droppings pit or board?


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 17, 2010
Any suggestions on the best approach for making a dropping catch board so that the majority of the droppings can be picked up each week. I am new to raising chickens. When my husband and I (with a lot of help from a good neighbor) built our coop we included nest boxes and perches but no dropping pits. Would you recommend making one from all wood or from a wood frame with screen or wire?
Personally, I think a dropping board is easier to build, as you really don't have to build anything...lol...at least if it runs wall to wall. Mine does not run wall-to-wall, so I did have to build a brace under one end. Here's an example of mine.... I have no experience with dropping pits.

Thank you so much for your reply and for including a photo! I like the idea of using a board. Sliding it out and scraping it off each day seems like a much easier way to go than doing a dropping pit. I now have a weekend project to do!!
You don't even have to slide it out! Just keep a small bucket w/a lid and a plain old putty knife handy. I just take the bucket in each day and spent about 20 seconds scraping the droppings in w/the putty knife. I do grab a handful of bedding off the floor and sprinkle up there afterward, to help absorb liquids from the poo. Now I do slide mine out about once a month to hose it off good, just because I like things pretty clean in my coop...
yep, a board is the way to go IMO too. simple to scrape off. Mine is just plywood, I figure if as time goes by I need to replace it, Oh well! Super simple to cut another piece. Also, with a board, you gain a LOT of ground area underneath it for any times they are hanging out inside. (weather, human schedule etc)
here's a picture of mine, not nearly as nice as teach1rusl's, but it's effective. I scatter some shavings lightly on it mostly to provide some easy release for when I scrape it. I have a little short aluminum snow shovel that I use to scrape it with. very flat, very light, very easy.
Is it really necessary to have a droppings board? Is it ok for them to just poop on the main floor?
I'm a little confused on the roosting poles in these two pics. Seems I read somewhere that they should be a foot or more apart and at the same level so the hens won't poop on each other. I'm all new to this, so just curious. Definitely not knocking your designs
I too, use a dropping board, but since my chooks dont spend as much time as i thought up on their roost, there's a whole bunch of poop still on the floor!
How do you get them to go to their roost at night?
Pick me! Here's the pics of the one my DH designed (after much lurking on this site I might add)


He put a lip on it so the shavings didn't fall off as bad, I plan to use an old dust pan to remove dirty shavings (that was how I cleaned the brooder - scoop with dust pan and remove, so now I have a dedicated "poo pan" because it is no longer for household dust). We painted it to help seal it was well(found barn paint at Lowes for $13 a gallon, it was super low fume and dried fast and comes in traditional barn type colors) Yes I still found poo on the floor today, but at least some is caught by the board and not as much seems to land on the nest boxes below, which is nice.

as far as getting them to roost adeechickluv- idk for sure how it happened, but I think it went like this:

Darkness fell upon the land, and with it came a thunder storm and RAIN! The Mighty Miss B ran out and took the sleeping chickens from their temporary hoop coop and placed them gently on the roosts in their new coop. She had wanted to wait one more day, why, even she doesn't know, but the weather was NOT allowing it that night! The chickies gave her sleepy confused looks, clueless as to the impending doom the storm could have brought them if not rescued by Miss B! The next morning, they were still clueless BUT they were on their roosts! "How did we get here? Where's breakfast? Over there! On the ground!" Down they hopped and spent the whole day on the floor (Miss B had nothing better to do but watch) That night, after Miss B had cooked dinner, in an attempt to avoid dishes, she went out to check and LO and BEHOLD! The chickens had roosted on their own! No ladder required! (it hadn't been built yet!)

Honestly, that's my guess. I still haven't made them a little ladder, and they weren't using the roost in the hoop coop - they were sleeping by the door like "Mom, we're waiting, take us back in the house" But now...all lined up on the roost - first night since we built (not the real first night in that coop, just the first since the roost went in)
It's not necessary to have either, you certainly CAN just let the poo fall where it may, but it's nice to be able to scrape it up once or twice a week and not have it mess the bedding up below. I had chickens for years and years without one and this is a bit easier to keep things clean and dry IMO.

My roosts ARE on the same level, and about a foot apart. I agree that it saves jostling for height, but many people still do the staggered placement. Chooks aren't too fussy and usually figure things out no matter what you do.

Since chickens seem to have an instinct to get off the ground to sleep, they usuallly only take a time or two to figure out how to get up to the roosts. I've found if you just put a few up there, the others are driven by desire to be just like the 'Joneses' up on the high perch to figure out how to get up there too, and discover the ladder or ramp on their own... ok maybe I did put one halfway up the ramp the first time, but after that breakthrough moment, they'll head up there at bedtime on their own at dusk every day.

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