Coop is coming to life! Please let me know what I’m missing!

Frankiegirl

Tis the season…🎄🎄
Premium Feather Member
May 3, 2020
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SW Michigan
After months of planning and several weeks in the build stage we are getting close to the girls moving into their new digs. We are not quite there yet , but making progress and would like to get thoughts from you all to make sure we are on the right track!

The coop structure is 8x12 with a 4x8 area closed off for storage as well as the nesting boxes and and future brooder box.Total area for the chicks is 8x8. The foundation of the coop is poured concrete.

all of the indoor windows are functional and able to be opened for ventilation. HC is being put over the windows today and we are planning to put a trim piece over the wire to keep the bad actors from prying it loose. The soffits are being left open and will also be covered in HC. There is a pic of the inside to show the progress. HC has not made its way to the soffits yet but will be done before the girls settle in.

the roosting bars and poop boards are inspiration from @DobieLover as well as the nesting boxes and brooder. The plan is to fill the PB with sand. Someone mentioned construction sand is better than play sand...input on this would be appreciated. Deep litter is the thought for the floor of the coop and will use shavings for that. We’vebeen using the medium flake from TSC and it seems to do the trick.
The chicken door to the outside is the ChickenGuard Extreme. That was decided in case I had to travel for work they would have a door that runs independently. I’m still figuring out how that works! And I’m not traveling for work any time soon. :he

now to the outside run!!! It is an 8x16 covered run with coated HC attached. It is also planned to have trim pieces cover the joints of the HC to reinforce critters not being able to pry it off. The soffits are again open and will also be covered in HC for security. Here is a big question....WHAT SHOULD BE USED FOR FILLER/BEDDING IN THE RUN?
We live in southwest Michigan so the winters get pretty sloppy...not that it matters since the ladies will not free range. I am thinking sand/soil/shavings in the run. Thoughts on this would be really helpful! Also, the run is built on 2x12 lumber, and we are stapling a HC apron around the run before grading the area around it and covering it with gravel around the foundation.

electricity will be run in the spring so we will be running extension cords for the time to keep the water from freezing in the run

My neighbor’s birds had mites really badly a couple of years ago but he pretty much let them do their own thing. Not sure if there are preventative measures I can take in the run to minimize mites. We just moved here so living in a rural area is new and just want my ladies to have the best chance at a predator/pest free life.

We have 5 ladies currently and the set up will allow us to comfortably double our feathered family.
Any thoughts to improve our coop would be appreciated as we are still working on it and want to the best for our ladies.
 

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Jspartans26

Chirping
Oct 22, 2020
38
59
59
I just have pine shavings and straw in my run. My flock mostly stays under the coop where that is, and they enjoy scratching through it. For mite prevention, a good dust bathing area is supposed to help so they can keep clean. I used an old tire for this, although mine continually pass it up for their own place😂
 

black_cat

♥♥Lover of Leghorns♥♥
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2020
18,866
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Connecticut
I have heard that sand will get smelly in a poop board, so the better choice is sweet pzd. With sand, construction sand is definitely better than play sand, though.
In my run I have a mix of everything- dirt from outside, dirt from home depot, sand, dirty shavings from the coop, shavings, hay, leaves, straw mulch, there are some old corn cobs in there somewhere- just really whatever.
 

jreardon1918

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 13, 2016
879
1,600
286
Southeast, MA
My Coop
My Coop
Wow. That looks great. How wide are the poop boards? Ours were 14" and that was a little too narrow. The big girls often hit the edge. The other thing is concrete floor. You will want a really thick layer of soft material to soften the landing. With that in mind the threshold going into the storage area could be higher.

For the run, we use yard waste. Cut grass (not fertilized), leaves, pine needles, garden cuttings. We are going for a garden floor feel. In the spring and fall we remove enough compost to refresh the gardens. A good starter is some dried wood chips.

Circling back. This build looks great!
 

black_cat

♥♥Lover of Leghorns♥♥
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2020
18,866
58,603
1,086
Connecticut
Wow. That looks great. How wide are the poop boards? Ours were 14" and that was a little too narrow. The big girls often hit the edge. The other thing is concrete floor. You will want a really thick layer of soft material to soften the landing. With that in mind the threshold going into the storage area could be higher.

For the run, we use yard waste. Cut grass (not fertilized), leaves, pine needles, garden cuttings. We are going for a garden floor feel. In the spring and fall we remove enough compost to refresh the gardens. A good starter is some dried wood chips.

Circling back. This build looks great!
I agree with the concrete floor. You don't even need to do shavings, just a layer of dirt/organic material (similar to what's in the run)
 

RojoMarz

Songster
May 21, 2020
748
1,266
211
Southern CO...at 8600 ft
I not sure you can use deep litter with a cement floor, as it won't compost fully 🤷‍♀️ ...I use a deep bedding type in my coop. Every so often, I push all the coop floor covering into the run and put fresh in the coop.

It looks like you have lots of leaves. For the run, I'd use those, along with other 'natural' stuff. We don't have many leaves, so I use what I can scrape up, along with pine needles and chip/shreds from the pine tree limbs that we have run thru the chipper/shredder.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,701
143,910
1,867
SW Michigan
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My Coop
That is looking GREAT!!

What kind of bedding you use may depend on how you manage the manure.
This is about cleaning, but covers my big picture
-I use poop boards under roosts with thin(<1/2") layer of PDZ, sifted daily(takes 5-10mins) into bucket going to friends compost.
-Scrape big or wet poops off roost and ramps as needed.
-Pine shavings on coop floor, add some occasionally, totally changed out once or twice a year, old shavings added to run.
- My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.
Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.
-Nests are bedded with straw, add some occasionally, change out if needed(broken egg).
There is no odor, unless a fresh cecal has been dropped and when I open the bucket to add more poop.
That's how I keep it 'clean', have not found any reason to clean 'deeper' in 7 years.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,664
7,202
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Your coop looks amazing!!! I am in the home stretch of a build very similar to yours, including storage and baby space, just a little larger over all. Weather has hit and slowed things down dramatically which is frustrating! Our run isn't really close to being finished, but the coop only needs pop doors, roosts, and nest boxes to be done!!!

Seriously, lovely coop. I'll be exploring the same run questions in the future.

I was thinking I would just leave the run as-is (dirt) for now and see how it progresses. I know they'll have it all dug up, but I only work four days a week and spend a LOT of time outside in the spring, summer, and fall so I imagine I'll continue to free range them when I am home which would help alleviate some of the burden of the run. I thought if it got bad, I'd probably add leaves and organic material to the outside run. I use pine shavings and poop boards inside the coop currently. I used to use coffee grounds, but lost access to my free source of coffee grounds which was an enormous bummer!
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,736
4,477
307
The Great Black Swamp, Ohio
Amazing! Great work!

I would add all sorts of perches/roost bars throughout. Personally I would use natural branches and also purchased wood bars. All heights and a variety of diameters so they can choose. Some up high too. It will help with incorporating babies and minimizing flock distress/bullying. Make it look like a forest :)
 

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