Coops in wet, temperate climates? Bedding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by animalyodelers, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. animalyodelers

    animalyodelers Songster

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    Olympia, WA, USA
    I live in Washington State, not far from Puget Sound. Our microclimate tends to be a bit warmer and drier in the summer and colder and wetter in the winter than most of western WA, but overall temps are moderate and winters are mostly chilly and damp.

    My coop floor is concrete pavers dug in a little to the dirt. The coop itself is wood with a metal roof. The run floor is dirt/grass. I have been using pine shavings for bedding, several inches thick. Every couple days I turn & add more bedding, removing the dirtiest areas and tossing that bedding in the run. So far I haven't had to completely clean out the coop (only been a few weeks).

    For the run, I've been tossing in leaves but the leaves under my tree are getting pretty wet at this point in the fall.

    Should I be putting more bedding in the run? It's not entirely covered, so it's pretty much always damp, but no standing water or deep mud. Also, should I be using something else in the coop, or are pine shavings a pretty good option? The local chicken owners I know all have wood floors in their coops, so not able to get any advice from them.

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    My coop floor is the same... I use hay, pine shavings, rice hulls... whatever. It's dry so it really doesn't matter much. Just whatever material you like working with. And yes, I'm in the PNW. I love it here!

    My metal roof sweats something awful where the frame members are... on sunny cold mornings REGARDLESS of how much ventilation I have. Flawed installation before we bought the place. :barnie

    Adding more materials to run might help. It's a constant renewal process for me. Bare dirt and sand stunk to high heaven EVEN when waste was removed daily... once rain sat in. But building it up more with organic materials changed that. Using a variety of materials can help keep it from compacting down. I dump my grass clipping during the summer there. Add in hay or shaving that were used in nest boxes or brooders and such. I'm sure some of the more experienced deep litter people might have great suggestions.. @lazy gardener is one. :highfive:

    I use droppings boards, so I hardly have to refresh or replace floor bedding... but I keep it deep to prevent injuries from jumping off roost for those who may not use the ramp. I don't turn it... but without the droppings board, I'm SURE turning is key. Some people toss in scratch or other treats to get their birds to turn it for them.
     
  3. hillbilly91

    hillbilly91 Crowing

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    We use double ground mulch and it works great
     
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  4. animalyodelers

    animalyodelers Songster

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    Olympia, WA, USA
    I love it here too! Usually, lol. We had the same problem with the roof at first. Are you able to insulate it? I was able to fix ours by installing a plywood ceiling with 1-2 inches of dead space between that and the metal. It's worked great.

    Thank you for the tips! I plan to use a droppings board once I can convince these crazy chicks to use the roost consistently! Maybe I will get more shavings for the run for now. I was thinking of using straw but I'm worried it would mold.. everything around here molds :he
     
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  5. worldlrnr

    worldlrnr In the Brooder

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    What is double ground mulch. I used hay in the run but the chicks got mites bad. I lost the flock to predators So we started over. I have 2 Cinnamon Queens, 1 Calico Princess and 5 Silver Sebright hens in a 12 X 20 ft run with a hen house on each side. All the hens go to the south coop at dark which we just insulated this morning. The other coop is their spot to do to during the day. They choose it that way. I just don't know what to put in the run bc we live on a dormant volcano and the dirt is hard, thin and really rocky!
     
  6. kwhites634

    kwhites634 Slow hands & an easy touch

    IMO, FWIW, your priority at this point should be getting the run predator-proof. If a coon or any other non-flying predator, or a hawk, can get in, you soon won't need any bedding at all.
     
  7. townchicks

    townchicks Crowing

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    Adding some chipped wood or bark mulch to your run will help a lot, the key is to use different sizes, so the small stuff, like pine shavings, doesn't get matted down, and water can drain. I'd continue to toss the wet leaves into the run, the chickens will turn them over.
     
  8. hillbilly91

    hillbilly91 Crowing

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    Like what they use to landscape with. Get undyed mulch, put about 4 to 6inches in the run. They love to dig in it. 20181026_171840.jpg
     
  9. animalyodelers

    animalyodelers Songster

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    Olympia, WA, USA
    Thanks, it's fine. It's covered in PVC coated galvanized steel wire on all sides including the top. And my 70+ lb. dog is outside with them. At night they go in the coop and it's securely locked. Every opening bigger than a quarter inch is covered in quarter inch hardware cloth.

    I appreciate your concern but it really doesn't have anything to do with my questions.
     
  10. kwhites634

    kwhites634 Slow hands & an easy touch

    Whatever you think is right...just trying to save you some grief.....:frow
     

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