Maintenance Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by trippon, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. trippon

    trippon Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Cape Charles, VA
    Questions on coop/run maintenance.

    So I'm wondering what everyone uses to control smell and the like in both their coop and runs. I can not free range unfortunately we have tons of predators on our open land. And my flock is very well sized for the size run we have. In the summer the yard in the run burns off quickly and doesn't smell up so much. But right now with all the rain it's ugly. i take and remove excess weekly and the coop shavings are emptied at least twice a week if not more depending on the mess they make.

    In the horses stalls we use lime -was wondering if this would be safe for the chickens?

    Other thing is I'd like to build a laying box set so that my hens aren't laying where they sleep.

    What type of creative ideas do you guys use?
     
  2. br0nc0

    br0nc0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2017
    Slovenia
    Well I usually put in a lot of shavings (5cm layer or more). I have 5 layer hens and a roo in a 30-35 square feet coop and it lasts for 3 weeks easily without excessive smell and it's quite dry. I use some packaged horse shavings, if that makes any difference. They will turn the shavings around and it's working very well for 3 years now, and with very limited ventilation. I have a plain box on the ground and a roost for them to sleep on, in opposite sides of the coop. What size of the coop you have and how many birds are in it?
     
  3. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Maryland
    I have the same problem in my run when it rains a lot. I keep adding straw or pine shavings and it does the trick. Few things nastier than a slip and fall in a poopy run! Yuck...
     
  4. trippon

    trippon Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Cape Charles, VA
    I could never afford to cover my run in shavings. I use them for the Coop but my run yard is 200 square feet, and water doesn't drain off here as well when its cold. We are rather even with sea level and when it rains for more than a day its wet, unless the wind blows hard for a day or two. I have built up the ground in the run but when it is wet, it is just wet.

    I have a 16 sq ft coop right now, with plenty nesting room...currently have 8 hens and 1 rooster, also have 3 Phoenix chicks inside for another couple months. Once it warms up have plans drawn up to replace current coop with an 8 box coop and approx. 30 sq ft of space.
     
  5. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Maryland
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I don't cover my whole run with shavings either (it's over 3000 sq ft). Just the area around the coop and feeder/waterer where they spend a good bit of their time pooping.
    Good luck with your new coop!
     
  6. mamabird03

    mamabird03 Just Hatched

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    Jul 18, 2016
    My run and coop both have sand, its a cheaper alternative to shavings and straw because it doesnt need to be replaced often. Once a year is plenty.
    If your run isnt covered that is better, the rain washes away the poop through the sand. Mine never smells. And with the inside being sand, I treat it like a big cat litter box and scoop out the poop weekly with a large cat litter sifter and a bucket. They really only poop under the roost so this makes it very easy. Ive had the sand for about 9 months and its great. It stood up well in all the seasons and extreme weather differences we have here is Washington. Another plus is that the chickens almost always have clean feet. I felt this was a problem when the run was dirt and shavings. the poop never really left... so it was always stuck to their feet and then would get on me when I handled the chickens. Now it goes away with the rain and the sand also doubles as grit for the girls. They recycle the grit back into the sand! Ha! I never liked the huge mess that shavings and straw made. I felt like I was always tracking it everywhere and having to change it out often to keep the smell at bay.
     
  7. trippon

    trippon Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Cape Charles, VA

    That's an interesting idea! Thanks!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
  9. lauz31

    lauz31 New Egg

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    May 25, 2016
    Hi,
    We are having problems with our chickens at the minute, we have 6 in our back garden which is gravelled an they are free to roam. There is no greenery as they have eaten it all. [​IMG] Our chickens have red sore looking bum's with no feathers. I am very worried about them. They have shavings on the floor in their coop an my husband has made them a perch stand they also have 4 nesting boxes with grass/straw in. I try to depoo twice a week an change half the shavings once a week. We think water is getting in when it rains so we are going to paint the inside of the coop with protective paint. It is winter here so scrubbing the coop is not an option as it won't dry. Does anyone have any ideas where we're going wrong? or any advice on how to fix the problems? Some of my chickens have stopped laying I think this I due to them being unhappy [​IMG] they didn't stop laying last year.
    Thanks guys XxX
     
  10. trippon

    trippon Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Cape Charles, VA


    Is it possible that they are "picking". Sometimes they will pick or peck each other's feather's
     

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