Coop Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChuckenGirl, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. ChuckenGirl

    ChuckenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    835
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    Dec 22, 2007
    Maryland :)
    [​IMG]


    1. Do you need a nest box for hens if they arn't egg layers.

    2. how frequently should a coop be cleaned?

    3. what is a good roost height?

    4. Do you need a roost outside in the run?

    5. during the summer does straw with rocks in a coop attract flies
    -is there something i can use that doesnt attract flies?

    If anyone else has questions, just ask them here =]

    and check back here frequently i will be adding questions
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2007
  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    From our limited experience, some answers:

    1. Do you need a nest box for hens if they arn't egg layers.
    Um, don't all hens lay eggs? I guess you mean you don't intend to collect/eat the eggs..????? Certainly hens will find someplace to lay even if you don't provide a nest box... What's your purpose? If you're raising them for meat, you'll be killing them before they are old enough to lay, so you won't need a nest box. If you're breeding, you'll need a special set-up for that.

    2. how frequently should a coop be cleaned?
    It dependes on whether you are doing the deep-litter method (DLM; do a search in the archives) or not, and where you live. We live in a tight suburban neighborhood so we have to be really careful about smell, flies, etc. In summer, when the girls are outside a lot more, we just clean the droppings board (under the roost) daily, and change the shavings on the floor every few weeks. In winter, when they spend more time inside and therefore poop in the shavings more, we also pick out the poops as much as we can every day when we clean the droppings board, and change the shavings every 2 weeks.

    3. what is a good roost height?
    Ours is about 36" and our young girls have no trouble with it. However, we adopted an older, BIG Buff Orpington who had been used to having a ramp up to her roost in her old coop. She can get up, but has really hard time getting down off it. I'm going to have to build her a special ramp, 'cause I think it is stressing her out. Some mornings she paces for 30 minutes before attempting to fly down! A stepped roost sytem would also work but I haven't the space in our small coop.

    4. Do you need a roost outside in the run?
    We have one. They used it in the summer but aren't using it in the winter. I think the more important question is whether they have access to shade and weather protection in the run.

    5. during the summer does straw with rocks in a coop attract flies
    -is there something i can use that doesnt attract flies?
    We use wood shavings (not cedar, though!) and we sprinkle a product called Sweet PDZ or Stall Dry (for horse stalls, available at feed stores) as well as food-grade Diotomaceous Earth ("DE") under the shavings. The Sweet PDZ absorbs ammonia and keeps smell down; the DE kills fly larvae I believe. WE have not had a fly problem. I think straw can much more easily get damp, moldy, and be a better fly breeding ground, but that's just a guess. In the outdoor run (which has a covered roof) we're using dry leaves right now.
     
  3. ChuckenGirl

    ChuckenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    835
    2
    161
    Dec 22, 2007
    Maryland :)
    wow.
    I'll defianlty keep all this in mind.
    thank you so much!
     
  4. SugarLandChickenMan

    SugarLandChickenMan Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2007
    What about nest box height? I've seen some designs where the secondary nests are elevated? Do these require ramps (runs) from the level ground up to them? What about making two storied nesting boxes?

    I would image a run would be necessary since an egg-bound hen would probably not want to jump toward such a height. Of course, I don't have any birds yet so I am just guessing.[​IMG]
     

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