Making a mess in the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by apetelo, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. apetelo

    apetelo In the Brooder

    May 12, 2008
    I need some advice. I have 9 chickens in an 8x4 coop. Every day I go out to the coop they have made a huge mess of the pine shavings. Everyday, I level it back out again. I go back in the next day and there are areas that they have completely scratched down to the dirt floor and then other areas that have 2 feet of shavings! I don't get it? Is this normal? I am a new chicken mom, just since May, so I've never experience this before. I try to keep it looking fairly decent out there, but everyday they make a mess. Thank you in advance for your comments/advice!
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Very normal - they like to scratch around in the shavings. They are probably digging holes in the shavings and taking pseudo-dirt baths in them.
  3. apetelo

    apetelo In the Brooder

    May 12, 2008
    ahh, so trying to prevent this is fruitless then? The homemade waterer that I have is not hanging, so they get shavings in it everyday. I was hoping to somehow prevent this. I've somehow got to get the waterer to hang. Thank you!!
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We put our waterers on top of plastic milk crates, which seems to help keep the shavings out of the water.
  5. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    In the coop, I use guinea pig waterers. They figured it out pretty fast.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    First, just checking, you also have a larger run for the chickens, yes? (Otherwise, there's your problem).

    Yeah, they do like to scratch around. One good outlet for this is to toss stuff into their run for them to pick at -- kitchen and garden scraps, nontoxic weeds, that kind of thing.

    I put my waterers (and feeders actually) on stacks of blocks or dishes, so they are the height of the chickens' backs, and those stacks are themselves up on ~16" squares of plywood (topped with a plastic grate, but this is probably optional) that are themselves raised up on blocks. This reduces the amount of shavings that gets right around the waterer (it's mostly bare plywood) and keeps the waterer up high.

    Good luck,

  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Pat, can you show a pic of that? [​IMG] I can't visualize that.
  8. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    YUP very normal...what do is throw clean shavings in every week and let them stir it up [​IMG] works great! NO smell at all
  9. :lol:You only think you are in charge of their "house" but once you leave the premises, they arrange their "furniture" more to their liking;) And, while doing so, they are discussing the whole issue of what in the world were you thinking...[​IMG]
  10. apetelo

    apetelo In the Brooder

    May 12, 2008
    About the run, yes they have a very large run, so I don't think there is any concern there. I currently have the waterer propped up on a bunch of small pieces of wood with a plywood platform, but I really like the milk crate idea. I am going to try that. I am wondering if that might be too tall though (especially for my 13wk old pullets). Thank you all so much, this is great!

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