I just realized that I am doing it all wrong!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by arwmommy, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. arwmommy

    arwmommy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    The babies are 5 weeks old today, and we are going to be putting them in the coop (that still isn't done yet [​IMG] ) next week!

    We have the "Playhouse Coop" for our 6 bantams:


    I had originally planned on doing the deep litter method in the "coop", which in my mind meant the "hen house" and "the run". I just realized that most people leave the "run" area as plain dirt for scratching (and just put shavings in the hen house!) and so now I am at a loss for what to do.

    We had the coop built with welded wire on the bottom because of the tremendous amount of digging preadators we have. I know that wire is bad for their feet, but thought "no big deal" because I had planned on putting 3-4 inches of dirt on top of the wire, and then all of the pine shavings for the deep litter.

    Now I am questioning myself all over the place--- does anyone put litter in the run or am I confused????? Will this work? What about in the rainy months, will the wood chips and poop in the run get nasty and smelly (moreso than it would if it was dirt and poop??)

    Help! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    I think your plan will be just fine. If it gets nasty, just muck it out and put some more shavings in. [​IMG]
  3. chick-chick

    chick-chick Hatching

    Jun 10, 2007
    What's the size of your playhouse coop? I'm just trying to get an idea of what i'm suppose to do for my Silkies. i'm a big newbie. [​IMG]
  4. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    If it was me.. I'd put in a couple of extra inches of dirt/sand (maybe like 4-6 total) to cover the wire. If it starts getting poopy, just rake it out, and add more if needed.

    It was a great idea to cover the bottom with the wire, because that'll be a great foil for predators, and make for a super-secure run! Don't beat yourself up over it.

    BTW, LOVE LOVE your playhouse coop. It is absolutely adorable!

  5. arwmommy

    arwmommy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    FYI, this photo is not OUR coop, but the plan designers picture of the coop you can build with his plans. The playhouse coop is 4' x 8' with the "hen house" portion 4' x 2' (as pictured). We wanted the hen house to be bigger (hey, doesn't everyone get MORE chickens as time goes by???? [​IMG] ) so ours will actually be 4'x4'. I will post pictures as soon as I get it.........I promise!

    Thanks for the reassurance about the bottom of the run. I just really want them to be secure, and I really want all that dirty litter for my compost!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  6. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Yeah, I was thinking it was adorable, but would be better if it was only bigger! [​IMG]

    I do like the plans, though. Very classy choice!
  7. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    I kinda got a laugh, your post sounded soooo frantic.

    Really now, the peace of mind that comes with putting wire on the BOTTOM cant be beat, especially if your out past their bedtime.
    I wrestled with the idea, but really wanted a tractor type thing I could move (its heavy tho and getting heavier as I go). And they love digging so, I just thot I will have to lock them up every night. I just got the pen done enuff to put them in today, and the poor lil things acted like prisoners. They are usually out "helping" me and wander all over, but stay near to "check out what I am doing". I was out til twilight and worried myself sick getting home, cuz I know we have a possum living two doors away and they way I hear it, they can dig FAST!

    So really you can go either way, worry every night if your out late and dont have them locked up, or be able to leave the coop door open to the pen, and they can come and go as they please (which is a plus) and have peace of mind about the run as well. I think we all wrangle with this decision if all we have is something small. There are pluses and minuses for the birds either way.
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'd put some sand down. A lot of people use sand in their runs, since it drains well and the chickens don't get so muddy. With a roof over your run, it won't get as wet, anyway, no matter what you use.

    That's a really nice coop design, especially since you enlarged it. Your chickens are going to be really happy in there!

    If you want to spoil them even more, you can plant a gardening flat with some grass for them. You can set it in the run and let them peck away at it, until it needs to come out for a rest. [​IMG]

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