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Deep Litter Vs. Poop Tray! Free Range Vs. Enclosed Run!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mirandalola, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. mirandalola

    mirandalola In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2016
    NorthEast Texas, USA
    Designing my coop now while the chickies are growing up. What are the pros and cons of the Deep Litter method versus having poop trays under the roosts? (I do keep a garden in which to use all that natural fertilizer!)

    Also, I have a lovely 2-acre yard, gently sloped, covered in East Texas grass and partially shaded by mature oak and sweet gum trees. What are the pros and cons of free ranging vs. enclosing their run?

    (I tend to be lazy.... no, efficient! and prefer to use methods that will take less maintenance! To me that sounds like deep litter and free-ranging, but then wouldn't everyone be doing it that way?)


  2. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    If there are any predators around (including dogs), you'll want an enclosed, secure run and/or electronet fencing to keep the birds safe. Chickens are near the bottom of the food chain, and every predator out there thinks they are tasty!
    1 person likes this.
  3. snywalker

    snywalker Chirping

    Feb 24, 2014
    I go with both. A poop "slide" under the roost. And deep litter everywhere else.

    The poop tray is angled into a 5 gallon bucket, so a little rinse and everything is gone. That is where most of the poop is, so the rest of the coop just needs emptied about once a year.

    I am lazy too!
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  5. I have a 8x12 Coop and an 8x12 enclosed run...I use sand in both Coop and Run...So easy to clean the coop...No stink...I use a kitty litter scoop and a pail...Takes minutes to clean my Coop...My Run I rake up the poop and Till it once a week....

  6. farmer jon1

    farmer jon1 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2016
    I free range but I have a 40x40 run to lock them up in in case I have a bunch of company or a strange dog is around. Im not using a poop tray. I just have straw on the floor. My roost will lift up and I just pull it out with a shovel. My coop is long and narrow. 8x14. I put the roost way on one end under the window.

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