Droppings tray in small house?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Moselle, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2008
    If you were to put a slide-out tray/drawer for droppings under the floor of a small (4'X3') henhouse, would you put wire-type floor above the tray? What kind of wire should it be? How deep should the tray be? Do you put straw or bedding of some type in the tray?

    Thank you.

    Oh, while I'm here. I keep reading that the nest box should be 2' from the floor and the roost should be above that. But I just don't have that much room in the design. Is it OK to put the nest box on the floor so there's enough room for a couple roosting perches above it?
     
  2. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    I don't think I would put wire of any kind as flooring . It would kinda be like you walking on rocks 24/7 .... Very uncomfortable . If it's only 4' x3' , it shouldn't be too hard to clean out with a regular wood floor . Not sure on the heighth of the nesting boxes , I have 19 hens and at least 2 of them lay on the floor instead of jumping up to the box .[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    My birds lay in nest hutches which means their eggs are all on the floor of the boxes. As for roosts, where they sleep is where they will poop the most, just put dropping trays under those for quick cleans, and since it's not that big, with enough shavings, should be easy to sweep out every once in a while. Just try not to put the roosts right over the nest boxes as you don't really want to scrape off the top of them.
     
  4. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We really wanted to create something like you describe... but we came to the conclusion that it would eat up too much floor space in our small-ish coop. We were told that when you are figuring square footage you can't include the droppings pit, nor the feeder/waterer space... just the actual free space the hens can walk around on. Figuring 10" roost space per bird, 18" from the wall, and extending the droppings pit out 8" or so in case they sit backwards, you're using up a huge amount of floor space.

    So what we did is make a "droppings board". Its a 1x10 covered with a scrap of vinyl flooring, mounted 6" or so beneath the roost. It catches the majority of the nighttime droppings, yet does not reduce the available floor space. We put a scatter of floor shavings on it to soak up the watery poops and every morning we just scrape the poop into a bucket for the compost pile. It's been working really well.

    Stacey
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    If you put the roost over the nest boxes and make a flat roof on the nest boxes -- two things which canonically you're never supposed to do <g> -- then all you have to do is sprinkle a little litter from the floor onto the nest box roof, and presto it is a droppings board which you can very easily clean off each morning (I use a dustpan to scrape/herd the poo and litter bits into a bucket).

    Much more compact [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Good idea, Pat. It's be basically just like our droppings board and save a ton of space. Especially if you covered the top with a vilyl flooring scrap. It makes it SOOOOO easy to clean! I also give the board a coat of DE whitewash when I am doing the roost.

    Just make sure it extends far enough over the opening of the nest box to keep the poop out (like an overhanging eave)!

    If anyone needs to see a pic of our droppings board let me know.
     
  7. Iluvmychickens

    Iluvmychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    please post a pic of your dropping board

    DeeDee
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Ha, I'm not showing you my current one because it is too embarassing...

    ...but you can easily imagine the setup when I tell you I use a big blue rubbermaid-type box as a nest box (hole cut into end, as if it were a covered catbox), with a brick on top for weight [​IMG], parked underneath my roost. With a little floor litter scattered on top the poo sweeps off the plastic box lid like magic every morning.

    Ok. you can laugh at me now [​IMG]

    I fully intend to build a better version but first I had too many outdoors chores in the queue and now I have a slipped disc and am not doing any carpentry anytime soon, sigh.

    I got a secondhand piece of shelving, tho, the kind that is chipboard covered with white plasticky stuff, to use as a droppings board whenever I *can* knock together the replacement roost. It was free and oughta last a reasonable while.


    Pat
     
  9. Corey NC

    Corey NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    Here is what I have, It is great I clean it out about once every three months or so, I've never had a problem with the smell either. Let me know if you have any questions.

    The new roosts gave us so much more room, it went from this....
    [​IMG]


    To this....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Iluvmychickens

    Iluvmychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very Nice. I place a tray under the roost to catch the poo. My DH cleans it out for me. Now I clean the coop top to bottom once a month is that to much? I put staw in the botttom, and I have one hen who wants to scratch in it. In this photo the roosts were wide spread we have added 2 more to it as my kids are bantams. Should I leave out the straw? Do you think she will stop scratching there if I do ?

    [​IMG]

    DeeDee
     

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