Floor covering for the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by switters, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. switters

    switters Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2008
    Up until now we've been using aspen shavings on the floor in the coop. They've worked well. We clean out the shavings 2x/month and put them in our compost pile, which adds nitrogen to the soil. However, the shavings are expensive and we want to find a more economical option. We've considered putting the straw we use in their run on the coop floor. The problem we envision with that is that the girls LOVE to scratch and move the straw around. It seems like the poop could easily slip through and end up on the wood floor, which makes it difficult to clean. Another possibility is making some kind of container/box, filling it with aspen shavings, and putting it right under their perch. Then we could use straw for the rest of the coop.

    What would you recommend?
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Have you considered a dropping board or pit so that you're not totally replacing the bedding in the coop so often??? Because of mine, I only have to pick up poop piles occasionally from the bedding, and only add bedding to replace the little I've removed and to freshen it up. I'll probably only totally replace all of the bedding once a season...
  3. switters

    switters Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2008
    That sounds good! How did you make your pit? What's a dropping board? Just a piece of wood you place under the perch?
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I use the dropping board, but you can do a search here on the site for dropping pits, as well as other ways of doing dropping boards. Yes, it's a wide board (some people cover theirs with scrap vinyl for easier cleaning) placed several inches (maybe 6-8"??) below the roosts. You just scrape them each morning or afternoon into a bucket and it's done. You'll still get occasional poop piles on the floor from them walking around and such, but it's not bad.

    Here is mine. Do a search for other examples to find what might work for you. I saw another that was chained below (to) the roost bar. I thought that was a clever and simple way to attach it...

  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have a linoleum floor, but I wish I had designed it with a dropping board underneath, it would have made things much easier.
  6. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I have vinyl floor tiles on my floor and I cover it with straw that I buy by the bail at the feed store. Works great.
    P.S. I think I have heard that wood shavings DO NOT ADD nitrogen, to your compost heap, but actually DEPLETE nitrogen because nitrogen is what it takes to break down the shavings.
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Phil's right - shavings are carbon, only the poo is nitrogen. If you had a droppings board then you could scrape/broom poo from the board and put that into your compost for nitrogen. It takes a great deal of time to break down the wood shavings BTW.

    Why are you changing out the shavings twice a month? Is your coop really small and there is a lot of poo? I have about 6 inches of shavings on the floor and I toss it once a week but only change it out *every six months.* I am a little neurotic about cleanliness, but really, it's not bad in there.
  8. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    When we built our coop we went to Lowes and bought the cheapest self-adhesive linoleum tiles they had for about $18 a box. More than enough to cover an area 4x8. We use pine shavings we buy by the bale for about $5 but we've thought of trying straw because it's cheaper. The linoleum makes cleanup very easy. We toss the shavings and poop in the composter and spread it out on the garden after a few months. Lots of great nitrogen for growing a great garden. My corn especially loves it!
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I have a poop pit in one of my older coops. It is great. It works so good that I also put a poop pit in my new coop. I just rake it out every once in awhile and it goes into my compost. If you live in a cold climate you can close off the bottom or the coop. I have hardware cloth around the bottom of my coops and have it hinged on the side of the poop pit so I just lift it up and rake it out. I have a third coop that doesn't have a poop pit. In that coop I just keep pine shaving on the floor and under the roost and just clean it out every week or two. That also goes into the compost.

    Old coop poop pit

    New coop poop pit
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009

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