My new coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by awebaby, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. awebaby

    awebaby New Egg

    Dec 23, 2012
    Hi - I'm pretty new to this and I have 3 chickens so far. Intending to get 3 to 5 more. I got a sweet coop that is meant to house 8 and a friend of mine put a 10 x 12 foot run around it. The coop is up on 4x4s and those are screwed into concrete piers so the coop is pretty high. Inside the coop is dry and the bottom of it is wire which is supposed to mean that the poop will drop through to the ground. However it does not seem to do that so much so I guess I need some help figuring out the best way to clean it. I had heard that this was the easiest way and all you have to do is rake it out on a regular basis and compost it.

    It's raining cats and dogs here in Sonoma County, CA and the run is in a low area. This morning I went down and there was a pool of water on the downside and another large pool of water right by the door pouring water into the coop. I dug trenches in strategic spots to make the water go in a different direction. I'm trying to figure out what the best strategy is to try and keep the run from becoming a pond. In order to get the water on the down side to drain out I had to remove lots of debri and also kind of open up a drain on the edge where I wanted it tight to keep out predators.

    Tomorrow is going to be less rainy and so I am thinking of shoring up my dirt trenches of today with something more permanent like gravel, rocks logs etc. So far the trenches are causing The flow into the run to be less than it was.

    So I have a few problems to deal with - how to keep the poop cleaned up - how to keep the food dry. (right now I have the feeder under the coop and covered so if the chicken poop falls it won't go in the food. I've been scattering sunflower seeds, cheese and other treats around for them - they don't seem to mind the mud and water as much as I do. The coop itself is nice and dry....

    If I leave the feeder out the crumble in it out it turns to mush and that's why I put it under the coop and up on a paving stone. At night I remove it and put it in an aluminum trash can secured down with bungee cords so as not to attract small predators to the coop area. The chicken wire my friend got has huge holes in it and a rat would have no problem getting in there. So we are going to start covering it over with the 1/2" stuff. The coop itself is predator proof but the run is not so far.

    If anyone has any advice to offer it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much - tomorrow I will try and post pictures to illustrate this tale.
  2. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    Fun, fun! My husband complains that there is always something to be done with the coop! We always think "what a great Idea!" when we start, then mother nature has a way of stepping and and making us feel stupid!

    We live on a hill and have had problems with water running into the run as well. For us we put up a rock "wall" to cause the water to run around the fence rather than directly into it. Same idea as your trench except we went up instead of down as our ground is hard and rocky.

    You might do a search on coop design or on each specific problem you have and get more ideas.

    Our coop is large enough that there is room on the floor for the food and we keep it inside in a trough but also put another outside in good weather.

    Ours is built directly on the ground and we use deep litter so can't help with the wire mesh problem.

    Best of luck.[​IMG]
  3. cknkids

    cknkids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2012
    Camarillo, CA
  4. awebaby

    awebaby New Egg

    Dec 23, 2012
    Thanks Puddin - I am having a bunch of fun with it all....
  5. awebaby

    awebaby New Egg

    Dec 23, 2012
    Thanks - I have already read that and I am now trying to figure out where to use sand and where to use gravel. I think I might fill in some spots that get really deep with water with sand bags so the water will spill out over the tops of the 2x4s along the bottom of the fence. Then I think I will take the trenches I dug yesterday and try to line them with gravel and rocks etc. to make them more permanent so the streams of water will be diverted around the run. Fortunately my coop is up on 4x4s and piers so it is high and dry.

    Thanks for your reply...


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