New chicken owner and coop question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JPHJPH, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. JPHJPH

    JPHJPH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    NE Ohio
    Hello! My name is Jeremy and I live in N E Ohio and I recently built a coop 3'x4' with upper shelf for egg laying. The outdoor pen 'run' is 13' long 4' wide 4' tall... All enclosed top bottom sides with first welded wire fence then with chicken wire.

    I just got my chickens, 5 of them and realize I need a way to clean the run. The issue is I won't be able to clean within and under the Chicken wire And welded wire floor!

    Can I put down plastic sheet? Or hay or what? It rains and snows often... I need to figure this out ASAP !

    Please help

    Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. basementgal

    basementgal New Egg

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    May 31, 2013
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    Sorry, I can't help you but have wondered about that myself. Thinking that this stuff gets easier once everything is in place. Originally had a run made out of chicken wire and pvc pipe. What a mess inside. Poop, dead grass, spilled food!!! Do people rake their runs? What is everyone doing to keep their run clean?

    I ended up putting up a wimpy 30' x 10' run. But, now they have the run of my daughter's alpaca fields.

    I think some have wood chips down but, not sure how they clean it up.

    Good luck! I'm new at this too.
     
  3. chynasparks

    chynasparks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Texas
    I'm using sand in my run. I have an enclosure with 2 levels. Coop above 3x4 and the lower (whole pen) is 4x8x6. I scoop like a cat box. Is yours movable like a chicken tractor? As long as I scoop regularly I shouldn't have to replace the sand but once or twice a year. I learned about and added sweet PDZ to the sand in the run and poop board in nest box. No odor!!!!! If yours is basically non movable then this might be durable for you. Keep in mind I'm no expert. But my coop is on concrete with 3" layer of washed sand and I recently mixed PDZ and all is well. Anyone can walk up to coop and not get their olfactory offended. Is mine the right way ?? Who knows, it's working for me. Goid luck
     
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Ditto on the sand. Best upgrade I made to my run. Stays much drier, no mud, and you can easily rake it clean. My run is 15x15, and I brought in 2 yards of sand to get a 4 inch deep bed. As an added bouns, you don't need any grit for them to use for digestion. Don't get the fine sand, get the rough, course sand. It drains better and is easier to clean.
     
  5. JPHJPH

    JPHJPH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    NE Ohio

    Thanks for the help. How many chickens do you have in there? My coop is not moveable. Since I have welded wire and chicken wire on the ground also I'm just not sure how it would clean up ya know? Unless I boarded the whole thing with wood and made a sand box
     
  6. Mrs Rebecca

    Mrs Rebecca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2013
    Northwest Missouri
    I have a small coop and run, similar to your set up, except my run floor doesn't have the wire. I also use a few inches of sand and rake it out every now and then. I also use the sand in my coop and rake it out twice a week. I use a kitty litter rake for the coop and the run, but I also (a little awkwardly) use a garden rake to rake the corners that are hard for me to reach. I could probably switch to a child size rake, but for now using what I already have on hand is working well enough.
     
  7. mnchickenfamily

    mnchickenfamily New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2012
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    I live in Minnesota, and here's what I did for the winter:
    The coop was open to the ground so they could scratch the ground directly. I covered the run in plastic to keep the bedding dry, but left some small ventilation holes in the top to keep down humidity. I put several inches of wood shavings in the run. If you do this, you may be able to go quite a while between cleanings. I went all winter with my 5X11 run without having to clean it until spring. But keeping the run and bedding dry is the key or you'll have a wet smelly mess on your hands.
     
  8. JPHJPH

    JPHJPH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    NE Ohio

    Thanks , a roof and sand seems to be the best option... Do you think I should put plywood sheets on the wire floor then sand on that?
     
  9. JPHJPH

    JPHJPH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    NE Ohio

    I appreciate your incite. In your opinion should I put down ply wood then sand on that ... And I'll make a roof this weekend
     
  10. chynasparks

    chynasparks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Texas
    I have 4 chickens going on 13 weeks old. I have a coop my husband built. As I said earlier, 4x8x6. I can go inside and scoop the floor sand area. I don't consider it "work" because I get to touch and visit my perps at the same time. Every time I go in I take a stool and my pooper scooper and rake. I'm going to have to learn about composting but for now it all goes to the trash. People may gasp but people put pet waste and human waste in the trash so..... But I will learn composting. In the roost area, my hubby built a poop caddy. 3inch lip all around and the raised roost. I can slide it right put the access door for cleaning. It's got sand and PDZ in it. My coop doesn't smell!! Yeah. I will be making a run tractor to get them out on grass in the near future. Scooping, raking on a regular basis doesn't have to take that long, that's why I like sand (for my situation).
     

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