COOP-SCAPING. Help a brother out.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Living_Legend, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. Living_Legend

    Living_Legend Songster

    Jan 3, 2018
    Freeland, MD
    My Coop
    I plan on doing the deep litter method and no matter how much i am not focusing on the gardening aspect you just can't hide from every video and forum pointing out how great chickens aid the garden. I will start a composting pile so my wife can enjoy the fruits of their labor....
  2. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

    Aug 30, 2017
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    My Coop
    I have a 3 sided compost bin, I pitchfork everything in and they scratch it out lol. I'm going to change to a 4 sided bin 8' x 4' so they can scratch it from one side to the other side.

    ChickenCanoe likes this.
  3. XanderWiFi

    XanderWiFi Songster

    Aug 6, 2017
    Central Virginia
    Coop and run are looking great so far. I commend you guys on your choice to start a chicken family. It is a joy, the eggs are great and definitely will keep you engaged with various projects as you are already discovering.

    For plants, chickens love herbs and they are great preventatives for ailments they may suffer in addition to aiding in pest control. Mint, lavender, basil, garlic. There are likely more but a simple google of "herbs chickens love" will yield many results. Select what works best for your area. We are putting a flowerbed around our run this year with the plan of growing herbs there and letting them go wild so the chickens can reach their heads out and nibble on their favorites whenever they like.

    I learned this recently from @RonP and @aart that there is a difference between deep litter method and "dry bed method" I think they called it. Deep litter is building it all up so it decomposes in layers combined with the chicken poop and makes a great fertilizer in time. I am currently doing this in my outside run where I use a lawn sweeper to pick up all yard debris, dump it in front of the door and rake it inside for the girls to tear it up and poop in. I currently have about 6 inches spread out and plan to put all grass clippings instead of leaves when spring hits.

    I use the "dry bed method" inside my coop and inside run. I use pine shavings for this. Pine shavings are not the best for deep litter or compost because they take a loooooong time to break down. So with dry bed, I keep 1-2 foot of pine shavings in the coop for them to poop on and the shavings absorb all moisture, dries quickly, less smell etc. I go in with a spade weekly and scoop out under their roosting bar and throw it into the outside run to break down. The rest I take from the bottom to the top with the pine shavings. Every so often I throw in a new bag of shavings and start the process over again.

    For the outside run, to determine if you have enough litter materials, do something I found called the "1 day poop test." Find some droppings, identify its location, and the next day see if it is still there. If it is, there is not enough material to get kicked around (or your run is so huge that they cannot cover the area twice). If it is still there, add more leaves, grass, etc. If not, you have a good amount for the poop to get churned under. Before I got the lawn sweeper I had to hand rake from the woods and though it helped, I just could not get enough in there for the "churn." Now I hardly see any poop whether by camouflage or it being dug under in the various craters they dig for themselves in the run.

    Your design looks oddly similar to my own. What did you use to run from the center poles to the sides? For my roof, I purchased aviary netting from amazon. 50x50 feet for about $30 I think. Wherever it tears I stitch it back with 550 cord. Ensure it is tied down so animals cannot climb up the fence, under the net. I speak from experience. Zip ties are your best friend. Did you find t-post clips to fit those 10 ft poles? I went 10 ft all around the edge but had to zip tie because they did not make clips large enough.

    Everything looks great though! Just keep chipping away at it.
    Living_Legend and RonP like this.
  4. KettermanHillCoop

    KettermanHillCoop Crowing

    Oct 23, 2017
    Plant and kind of gardening. Perennial is the way to replanting. I recommend Hostas for your shady or partial shady areas. fuss no muss. Coreopsis is another no fuss yellow daisy-like flower. Peony...they look like carnations and don't require any manual labor. Have fun!
    Living_Legend likes this.
  5. Living_Legend

    Living_Legend Songster

    Jan 3, 2018
    Freeland, MD
    My Coop
    I literally went in Home Depot garden section for 60 seconds grabbed whatever this thing is. The first mint seeds I could find and 3 other seeds next to it. Came home read directions and done. If this works out good, if it doesn't owe well I almost tried ;)

    Chasingcars likes this.
  6. Living_Legend

    Living_Legend Songster

    Jan 3, 2018
    Freeland, MD
    My Coop
    I used 7 foot T post on the perimeter driven in 2 feet then 2 10 foot T post in the center I didn't hook any wire to the 10ft Post so I didn't use any clips I tied waterproof rope from the center T post to the outside tpost I ordered 25 by 50 foot netting from Amazon also that's on its way and I have a bag of 50 zip ties
  7. Chasingcars

    Chasingcars Songster

    Sep 15, 2017
    Derbyshire , England
    How can you have too much mint?
    It’s a coop area...chicken are smelly and rats are terrible!
    Too much mint...just pull some up :barnie
    Living_Legend likes this.
  8. tomfromsc

    tomfromsc Songster

    Nov 6, 2017
    South Carolina
    sounds like a good setup ...make sure the zip ties are UV resistant they will hold up longer
    Living_Legend likes this.

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