Four questions from a newbie :)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kirak74, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. kirak74

    kirak74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all!
    I've read three books now on raising chickens and I still have four unanswered questions. Hoping you all can help.

    - Does litter just go in the coop itself, or on the floor of the run as well?

    - If the run is predator safe (we plan on using hardware cloth buried around perimeter and the top will be covered as well), is it OK to leave the door to the coop open or do we need to shut them in at night?

    - Is it better to have a fully covered or partially covered run? I'm concerned a full covered run wouldn't leave them much sunshine.

    - There seems to be some debate about using the deep litter method on wood coop floors. I had planned on putting a piece of linoleum down. Is deep litter possible in this set up (linoleum over wood)?

    Thanks for your advice :)
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The purpose of bedding inside the coop is to cushion landings as the chickens hop down from perches. It also helps absorb moisture. Any sort of bedding will work over vinyl flooring. I used to use pine shavings, but they were hard to keep the poop cleaned out of it, so I switched to sand in the coops. I only need to scoop the poop each morning to keep the bedding clean and dry. I also use sand in the run for the same reasons.

    Covering the run with translucent fiberglass roofing panels or other similar material will allow sunlight to filter down into the run while protecting from weather and predators. Light weight and easy to install over any sort of roofing frame.

    I have a secure predator safe run, and I leave the pop holes to the coop open all the time, even in winter.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You’ve got some good people talking to you but I’ll add my bit.

    - Does litter just go in the coop itself, or on the floor of the run as well?

    We do so many different things and have so many different conditions that about any method can work or can fail. The main thing with the run is how wet is it? If it is in a low spot where water drains to it and stands, not much will work. If it is up high enough so water drains from it or pretty much stays out almost anything will work. My run floor is dirt. Others are quite happy using all kinds of different bedding in there. Same with the coop.

    - If the run is predator safe (we plan on using hardware cloth buried around perimeter and the top will be covered as well), is it OK to leave the door to the coop open or do we need to shut them in at night?

    This is purely your choice. If you consider the run truly predator proof you can leave the pop door open. Lots of people do. I don’t consider my run totally predator proof so I lock mine up a tonight. Across the internet I don’t have a clue how safe your run is. That has to be your choice.

    - Is it better to have a fully covered or partially covered run? I'm concerned a full covered run wouldn't leave them much sunshine.

    Don’t worry about a lack of sunshine just from putting on a roof on the run. Very seldom does the sun shine straight down, you will get a lot of sunlight from the sides. I put up a little sun screening on the western side of my run to give them protection from the hot sun in the heat of summer. My top wasn’t providing any shade late in the day. A roof only won’t keep rain out either. Rain and snow will blow in from the side.

    - There seems to be some debate about using the deep litter method on wood coop floors. I had planned on putting a piece of linoleum down. Is deep litter possible in this set up (linoleum over wood)?

    My coop floor is dirt, I don’t have that experience.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I really don't have anything to add. You have gotten great answers from great advisors. I just wanted to say Welcome to BYC and enjoy your new chicken keeping hobby!
     
  6. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just to show a roof over run ( photos) I had left half of my run uncovered, it left muddy, so I added more roofing,works great.


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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  7. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    My Coop
     
  8. kirak74

    kirak74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks all!
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Excellent advice above.

    Only thing I will add, the roofing depends on your winters and snow levels. Snow can be VERY heavy. If you live in areas of winter, make sure you consider that when building.

    I like a lot of movable things in my run, pallets up on blocks or leaned against a wall, gives hides out, dry places to perch, and shade options in the summer.

    Mrs K
     
  10. JenniferCNY

    JenniferCNY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @kirak74 I believe I saw on another thread that you are buidling a Daisy coop. I had one built for my 8 pullets last year so I am on my first year with it. I live in snow country in New York. For the coop bedding I use deep bedding of pine shavings and sometimes toss in some DE. I just keep adding to the shavings, only cleaned out entirely once. This is to give them a soft place to land. There is not much poop in the bedding because of the trays under their roosts. I keep sweet PDZ in the trays and scoop every day or two.

    For the run I use deep litter. At this point it's mostly leaves (sooooooooo many in my yard), some pine branch pieces deeper down, wood ashes, food scraps. Since my run is in the shade I didn't initially cover it, but once winter hit, we covered the top and three sides in clear plastic, leaving the south side uncovered. We have also since covered the top with plywood to help deal with the snow situation.
     

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