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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by preacherman2, Jan 7, 2013.
Iam new at chickens can the floor be off the ground and made of 1/2 hardware cloth
The floor of our coop is about a foot off the ground and is made of 1/2 hardware cloth. Just be sure than you can get underneath to clean it out easily (droppings accumulate VERY quickly!) I keep a layer of sand mixed with DE topped with shavings so I can easily scoop it as needed. I chose the hardware cloth for a few reasons. It can be hosed off easily, and here in Florida, when the coop is off the ground and the floor is open it helps the air to circulate. How big is your coop?
thank you the run is 6 foot long 4 footwide 4 foot tall
the roosting area and nest boxes are 4 & 4 & 4
i only three hens for eggs for my wife
it is all covered and the sides and botom will have 1/2 hardware cloth
my girls are 3 weeks old when should i put them in the coop
thank you very much
You CAN make the floor out of hardware cloth, but that doesn't mean you SHOULD. While I'm no expert on chicken crap, I have seen enough of it to know that 1/2" hardware cloth is not the floor I would go with. A lot of the crap, more than you would like, is going to just sit there on top of the h/c floor. They (the chickens) put out for the most part, poop that is larger than 1/2" square. I imagine you could blast the crap through the screen floor with a strong water blast from the hose. But then you will have a stinking, watery crappy mess under your coop.
Go with a solid floor, with some kind of bedding on it, like pine chips or sand. With three birds, it should be easy to keep waste under control. Also, raise the coop up off the ground. Getting the coop up off the ground allows you to see whats going on under there, as far as any pests go. As in rodents, snakes or whatever.
And welcome to BYC.
THANK YOU VERY
i use a short handled garden spade (square so it has a wide straight front) to "poop scoop" my coop every few days. It takes about 45 seconds to clean the whole thing out, minus whatever falls into the pine shaving bedding underneath (which isn't much). Our coops are almost the same size (I'll send you some pictures). I only hose it out when I change out ALL of the bedding every three months or so, that way there is no watery mess. The other thing I have found is that one of my hens is a bit head srong and doesn't like to lay in the nesting box. She made herself a nest under the coop in the crawl space and was laying in there. We blocked it off, but now she just lays in the middle of the run in the pine shavings. It gets so hot here, the more ventilation the better. Cleaning 1/2 in. cloth will not be much different than a solid surface, and the urine will smell alot less. (the DE helps with that also).
Pictures to follow!
The coop itself is about 3x4. The Run is 8long x 3tall x 4wide. The roof is hinged for easy cleaning. The run is lightweight and only attached to the coop with hooks for easy removal/cleaning. The run is covered to keep the bedding dry. Over the summer with all of the rain I was replacing ALL of the bedding every few days because the smell. A WASTE!! Now I only have to do a full replacement every few months. (They are free range during the day so there is not much excriment in the run). We have 5 hens.
This is the floor inside. The bedding that you see is under the fabric. I only have to scoop out the bedding occasionally because the majority of the droppings are cleaned up with the shovel (it does not fall through the mesh).
This is the shovel I use to clean it out. (The picture keeps rotating left when I insert it and I can't fix it... AAAH!) but you get the idea. Three passes with the shovel and all the poo is gone without any wasted bedding. nice and clean.