Keeping the inside of my coop dry/clean in winter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coop-er, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are in the middle of a messy, wet, coldy, rainy, snowy, freezing winter. Everyday the weather is a disaster. Today I checked out my group in their coop and it is wet and smelly from the amount of time they have been cooped-up. They can't/won't free-range in the bad weather, I try to encourage them to go out, but the reality is that they are inside ALOT. I am frequently pulling out the wet straw and as much of this mess as possible and replacing it with dry, but feel there must be more I can do. Does anyone have any ideas for keeping the inside of my coop drier? Sawdust or something like that maybe? Thanks!
     
  2. Kristineg40

    Kristineg40 Out Of The Brooder

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    what about the deep litter method I've read about?
     
  3. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I am kind of doing that now-but not intentionally. I am constantly adding straw and turning it over- but it is still damp/wet and smelly! I am certain it is from the weather. I just need to find a drying agent or some other method. I am guessing this is not a healthy enviroment, but until the weather gets better were stuck.
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is your coop ventilated? It doesn't sound like it is ventilated properly. You are correct in assuming that is a very unhealthy environment for your birds. I prefer to use wood chip bedding rather than straw but even that will get nasty if isn't vented well
     
  5. Messipaw

    Messipaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try adding sand and sweet PDZ. I use DE as well. Wood chips work great.
     
  6. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes vents do make a difference especially with smell. I prefer the pine shavings over straw due to the fact that for me it helps keep the smell down and absorbs moisture better I think. I change it about every 2-3 weeks though and about once a week do a little clean up of chicken poop off the top. I just use a kitty litter scooper and a 5 gal bucket. Not sure what your coop floor is made of but watch letting it get to wet if its wood as I did and it rotted pretty quick so i covered it with cheap linouleum and that help and was easier to clean.
     
  7. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    +1 on the Sweet PDZ, DE, and Wood chips. I do no removal all Winter long of the bedding and just add fresh chips every few weeks or so to the floor and nest boxes. I do remove waste daily from the poop boards and dust DE and Sweet PDZ often (DE is a great for drying things out and the PDZ is great for a fresh smell!)

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  8. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes we wrapped parts of the coop in plastic last Fall but it still has ventilation, maybe not enough? Would more ventilation keep it from being so wet from the "waste"? I'm not sure more vents would be enough to dry it out. And I'm not sure what several of you are referring to when you say wood chips...like mulch? Where do you get wood chips from? Sorry, not trying to sound ignorant, just want to make sure I get the right stuff. I will try a combo of all things mentioned here, wood chips, PDZ and DE. This is an older tractor coop, the floor is wood. It just needs to last another 6-8 weeks. We are planning on building a new coop as soon as the weather lets us. Thanks to all.
     
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    enough ventilation would likely completely dry it out. open it up as much as you can without putting a direct draft on the birds, I don't know what your setup looks like but that can be hard to do with smaller coops and tractors. You don't have to worry about the birds getting cold they can handle it as long as they're dry, sounds to me like you are in an area that still gets rain this time of year so I'm guessing you don't see much of the subzero temps like we do here.

    Sounds to me like your coop is getting very wet and nasty, my parents coop was like that due to not enough ventilation and also added heat in the form of a heat lamp. In those conditions really any bedding is going to get nasty fairly fast, the sawdust may soak it up better than straw but it is only going to soak so much and then it is going to get sloppy or it will freeze in a solid brick and get sloppy in spring upon thaw. If you are able to solve the ventilation issue you may be able to get a handle on it as it can possibly evaporate out of the wood faster than it goes in. My coop stays dry but I have good airflow, also I stir up the wood chips to mix in the poop and bring the bottom shavings to the top so they can dry better.

    I use wood bedding that is bought at our Fleet Farm stores around here, I imagine Tractor Supply Company or any such store in your area or even feed mills would also carry it, it is a horse bedding comes in a paper wrapped bale, it is wood chips and shavings. You could also get the bales of bedding people use for rabbits and other small animals, but I would go with pine or some wood other than cedar
     
  10. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in Ohio so it will be plenty cold here for awhile-below zero next week. But I will add some ventilation and wood chips to dry it out as much as possible. I am trying to make sure they don't get sick. I need to get the new coop completed and I have 10 additional chicks to add when it's done so I need to do everything right so I have no casualties. Thanks again for your input-appreciated.
     

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