Flight Cage for Animal Rescue

HappyTrailsKal

In the Brooder
Nov 3, 2017
7
0
10
Hey everyone,
I am a care coordinator at a farm animal rescue and we are working on renovating our coops inside and out! We have an inside area with roosts and we also have a closed in outside area to protect them from predators (and our chicken feed crazy pigs). Right now the outside area only has dirt which has to be so boring for them and also isn't good for drainage as we are located in Ohio where every season but mid summer is muddy. We have to keep in mind that there's a lot that goes into play for designing a coop as we don't have typical flock sizes. We get anywhere from 100-150 birds a year so our flight cages have up to 30 birds in each. So we looked into doing leaves/clippings/etc. but it would not last long here as we clean our areas every 2 weeks as we are open to the public and cleanliness is extremely important to us. Right now our best idea is building a drainage system around the outside and then a layer of about 2 inches of stone and then a layer of 2 inches of sand over the stone. We also want to find something for the bedding inside (like in their living quarters) as right now all we use is sawdust and straw but with the amount of birds we have it needs stripped out every 2-3 days. I looked into mulch or even sand for inside but mulch gives off moisture in the winter and sand is cold in the winter. You amazing people make my job much easier as I spend a lot of time on here looking for advice for taking care of all of our chickens so any advice is welcome!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
97,770
134,194
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Right now our best idea is building a drainage system around the outside and then a layer of about 2 inches of stone and then a layer of 2 inches of sand over the stone.
Sand will sift down into stone, along with pulverized and liquefied(from rain) poops.
It.will.smell.terrible when damp...and be a bear to clean out.

How large is this area?
Dimensions and pics would help immensely.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,271
38,601
1,096
southern Michigan
Welcome! It's best to have at least 4 sq. ft. per bird in the coop, and 10 sq. ft. per bird in the run. I'm guessing that you're bird concentration is denser than that? Crowding makes it much more difficult to manage their housing.
Good drainage is essential, so there's no issues with standing water, or melting snow.
Bagged pine shavings work best, IMO, with dried leaves from fall cleanup, and some hay or straw (not much though).
Straw is a smelly mess! Mostly pine shavings will be much better.
Roofing is best, to keep things dryer, and snow out. Even a partially covered run will be helpful.
Please post pictures!
Well ventilated coops, and dry runs, aren't very smelly at all.
Mary
 

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