hardware cloth for flooring

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bbrocksc, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. bbrocksc

    bbrocksc New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2009
    I am a new member here and looking for some information on building a coop. I used to raise rabbits when I was younger and we used hardware cloth for the flooring on their pen. This way the droppings just went to the ground underneath and we shoveled them up and used it for fertilizer.
    Will this work for chickens? I want to build a small coop for 4 or 5 hens and am looking for ideas. We live on the coast of SC so it is always warm here. Any suggestions would be great.
    Thanks,
    Brandon
     
  2. blueoval1

    blueoval1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you going to be raising bantam or standard chickens. Either way I would not suggest hardware cloth for flooring it causes the chickens feet to sore.
     
  3. bbrocksc

    bbrocksc New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2009
    I have a friend that is going to give me five rhode island reds.
     
  4. blueoval1

    blueoval1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats great Rhode Island Reds are great egg layers. I for got to say [​IMG]
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, blueoval1 is correct, hardware cloth is too hard on their feet. Also, rabbit poo can go directly on a garden but chicken poo must be composted first, or it will burn the plants.

    Most people use some sort of litter. Almost anything except cedar will work: Leaves, hay, straw, shredded paper, etc. Many use pine shavings purchased from TSC. Every so often, they sweep it all out and compost it. How often might be as little as once a year; you can add litter as needed to control odor and ammonia.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    BTW, you might want to browse through the coop and run section. There is a HUGE amount of info and all sorts of ideas there.
     
  7. Peeper7

    Peeper7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is anyone familiar with using electric net fencing for poultry?
    I rec'd an ad from Premier 1 promoting "keep poultry in ... predators out"
    I have not had chickens for awhile, but seems to me they flew pretty high and could go right over a 4' fence. In fact, they easily flew 6' to roost.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Chicken poo is much too large-caliber to fall naturally thru hardwarecloth or really even a larger mesh (unlike those nice tidy little rabbit pellets). So if you use wire mesh for adult chickens, expect to have to push or hose the poo thru on a regular basis.

    Electronet (I highly recommend Premier for any electric fencing stuff, btw, most of my horse fence and my poultry net is from them, really IS high quality) is mainly for keeping fourlegged predators out. It will also keep unmotivated chickens in. Certainly most of them CAN fly out, but in many cases they just don't choose to. And of course people often use it for broilers which are not *going* to fly out. You have to understand its idiosyncrasies but it can certainly be useful in the right circumstances.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    Chickens like to scratch and dig holes and take little dust baths, even in the shavings. With wire floor they can't scratch.

    Go with solid floors.
     
  10. bbrocksc

    bbrocksc New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2009
    thanks for all of the replies. It looks like there are many more threads about this subject here, I just didnt read them before posting. Sorry. While we are here though it looks like I should go with the solid floor. How often do I need to clean the shavings out if I dont go with the Deep Litter Method? I keep all my grass clippings so a compost pile is not a big deal. I just dont want to buy a bag of shavings every few days.
    Thanks,
    Brandon
     

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