Floor material for coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Snubbie, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Snubbie

    Snubbie New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2014
    Western NC
    Hello,
    New to the forum and new to having backyard chickens. Just want to say that I've already learned a lot just lurking here for a few days. I'm looking forward to getting all set up and my 8 yr. old daughter is all excited to get started. I don't know who planted in her head she "needs" a few chickens to tend to. [​IMG]

    In planning my coop design, it seems reasonable to me to cover the floor of the coop with metal flashing material, with wood shavings on top. It seems this would make cleaning much easier and not have the soiled plywood floor.

    Any reason not to use metal flashing on the floor?

    Also, dumb question maybe but do they need access to water inside the coop if there is fresh water available in their run?
    I intend to close them in the coop at night even though they will have a fenced run...or is this necessary?

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice!
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    Winter months even easier flex over compost bin DONE!

    Easy peasy!.

    Watering
    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.

    [​IMG]


    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..

    [​IMG]
    My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed. I have 17 birds housed in my coop at present. Here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
    My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
    Easy Peasy!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  3. Snubbie

    Snubbie New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2014
    Western NC
    Thanks for your help, and yes, that was helpful. If you will indulge a few more newbie questions.

    I have seen your setup and particularly the discussion on "poop boards". This makes a LOT of sense to me but my question is, do you just use something like a flat piece of plywood or similar, positioned under the roost perch, that will slide in and out for the board?

    I assumed one would use a commercial waterer and wondered about freezing. But they will just drink out of a bucket or bowl?


    edit to add: Thanks for the welcome!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  4. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

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    I use a rubberized roof coat material (Blackjack#57) I got from Lowes to protect my coop's floor. It totally seals and protects the coop's floor under a coat of rubber. It seals all floor seams, along with the seam where the walls meet the floor. I've had this stuff down in my coop going on 5yrs, and it looks as good as the day I put it down. It is totally chicken proof.
    I don't have a crap board in my coop. I really don't want to have to scrape a crappy board every other day or so. I just have a deep bed of pine shavings on my coop's floor. Every other week or so, I'll turn it over under the roost bars with a hay fork. A lot quicker to do that, rather than scrapping a stinking board. And if I don't feel like turning the bedding, I'll throw a handful of scratch under the roosts, and let the chickens turn the bedding. They do a pretty good job too.
    I keep a water fount in the coop. I want them to have access to water when they get up.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Biologrady

    Biologrady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the rubberized floor idea, but I second the vinyl floor sheet. We have ours just laying on top of the plywood, flush to the edges. It both sweeps out easy, and can be easily lifted up by one person to spill directly into a wheel barrow or similar.
    For water we use a metal heated base that we recently bought, but I read here on someone's thread that they use a submersible fishtank heater in a rubber bucket! That sounds brilliantly simple! I'm going to post on another thread and see if anyone else has used this idea, so you might want to see what folks post there....
     
  6. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I use a monolithic vinyl sheet flooring, folded up at the edges with several inches of shavings over it to protect the plywood floor from any moisture and manure.
    Roost board has edges and vinyl liner filled with an inch of sand with Sweet PDZ added for ammonia neutralization, I use a mesh basket every few days to sift the poop out for compost.
    Details here.
     
  8. aaaclifford

    aaaclifford New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2014
    London, UK
    Have you tried woodchippings? Its popular and as sharp as sand. I personally use aubiose. It's easy to pick poop.
     
  9. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raleigh, NC
    I have 6 inches of pine wood shavings over Linoleum in a 5' x 5' house. I'll throw in Sweet PDZ about once week to keep the moisture and smell down. I have only 6 hens so I don't get a lot of poop concentrated. I'll fluff the shavings at the same time or throw in scratch (as JackE above does) for the hens to sort it out. Then every 3 months or so the entire load goes into a compost bin. Starting over with a fresh load of shavings. I perform the interim maintenance more frequently when the summer heat hits it peak to keep the flies and smell down. I'm in the southeast so the humidity in July to September can be a challenge.

    For water, I have a 3 gallon water fountain in the run. I don't have water in the house. The only time the hens are in the house is lay eggs and roast/sleep at night. I don't artificially light the house and it's almost dark when they go in at night. They hit the fountain before marching up the ramp.
     
  10. Snubbie

    Snubbie New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2014
    Western NC
    Thanks for the input and great ideas.
     

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