1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How often do you clean

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hispoptart, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. hispoptart

    hispoptart Chillin' With My Peeps

    731
    1
    121
    Apr 14, 2011
    NW Colorado
    This is the coop I have http://www.hayneedle.com/sale/warepremiumchicknlodge.cfm Where it shows the access door I have an outside nesting box attached to it. It's about 5' wide by about 2' depth on the inside part of it. I have 4 chickens in this coop. It is getting quite cold and I put in pine shavings for bedding and warmth. I clean it all out about every 2-3 days I am going through a very large bag about once every 7-10 days. It cost me about 15 dollars a bag. Am I cleaning it out to often. I worry because of all the poop in there. I don't want them to get sick. 2 of them sleep in the nesting boxes and sometimes when I clean out them, they are damp on the bottom. As the temps will get down way below 0 as low as -20 to -30. So I guess I want to know if I need to be cleaning it out so often or not. In the summer it won't be so bad as I won't put in so much bedding.

    Thanks
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    First, a bale, a compressed cube of chips is $5 at all rural supply, TSC type stores, everywhere. You are way over paying. For a coop that size, a cube should last you 6 weeks, easy. Now, the pooping in the laying boxes is a no no. They should be sleeping on the roosts.

    Either these gals are too young to have nesting boxes open to them or the positioning height of the nesting box to roost is wrong. A chicken likes to sleep up high, higher than what a nesting box should ever be. Perhaps the design of the little coop is wrong, I don't know, as the photo does not show the inside lay out.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm not sure whether deep litter method would work on a really small housing like that or not, so hopefullly someone who uses DL will give their input.

    Is there a way to manage a dropping board beneath their roost or not? If there's any way it could be done, that's the route I'd go myself, as I just love how easy it is, and bedding is rarely soiled.

    Wow! That's some pricy bedding you're buying. A large bag around here costs about $5. Because I use dropping boards, I probably go through 5-6 bags a year for walk-in coop.
     
  4. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

    205
    0
    89
    Sep 12, 2011
    Alabama
    My Coop
    I concur with teach & Fred - you are paying alot for your shavings. Regardless, I also have a small coop and dont think the DLM would work for me niether. I clean the coop 2 to 3x per week and when I clean, all I do is scrape the poo board directly under their roost and the scoop out the major globs of poo on the shavings. All that goes into a bucket that is thenvtransfered to the comp pile and then I turn thhe pine shavings still in the coop. I add shavings as needed. So far this has worked for me.

    BTW - I have 4 Doms and 1 RIR in a 4' x 4' coop. Pics on my BYC Page.

    Now the run is another story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  5. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Every 2 weeks or after we get lots of rain. This is for the silkies. The layers usually 4-6 times a year.
     
  6. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

    340
    7
    111
    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    As others suggested if you can use a droppings board that would help a great deal. We have a 8 x 12 coop with 14 chickens and every day I scrape the boards down, I maybe clean 2 poops a day out of the shaving. I can't imagine I'd use more then 6 bags of shavings for the year.
    Good Luck!
     
  7. hispoptart

    hispoptart Chillin' With My Peeps

    731
    1
    121
    Apr 14, 2011
    NW Colorado
    Thanks for all the replies, Maybe I was wrong on how much I pay for the shavings I will double check that. We live in a very small town, the closet big ranch store is about an hour away in another state. The girls have been laying for about 2 1/2 months now. The roosts that came with the coop were only about an inch wide. When the girls were young they would roost, but as they got bigger we saw that they had stop roosting and sleeping in the nesting boxes and on the floor under the roost. So we figured the roosts were to narrow for them and change them to about 2" round ceder branches. We blocked the nests for a few days and then they all just slept on the floor. The roosts are above the nesting boxes and definitely above the floor [​IMG] I am not sure a poop board will work in this small coop. Really gonna have to think about a bigger coop next year.
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I also live over an hour to any of my resources for shavings, feed mill, etc. It is part of rural life.

    Prior planning is just part of the deal. We get over to one of the larger towns perhaps once a month. We stock up on grocery items, household products, hit the Home Depot or Lowes for whatever we need there, but last but not least..... I absolutely stock up on feed, shavings, whatever I need for the hens. You know you live in the country when the 5x8 utility trailer is on your car more than it is off and your other vehicle is a pickup. [​IMG]
     
  9. hispoptart

    hispoptart Chillin' With My Peeps

    731
    1
    121
    Apr 14, 2011
    NW Colorado
    Fred's Hens :

    I also live over an hour to any of my resources for shavings, feed mill, etc. It is part of rural life.

    Prior planning is just part of the deal. We get over to one of the larger towns perhaps once a month. We stock up on grocery items, household products, hit the Home Depot or Lowes for whatever we need there, but last but not least..... I absolutely stock up on feed, shavings, whatever I need for the hens. You know you live in the country when the 5x8 utility trailer is on your car more than it is off and your other vehicle is a pickup. [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Isn't that the truth. My daughter came out from CA and can't believe how many pick-ups there are in this town. I do stock up when we go to the big city. I just was hoping to cut down on the amount of bedding we are going through.​
     
  10. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    850
    7
    111
    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    Quote:Maybe try flat roosts instead of round, like a 2x4 (layed so the wide side is up) That's what I have in my bigger coop, the smaller one came with 1x1 roosts and those girls don't seem to have an issue but I am considering swapping them out for wider roosts.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by