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Dropping boards ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mailmamm, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. mailmamm

    mailmamm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2009
    Rainier WA
    I am in the final stages of setting up my coop. Don't have pictures yet but soon. My challenge now is dropping board or no dropping board. I understand how easy they make cleaning but space is a big issue here. My coop is 4' x4' and about 6 feet tall. The nest box is mounted partly outside to allow for more space inside. I'm only going to have 4 hens so I should have enough coop room for the ladies. I have a ladder from a bunk bed to use for roosting but thought I would mount one more roost higher for the girls, about 4 feet or more. How wide does the board need to be to catch the droppings? I don't know if chickens are projectile poopers like I know birds of prey are. Any help will be appreciated.

    Alice in Chickenland.
     
  2. LittleFeat

    LittleFeat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Hi and welcome to BYC! I don't use poop boards but from where the poop falls, I would just say the board doesn't need to be any wider than the widest distance from where each chickens butt could be. The poop pretty much falls straight down from the bird. I decided that using poop boards would just be one more surface to have to clean. I use deep litter and keep fresher shavings everywhere but directly under the roosts. I then will tumble the shavings turning the poop under and spreading clean shavings on top. I pull the cleaner shavings out from the corners and move the not quite as clean to be mostly under the roosts. Then about once every 2 or 3 weeks I'll take out the shavings and refill with fresh. I also use DE to keep things dry. I figure poop boards just make for more clean up, more surface area to scrape. Just the way I do it and it works good for me. You can see my setup on my page. Good luck and I'm sure you'll get lots of ideas and you can pick what feels right for you.
     
  3. mailmamm

    mailmamm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2009
    Rainier WA
    Thanks for the info. I've been lurking on BYC for a few years but due to foot, knee and procrastination I am just getting things finished. Hoping to get my girls in May when we come back from a trip to Hawaii. But think the dropping board may be helpful for space issues.
     
  4. LittleFeat

    LittleFeat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Oh enjoy your trip!! I'm jealous! [​IMG]
     
  5. SaltLakeSpice

    SaltLakeSpice Chicken Tender

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    Quote:What is DE?
     
  6. Ozchook

    Ozchook Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2010
    Melbourne
    Hi Mailmamm,
    I am a relative newbie too but for what it's worth I would definitely try a droppings board. I have a similar sized coop, 4ft x 7ft x 5ft tall. I put in one 4" wide roost about 1/2 way between floor and ceiling, running down the length, with a droppings board about 6 "underneath it. The board is in line with the front of the roost (as I assumed they would roost facing the outside) and about 14" wide. It was made from a length of old laminated kitchen cabinet with a shallow rim screwed around it, the front of which is removable. I line the board with newspaper and a sprinkling of shavings. I reckon 80-90% of the poop in the coop lands on that board! I just pick up the paper (no scraping) and empty the poop into the compost every other day, and chuck the paper in too if it's done its job. It takes seconds, literally.
    That said, the one thing I have found on BYC is that there is no right way, just your way, if it doesn't work for you then you can always try something else.
    Enjoy your holidays and enjoy your chooks when you get them.
    Good luck
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Even if you don't have room to have a "perfect" droppings board that catches 100% of the poo, something is better than nothing IMO. A 14" wide board centered under the roost will catch the vast majority of droppings; even just 10-12" will catch a significant amount.

    The cecal poo (the melted-chocolatey ones they do a few times a day) CAN be squirty and projectile, which is why it is nice to have easily-cleanable walls [​IMG], but regular poo just goes straight downwards.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    I am using the deep litter method to but had to have dh build poop boards this winter because of the amonia smell.I have ventilation but it still was stronge.He put them under the roosts so they were not in the way and up high enogh that the chikens can still have floor space under the boards.What a differance in the smell. I have 30 birds in a 16x12 coop I could not belive how much a chicken poops at night,I use sweet pdz on the boards and scoop it out with a kitty litter scooper just like you would a litter box,very quick job I put it it a pail and put it in the compost pile.This has worked for me.
     
  9. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
    Colorado
    Hello and welcome again. I have a similar sized coop: 4 ft by 6 ft by 4.5 ft for six standards and I don't use droppings boards. The girls have an L-shaped roost and I use shavings as bedding. Everyday I take a kittly litter scoop and scoop the poop off of the top of the shavings then I stir up the shavings. I have a playhouse coop with an additional run so they go outside and don't spend much time inside so it doesn't get too dirty.

    However, I live in a dry climate, Colorado, and what poop remains in the shavings just dries out without a problem. I have to add additional shavings about every two months. It's really easy to maintain.

    Mary
     
  10. LittleFeat

    LittleFeat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What is DE?

    Diatomaceous Earth FOOD GRADE!!! Keeps things nice and dry. It can be kind of hard to find locally and shipping can be a little expensive. If you do a search on here, you will get more than you ever wanted to know about it! [​IMG]

    This Spring I may actually try using a poop board so I can decide which seems easier. I prefer to not have to go into the coop in the mornings before I leave for work (shoe change and all) and the girls are usually already on the roosts when I get home so cleaning a poop board won't be as easy as fluffing some shavings under them at night. But I would like to keep the majority of the shavings cleaner for a longer period of time.
     

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