Hay for coop floor and morning Giant poop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 3dogcp, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. 3dogcp

    3dogcp Out Of The Brooder

    May 1, 2013
    Nobody seems to mention using hay in their coops. I have been using it and seems to work fine. Also my chickens hardly ever poop inside the coop except on the poop board under the roost. I noticed as soon as they get let out in the morning they all do a Giant poop. Could they possibly be holding it until they get outside? Could they be that smart. Any one know? I've been watching and they are off the roost when I get out there and walking around in the coop, but rarely poop until they get outside. I'm really amazed. There coop has been clean, except for a very few small poops for over a month.
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I usually heavy clean my coop every October. This year I will post pone it for a while. My litter is quite clean for the most part. I have noticed the same think now that you have mentioned it.

    Could it be they are getting smarter??
    My hens will be 4years old soon so anything is possible.

    They have been using the poop boards more and my wood pellets (that has now changed to sawdust) is being used for dust baths.

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site)..

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.

    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to the pellets from time to time.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night. My 2x4 roost are in cups for easy removal for cleaning. I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    Easy peasy!.

    Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.




    I house an assortment of birds in this baby barn (¼ inch veneer plywood between birds and elements) no heat no light no problems.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    The only important difference that I see between hay and straw is the seeds that normally come with hay. The chickens will eat most of the seeds as well as anything that sprouts.

  4. Kernel Cluck

    Kernel Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you used hay through a winter or spring? I wonder if there is molding or rotting issues? Hay has such a nice smell it would be nice to try.
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: Let it get wet, and mat down for a week or so and you'll change your mind about that.
    It will quickly become a slimy, stinky mess
  6. Kernel Cluck

    Kernel Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's kind of what I thought but I was curious. Last year before I changed to sand, in the spring my straw was a nasty, soupy, stinky mess. But I thought hay might be different.
  7. 3dogcp

    3dogcp Out Of The Brooder

    May 1, 2013
    We'll see how it goes. I pick out any poop every day, usually only 1 or 2, and stir it up with a small rake. Hasn't gotten wet at all. It does smell nice.
  8. Kernel Cluck

    Kernel Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good luck to you. I think the key it keeping water away from the coop. Last year the snow and rain would drip right off the back of the coop and the ground slopped towards the coop so I had water problems in the spring. This year I put up a rain gutter with a down spout. Winter was actually OK, it was mostly spring. I would love to hear how it goes.
  9. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2013
    Monticello, MN
    This is so funny! I noticed the giant poo deal that you're taking about after I changed out the litter. Changed out the litter after putting up poop boards. The girls poo almost exclusively on the board. I have scooped a total of 3 poos out of the shavings in a month and a half. But I did notice that the girls are dropping GIANT poos in the run in the morning. I'm just happy that they wait until they're outside to do it. Like Hokum, I thought our girls were just super polite and well trained.
  10. 3dogcp

    3dogcp Out Of The Brooder

    May 1, 2013
    Hi Jen, I enjoyed reading your web site. I have 4 chickens too, plus 2 Silkies that are in a different coop. Also have 4 Guinea hens in a coop right next to the chicken coop. Glad to see you noticed the big poop thing. Maybe they are smarter then people give them credit for. My Guineas help with predators. They make such a racket when anything strange comes around, that I usually hear them.

    This is my Silkie, Bess, She is the cutest think. I highly recommend getting a couple of these. She is so friendly, comes right in the house for treats and lays the cutes little eggs. It's like she has fur instead of feathers.

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