have a place they can live.

    So instead of cinder blocks, could I just put the entire thing up on a pallet? Or maybe a pallet on cinder blocks so I can insulate the underside of the coop? Hmmm...

    CG
     
  7. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Hi country girl! (And everyone else) I'm new to the forum, but I've been lurking for a while. Thought I'd finally jump in.

    Have you seen the moles themselves, or just the damage that the tunnels do? I ask because we had voles at our old place and they tunnelled everywhere. They were evil, but they were not moles. They were more like hamsters. The cats killed dozens (hundreds?) of them! Anyway, both moles and voles eat bugs, grubs and such. I don't think they would hurt a chicken. Of course, I'm not sure about that. It's also possible that the chickens would destroy the grass, there would be no more grubs under the ground, and the moles would have no reason to tunnel under the coop/run area. Again, not sure.

    The real reason I posted was to talk about the floor of your coop. I followed a different thread about these coops the other day and saw a picture. They are adorable! But I have no idea how they are constructed. They just sit on the ground? Do you think that rot will be an issue? Is it wood to ground contact?

    My thought for the floor is that you construct a platform first, then construct the coop on top of the platform. I may be off base here, because I don't know anything about the coop you have. Also, I hesitate to blither on and on about construction, because I am a contractor and I just LOVE to build things! So, if this seems to make sense after you look at the directions for setting up your coop, just ask and I'll go into great, annoying detail on what I would do if I were you!

    Lauralou
     
  8. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    6,950
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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Lauralou, if you were in TN you would be my new best friend! I totally need someone around here that is good at building. I know just enough to kinda know how to do things and to know that I'm a rotten carpenter!

    Soooooo, educate me! I 've thought of a couple of options. (The playhouse is outside grade plywood, I think.)
    Option A- Sit the whole thing straight on the ground. (a little iffy due to the wood/earth contact)
    Option B- put a pallet down first, a piece of plywood and then build the coop unit up from there.
    Option C- put the floored unit up on cinder blocks (also known as concrete blocks)
    Option D- build a legged platform and put the whole thing on that. (This is likely the best option as I could level the unit by individually measuring the legs. This would still have wood to earth contact, but would be minimized and I could use pressure treated 4x4s to aleviate some of the problems.)

    Option D will require some building skills. Sigh.

    And we definitely have a huge mole problem in this part of the world. The dogs have killed about a dozen of them so far. The dogs started by bringing me their kills so I had a chance to see them for sure. Ugly, wretched little things. They have totally taken over. Because of the dogs, I hate to poisen the little suckers. Also, the stuff that kills the grubs they eat also kills the good bugs too. Dunno. As long as they stay away from the flower and veggie gardens I am pretty ambivalent about them being there. I just don't want them to mess with my chickens! If only there were mole killing chickens!
     
  9. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I've seen those playhouses and I am SOOOO tempted...they just dropped the price at my Lowes to $250. I'm sort of hoping they will drop again just before Christmas and then I'll have to pick one up.

    I would put a plywood floor in there, and either paint with water-resistent paint/stain or cover with lineoleum. Then put the whole thing up on concrete blocks.

    The concrete blocks will get the coop up off the ground and GREATLY improve the longevity of the wood.

    Untreated wood will quickly deteriorate if placed directly on the ground, and all sorts of bugs will get in the wood like termintes and wood beetles, etc.

    Also, you can get those pans like you describe at tractor supply to use for a dropping pit. Modify the side of the playhouse to give yourself a way to pull that pan out easily and that will go a LONG way towards making your deep litter last a long time.
     
  10. Jayare's Chicks

    Jayare's Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2007
    Florence, Alabama
    I saw that cute little playhouse at Lowes a couple of weeks ago. It seems kinda small to me. Looks like only about 4 chickens could comfortably fit in there and the playhouse I think was $299.00. Looked like it was only about 3 x 3 or at most 4 x 4. I have noticed with myself and with many other people here that you always find out you want more chickens than the ones you have now so I would think bigger is better and besides you could save about $40.00..

    I saw an 8 x 8 portable shed out in the parking lot at lowes and it was only $258.00 and there is so much more room in there for more chickens.

    I am thinking about getting one of those 8 x 8 sheds for my next coop that I will be needing this spring when I need to seperate my chickens after they get to breeding/laying age and I get more chickens than the 11 I have now.

    Jayare
     

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