I am not sure if I am doing things right.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
My coop is a two story coop. The top story is half enclosed and half chicken wire. The enclosed part has nesting boxes in it. The chicken wire part has a roost. The bottom story is enclosed all around with chicken wire. I shoveled dirt on top of the wire on the ground. Is this dirt enough or should I be lining the bottom with something? They seem to enjoy scratching around in the dirt and taking dirt baths. But I want to do the right thing.

Also, we put pine shavings in the nesting boxes. I know they are too young to lay eggs (ten weeks old) but I want them to be comfy. How often do I need to clean this out? Help! Thanks!
Hello! Trying to picture you're setup here, so is the bottom story actually a run? If it is actually a run, then the dirt over the wire is definitely good, because like you said the chickens love to scratch through dirt!
Does the top story have a roost in the enclosed area? They should have a dry, secure place to sleep out of the weather. As far as cleaning the whole coop, once a week is a good guideline, but it just depends on how "dirty" your chickens are making the coop, you may have to do it more often. The nest boxes may not have to be cleaned out very often, I only do mine once a month, but my chickens are never in there except to lay eggs, so there is never any poop in them, or anything else for that matter, except eggs. If you could post pics of your coop there are many of us here would be glad to offer tips
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I will snap a photo today and post tonight. Thanks.
When you post your picture tonight, please list your state too - as coop advice will often differ depending on whether someone is in the north, the south, desert area, etc.
Here are photos of my coop. I have since reinforced the coop with construction fabric.

My chicken coop:

Inside where the nesting boxes are. There is a piece of wood they can roost on:

A close-up of the enclosed area where the nesting boxes are:
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That's cute!
I'm glad you switched out the chicken wire with hardware cloth. Since it looks like you don't shut your pop door at night, they need that added security. It's hard to tell in those pictures, but is the roost setting right over the nest boxes?? Don't your nest boxes get pooped up over night???
If that's the case, can the roost be scooted over, or the nest boxes partially covered to prevent that?
You spoke over covering up wire w/dirt. Did you do a wire skirt, or are you saying you did a wire floor in the bottom of the coop and covered that with dirt? I was a little confused on that point.
Nice coop, love the log lap.

You know, if you cut the run floor wire loose and atached some tires on the coop end, you would be mobile and your birds could have fresh grass occationally. Narrow ATV or wheel barrow tires work great

Would suggest easily removable poop boards (cookie sheets on a shelf under the roost) since your roost is over your nest boxes. They will catch most of the poo inside the coop, it's kinda helps keep the coop cleaner longer.

If you decide to remain stationary, leave the dirt on top of the wire in the run as yes, the birds love it and need it for their baths

I clean weekly (I use sand and only raise birds during the warm seasons) but you'll figure out what works for your schedule.

If the digging predators try to get in, you might consider skirting the bottom (attach wire to the bottom board of the run and let it lay flat on the ground about 18" out) since you only have chicken wire for the floor and that will not stop them. If you go with a mobile type coop, the skirt will travel with you when you move.

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