Gravel floor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rooster47, May 11, 2010.

  1. rooster47

    rooster47 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a chicken coop that I had been using as a potting shed. My husband is redoing the shed back to it's original intention. We have pea gravel for the floor.
    Is this ok to use as is. What about hosing the poop right into the gravel to clean?
     
  2. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i first started with gravel floor. My experience was that trying to get the poop out was difficult, at best - but I did not try hosing it in either. I opted to add a layer of landscape fabric then top with sand. Think of a really big kitty litter box. I really do have a kitty litter scoop that I use to shovel the poop out. Every morning, I scrape a roost board, scoop the poo and rake the pen floor. All in, it takes about 5 minutes.

    NO SMELLS - this I like [​IMG]
     
  3. rooster47

    rooster47 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply BankerJohn! I feel much better "trying" the gravel floor. If it's too difficult to clean sand will be my next option! Love this website![​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If you go hosing down an *indoor* gravel floor, my experience with horse barns suggest that what you will get is intractable humidity for at least a couple weeks if not longer. And in cold weather that would be a VERY serious problem. I wouldn't do it, wouldn't even consider it. If you don't hose, you will need to use removeable bedding, and it will mix with the gravel and you'll eventually end up finding you've dug the floor out while you're cleaning and wasted all that gravel AND created a bathtub for wet-weather flooding.

    Is the area small enough you could put big pavers (like 18x24") on the gravel? That would be a really good solution, and provide pretty decent predatorproofing too. And then obviously put a good layer of shavings on it.

    JMHO, Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. rooster47

    rooster47 Out Of The Brooder

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    Pat, Thanks so much for the suggestion. YES, I could put pavers on top of the gravel and then maybe pine shavings? What would you suggest would be the best on top of the pavers? This is my first time ever owning chickens and I'm so excited. They are almost 5 weeks old. Do you think they are old enough to put in the coop with a light? They are outgrowing their metal tub and seem like they want to escape it.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Personally I like pine shavings (bought from feedstore, not in wee bags from pet store [​IMG]) as bedding, but there are other options of course. I'd suggest trying shavings and see how you like it. Put in maybe 4" to start with, walk it down so it's not so fluffy before putting chicks in there, then you can adjust amounts as per your own developing preferences as you go along [​IMG]

    If your temperatures are not too cold at night (in the coop), 5 wk olds could certainly go out there, with a light to keep warm under if they need it. Dunno what your weather is like though. It is worth getting a max-min thermometer for the coop so you can start forming a sense of how indoor (coop) temps relate to outdoor nightly lows.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    First, [​IMG] from MN!

    I dunno. I think hosing chicken poo off pea gravel is going to be a huge bummer. And scooping chicken poo on a daily basis.... well, let's just say that I am sooooo not that disciplined.

    I agree with Pat - I'd cover up the gravel with something solid. Pavers would be okay - I'd make the spaces between them MINIMAL, but I still prefer just a wood floor. Painted to seal it. Put shavings on top of that. Even with my OCD tendencies, I still only completely empty/clean out/refill my coop every 6 months using the deep litter method. Do a search on deep litter (see the blue bar above) and you'll get tons of information.

    Shavings that you buy from a feed store will be 75% cheaper than what you'll find at a pet store. Pine works great and is the least expensive.

    I'm in the chilly north and I'm a total softie but I wouldn't hesitate at all at putting the chickies in their house with a light at this point. And we just had snow last week, so it's still pretty darned cold here still. Besides, it's best to put them into their house and leave them there for a few day/week to get used to it before letting them out. This would be a perfect time to make the transition. Just make sure your roosts aren't too high.

    I don't know what your climate is, but I bought a thermometer to hang on the wall and it transmits to a dock in my kitchen. I can see the coop temps 24/7 and it helps me sleep at night.
     
  8. rooster47

    rooster47 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your input. Going to head to Home Depot today to get some pavers. Then top them with pine shavings from Tractor Supply. Can't wait to get the "girls" into their coop...
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Yeah, 'cept putting a wood floor on gravel will make the wood floor rot through REAL FAST, and provide excellent mouse/rat habitat as well. I seriously would not do that.

    Rubber horse-stall mats would be a good floor, too. Pricey, though (like $45 for a 4x6')

    Pat
     

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