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Gravel floor on coop okay? & Tractor complaints

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ambersparks, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. ambersparks

    ambersparks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2008
    I'm considering using the dog's kennel (dog hasn't used it for years) for the chickens but the floor is all gravel on top of the dirt. Is that okay if I just put shavings on top of the gravel?

    Right now I am using a tractor coop from Coops4You. They free range at least half the day almost every day. But I'm getting tired of the big patches of poop on my lawn. I am moving it about once a week. I know I should do it more.... I have four kids and I'd like them to be able to run around on the lawn and not have to side step the poop. I'm also pretty sure the chickens are sleeping in their nest boxes not on the roost. I hate to spend more money modifying the dog kennel but I feel like the tractor isn't working out. [​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I wouldn't put shavings in an outdoor run, it will make horrible stinking mud (w/flies and smell) fairly soon unless I suppose you live in a desert. (Not living in a desert myself, I can't vouch for what might happen in that case).

    Is it really big sharp gravel that might hurt the chickens' feet or is it smaller more reasonable gravel? Chances are you're fine as it is, although adding a buncha sand on top would be fine too.

    I'm getting tired of the big patches of poop on my lawn. I am moving it about once a week. I know I should do it more.... I have four kids and I'd like them to be able to run around on the lawn and not have to side step the poop. I'm also pretty sure the chickens are sleeping in their nest boxes not on the roost. I hate to spend more money modifying the dog kennel but I feel like the tractor isn't working out. [​IMG]

    I hear ya! I started out with 3 hens in a tractor (home-built... see my tractor personal page) but you know what, tractors SOUND a heck of a lot better than they really work out, IMHO. It was a pain in the butt to have to remember to move it every day or two (or get bare spots in the lawn); they'd dig holes even within the space of one day; it was not nearly as large or comfy or winterizeable quarters as I can give them with a fixed coop; and although the selling point is that you don't totally trash any of your yard, in fact the way that it worked for me was that half my yard was always all motheaten and chickenpoopy [​IMG]

    So you are definitely not alone in feeling that way [​IMG]

    Good luck and have fun on the kennel retrofit,

    Pat​
     
  3. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I have used the coops4you tractor with good sucess because I moved it daily and have a very large lawn. I also used allot of fencing so I had the solid tractor area that they roosted layed and ate in it worked for my 10 hens but only with the external movable fence or free range. I don't know about the dog kennel other people defently know better. I did get a larger solid coop but still use my tractor for started birds or chicks and broodies. I agree the tractor is allot more work then people think.

    Henry
     
  4. ambersparks

    ambersparks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, I am planning for it to have a roof of some kind. Then shavings would be fine right? Isn't that what people are talking about when they talk about the deep layering method?
    The tractor would be great if I had a BIG yard but my yard isn't that big. And we have a dog and playset out there so the chickens take up the lawn area pretty good. So I was hoping to get them in the unused dog kennel retrofitted of course OR build them a nice coop w/ a roof and hen house. We'll see what I can talk dh into.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Only indoors, i.e. totally enclosed by walls. A roofed run will still get enough blown-in rain, and moisture from the ground, that you are real real likely to regret shavings.

    You can try it of course, but don't say nobody warned you [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  6. ambersparks

    ambersparks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2008
    Ahhh, okay, thanks so much! So what do I put on a floor of an outdoor run w/ a roof on it?? Just leave it bare dirt? Maybe that should be a new thread.....
    Amber
     
  7. SSO202

    SSO202 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amber -

    Use sand on top of the gravel in the dog kennel or scrape the gravel up and remove it. I would get a truck load of sand delivered and load it into the kennel. Good Luck!
     
  8. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    SOS202 is correct!

    I have a pick-up truck & get a 1/2 a ton for $9 at cement mixing place!

    I would say put aboout 2 to 3 inches over gravel!

    I use the sand in my coop I rake & turn in DE (for parasites) & Sweet PDZ (for smell) both are natural buy the spring this will be fertile compost sprinkle grass seed in run & while seeds growing put the chickens back in tractor for a month or so & then put back with grass run!

    repeat this before the fall!

    less time in tractor & still producing healthy eggs by eating grass!

    Just a thought for the time they spend in tractor who ever collects the eggs moves the trator 2' around the edge of you property line!
     

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