Help me decide please

Wise Woman

Crowing
Apr 12, 2011
875
724
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My Cottage
Over the course of the next year or so, we will be working on building a new coop and run, which will be our last coop and run. I have had 4 coops over the years and I cannot seem to decide what type of flooring situation is best for the new coop now that I have some health limitations.

1. Our first coop was a poured cement floor covered in pine shavings. We would clean them out every couple of months or so and put them in the run. The chickens seemed to love this. I was able to scrub and hose out this coop due to the cement floor and painted walls. The problem here was that we only had a small chicken door into the run and had to load the shavings into a wheel barrow and then go around into the run to dump them. Not a hugh issue, but if you are physically limited it would be.

2. Coop number two was on a rented property we had and was a lean to type coop with a dirt floor. Since this was not our property, we could not add any cement so we just filled it with pine shavings and again would clean them out and put them into the run. Landlord did not want us to paint the inside of the coop so this coop never felt very clean to me even though I would hose it out. I also had mud splash up onto the walls from the dirt floor when I would attempt to clean it out.

3. Coop number three was literally thrown together by my husband in a weekend because the above rented property got sold and we were not informed until the last minute and had about a week to get the animals moved. He laid down 1' x 1' cement pavers for flooring. Again, we piled in the pine shavings and and cleaned it out periodically and put them into the run. This coop was in the run and but the door was very narrow and it was difficult to maneuver a shovel around in there.

4. Our current coop. I researched on here until my eyes bled. Our current coop is a very well built shed that has a wooden floor and is built up off the ground a little bit. We blocked the chickens access to under the shed. We painted the wooden floor with a roofing material recommended on here and put down about 4" of sand. We then installed poop boards under the roost by using dog crate liners filled with Sweet PDZ. This all looks lovely, but it needs cleaned out constantly and at first it wasn't bad, but now I get nauseous just thinking about cleaning those poop boards. Plus the sand is now full of pine shavings from the next boxes, oyster shell knocked out of the container and sun flower seeds strewn about. Plus they still are pooping on the floor anyway so now I have a 6' by 10' litter box to clean out as well. I think I made a mistake on this one.

So we are now embarking on coop number 5. It needs to be extremely easy for me to maintain as I am dealing with an infection that causes fibromyalgia and arthritis type symptoms. On good days, I can do physical things, but on bad days I cannot. So now I am stuck on how to do my coop floor. I do not think I want to repeat the sand/poop board thing as it is just too much to maintain and I find it extremely unpleasant to look at all that poop each day.

The perimeter of the coop will be cinder blocks, so I can put down hardware cloth and then pine shavings and do a deep litter thing. Or I have stall mats and could put those down over the hardware cloth. Or I can have the coop raised up off the ground with a wooden floor, or I can have a cement floor poured. I am not opposed to the deep liter method, but I wonder if it works on top of cement or stall mats? In our prior coops, it just seemed to look like dirty liter and never seemed to do any composting until I put it in the run. Perhaps I didn't let it pile up enough first. I always removed it then put in the new stuff.

Also, how do you hose out your coop if it has a dirt floor? I am leaning towards the stall mat/pine shavings option, because I could still hose out the house, but I would love to hear others opinions. If you have read this far, thank you!

Cheers
 

yyz0yyz0

Songster
8 Years
May 2, 2012
616
112
184
not sure what your aversion to poop boards is but I love mine. I spend about 15-20min once a week cleaning them, it's similar to cleaning a cat box. I could also spend 5min or less every day to clean them. Mine are not just boards under the roosts, mine are shallow boxes with sweet PDZ 2inches deep in them. So it's like a sand box or litter box, just sift through to get the chunks and you're done. One thing you've left out is how many chickens you have. I have 7 so it's pretty easy to clean up after them, if you have 50 that would be a much bigger deal. Also are you just using boards under the roost or do you have something on the poop boards to catch/dry the manure?

I have deep pine chips in my coop but because of the poop boards, it's just deep dry pine chips even after two years without changing(I will be changing it this spring).

given your experience with coops and chickens, you should be the best person to decide what will work best for you given your limitations.
 

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