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New Here - Coop and Run Advice Appreciated - Can a protected plywood board work as a coop frame floo

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by calvertcounty, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. calvertcounty

    calvertcounty In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2016
    Hi All,

    I'm new to BYC and to raising chickens (I have raised ducks before and done some work on a farm that had laying hens and broilers) and was hoping to get some advice.

    I'm planning on having separate caged in coop and run areas for 4 chickens. Both the coop area and run area would be simple structures using ptl and hardware cloth. We have plenty of predators in the rural area we live in and I don't trust the simple pre-fab coop I'll be using initially to protect the chickens from foxes, raccoons and hawks. The plan is to take the chickens out of the coop area in the morning and put them in the enclosed run area until dusk when I'd bring them back in for the night. The outdoor run will be 4'x8' and I plan to be able to move it around our yard every couple weeks so they get some new territory to peck at and so they help us fertilize the backyard! I've been lurking on BYC for a while and think I have this part somewhat figured out as the hardware cloth enclosure and a 2' apron should be sufficient to keep them safe (though if anyone has other recs, I'm all ears!).

    The area for the coop is the part I have questions on. We have a large raised deck in our back yard above a ground level area that has loose stone for the flooring. There's a door that leads directly from the garage through the back to this sub-deck area. My current plan is to put a 4x8 frame enclosed with hardware cloth around the pre-fab coop I bought (http://www.hayneedle.com/product/boomerandgeorgetreetopschickencoop1.cfm). I realize this sounds like overkill but my wife insists her chicken babies be inside fort knox.

    I'm planning on putting the coop on a painted and waterproof stain treated plywood board. I've already put down the edging, the paver sand and have the board laid down. All of it fits fine and the board is stable enough on the sand. However, I'm still unsure whether I can just put the coop and enclosure directly on the board. Usually, even though the board is painted and waterproofed, I would be hesitant to use it as a flooring because I'd be worried about cracking and rotting (this isn't marine grade plywood or anything high quality either). However, because the board flooring is already somewhat protected from water and extreme temperature fluctuation because it's under the deck and because the area is gently sloped I'm wondering whether I'll need to add something like pavers for the flooring. The coop will also probably protect the flooring from the water somewhat and I can also lay on some roofing on the coop enclosure to funnel water away from the board (though I wasn't planning on it) but I'm still worried that the board might deteriorate pretty quickly. As long as the board lasts for a couple years I'd be happy since eventually I'll put together my own new coop and probably flooring, but I'd appreciate feedback on this. Should I wait and see on this or should I just go ahead and add pavers or another layer of roofing?

    The idea behind this configuration was that it would protect the chickens from anything trying to dig underneath at night and that it would be an inexpensive option (I had a 4x8 board lying around). At the end of the day though, I'm willing to shell out a little extra money if the others think this isn't a good idea.

    Thanks for putting up with the long post! I figured I'd try to be as detailed as possible and appreciate any advice.

  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Songster

    Sep 30, 2015
    Sounds good to me, you can put linoleum on the floor to protect it from moisture, and remember to make sure there is enough room inside and outside the coop, 4 sq. ft. min in the coop and 10 sq. ft for the run
    1 person likes this.
  3. calvertcounty

    calvertcounty In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2016
    Thanks for the quick response - it looks like I'll definitely have to add an extension to the coop. The area surrounding the coop will be 32 square feet as will be the backyard run. The only thing I'm worried about with linoleum is whether it'll be too slippery if some rain gets on it.
  4. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Honestly? This sheet of plywood is essentially going to be laying on the "ground", which means that the underside is going to probably be moist-ish minimally. It will also have chickens on top of it with their droppings and their waterer, so moist on top too. I just don't think it is going to last a few years even with your treatments. If it were marine-grade, I'd be more confident in it.

    What you might consider, since you already have the sand down, is covering the bottom of the coop run with hardware cloth. You could then pour a little more sand inside the run to cover up the wire. Any droppings could be scooped out daily with a kitty litter scoop.

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