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General Coup Deisgn questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flewthecoup, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. flewthecoup

    flewthecoup Hatching

    Jan 31, 2014
    So I've always had pre-existing coups or buildings that have served the purpose, but I hopefully will be moving soon and I will need to build from scratch...so the world is my oyster. What should the floor material be in the coup itself. This won't be a unit that gets moved (which begs some more questions on how to make the run useable). Should I not use pressure treated (PT) lumber due to the what the PT might leach out? And as far as the floor goes.....is it typical to use regular plywood and cover it with straw/shavings......and clean it daily. Is a dirt floor instead of plywood floor better in the coup? I ask this because the last coup I used...the floor was in pretty rough shape and I'm not sure if it's due to the chicken poop or years of use.....or what. Either way, I want to coup to serve the chickens well. More than likely, I'll do a board/batten for the walls and a metal roof.
    As far as the run goes, as mentioned earlier....since the coup won't be moving, how does one make the run usable...or since the birds will forage it to death...do you then just use feed for their food?
    New to the forum.....thanks in advance! This seems like a great site and hope to show pics soon of some Buff Orphs.....

  2. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chirping

    Sep 13, 2013

    First off is this going to be a raised coop or a 'ground' coop? If it's raised then I'd do plywood treated for water damage and cover it with pine shavings. If it's going to be a 'ground' coop then I'd do a dirt floor and just scoop out the manure regularly. We use plywood/old fence boards for the walls and metal sheets for the roof. Yes, they will forage their run 'to death'. Unless you free range them. If they are going to be kept in the run you'll definitively need to feed them grains. Happy building!

    HS Pye
  3. Rusnakes

    Rusnakes In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2013
    You could also cover the floor with linoleum or fiberglass wall panel to make them more waterproof.

    You could also do a grazing bed in your run, to keep fresh green things growing in there, long after they have scratched it all to death.
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana

    Pressure treated wood scrap is not to be burned since inhaling the chemical smoke may be harmful; Otherwise, it is fine as a building material. A flooring material is best to keep the floor up off the dirt to keep it dry and also keep chickens from scratching down through the bedding material to the dirt (can create a muddy coop floor). Cover the floor with plenty of pine chips and add more occasionally to creat a deep liter that can be removed and replaced a couple times a year. Poop boards below the roosting bars will catch most of the poop and those can be scraped clean daily and the waste removed and composted. Dust the boards with DE and Sweet PDZ on occasions to keep them dry and smelling nice.

    The chickens will quickly scratch the run of vegetation so you will want to add chips or straw to knock down mud when the dirt gets wet. I even lay scrap plywood to the run with chips over that to help the run drain during heavy rains. Hope this helps!

  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I see this is a couple of days old, but just in case the OP is still around.

    If the coop is on the ground, I suggest using dirt as the floor. To keep water out, pick a location where water is not a problem. Don’t put it in a low spot where water runs to and stands. Don’t put it where you get rivers of water during a rainstorm. You might need to build berms or swales to divert rainwater runoff. In mine I added a few inches of clay dirt to make sure the dirt floor was high enough that rainwater runoff could not get in. Use a bedding material, like wood shavings, straw or something else similar and keep it dry. If you have good ventilation, it should dry out OK if it gets a little damp but do try to keep water out.

    If you use treated wood, you cannot be considered “Organic”. That is against the organic rule book. But the chemicals they use these days are not nearly as nasty as the ones they used to use. I suggest you use treated wood or some building material other than wood for anything that touches the ground. Otherwise you are going to be rebuilding it often, from termites as well as rot. For the rest of the coop, as long as you can keep it dry, it will last.

    If chicken poop builds up on that floor thick enough to maintain moisture, it will rot the floor, plus it will stink. But if you can keep it dry, a regular wood floor should last.

    The chickens will strip the run of vegetation. The only question is how long that will take. I’ll give you a link to an article about fixing muddy runs for ideas of how to keep it dry. The best time to fix it is when you design and build it.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):

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