New here-need advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by alan8, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. alan8

    alan8 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 7, 2007
    OK, here we go. I've never raised or owned chickens but I will soon. I understand that I need to prepare first. That's why I started here on this forum. I have a 12' X 12' old storage house I built years ago in the corner of my 3 acre rural place. I want to use it for a coop but I have lots of questions. The floor is the only part that needs repair. It's rotton. Should I put a new floor in and clean the droppings out occasionally or do you have a better idea for the floor? The floor is about 1.5 feet off the ground, built on concrete blocks.
    After I get the coop finished, I'll begin to built a large pen/run around the shed. I'll get to that later. I hope this forum is friendly, patient and helpful. Thanks. Maybe you folks would help me create the perfect chicken home!? What do you think?
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Hi Alan...and welcome to the BYC family. You will find there are MANY helpfull, patient, and very knowledgeable people here.
    As for the floor...I would replace it with wood...and then put shaveings or straw down. Mucking it out is not too hard...I really enjoy the time I spend in there makeing it all clean. It really depends on how many chickens you have in there as to how often you will need to clean it out. 12 x 12 is a NICE size for many many chickens!! Standard size chickens need 4 sq ft per bird. If your coop is 12x12....thats 144 sq ft....so you can have 36 chickens! Woohoo! If you are not wanting that many, maybe divide the coop, and use part for storage of feed and bedding.
    What breeds are you looking into getting? Oh, and we of course LOVE pics!
     
  3. alex

    alex Chillin' With My Peeps

    558
    0
    159
    Jul 1, 2007
    All the people are really friendly here and i hope someone comes around to helping you on that. And, welcome to BYC!. . .i would make a new floor and clean out the droppings once 3 weeks if its big enough. . .if the coop is really small, there would require every one week. . .thats what i would do...:pGOOD LUCK:p
     
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    Welcome. [​IMG] I'm sure you will find this forum friendly and informative.

    I like to use the deep litter method (DLM) which is piling up pine shavings and stirring them every few days. I also have linoleum on my floor, which some people don't recommend as it can be slippery, but since I use the dlm it's not an issue and makes for cleaning oh so easy.

    I would also recommend blocking off access to underneath the coop. My coop is about that height off the ground and I can't tell you the amount of rotten eggs that have burst under it from naughty hens who don't lay in the nest box. I keep saying I am going to block it off...but I have many other projects that keep that one on hold.

    Ps I wanted to add... I also add DE in my shavings, helps keep the mites away.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2007
  5. alex

    alex Chillin' With My Peeps

    558
    0
    159
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oh, and we of course LOVE pics!

    YES WE DO>>>haha​
     
  6. alan8

    alan8 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 7, 2007
    Wow, that was fast! Thanks. I'll start by putting in a plywood floor and blocking off the crawl space underneath. Will pine straw work as a cover over the floor? Then I could just use a pitchfork and remove it when it gets messy. I have lots of pine straw available. I don't have access to wood chips but if pine straw doesn't do well, how about sawdust. I can get tons of that from my friend's cabinet shop. What's best?
    The idea about using part of the shed for storing feed is great. I don't think I need that many chickens. I hope to eventually have fresh eggs for my wife and me. We use about a dozen a week but if I get more, I have children with families to give them to. I'm thinking - maybe a dozen chickens?
     
  7. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

    990
    4
    151
    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    Not sure about the pine straw but heck. try it and see. Most here use pine wood shavings.

    plenty of room for dozen chickens!

    sawdust might work but will be dusty gofigure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2007
  8. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    5,928
    46
    293
    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    If you can get ahold of a cheap piece of linoleum to put over the wood it will last much longer and be even easier to clean.
     
  9. alan8

    alan8 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 7, 2007
    kstaven, good idea. I've been thinking about that. Maybe even tack it up the sides a few inches. I could probably then use a water hose to wash it out the door. The door is 4 ft. wide.
    I guess I'll just try pine straw and saw dust and see which one is best. I'm thinking the saw dust would be much better and easier to handle.
    I'll do my best to post some photos of the shed and the area before I start and then update as I go. Is there a place here to get instructions on how to post a photo?
     
  10. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Alan,

    I wouldn't think you'd want anymore than 12 hens in a 12x12 ft. coop. They'll each need about 4 square feet each, plus room for three nests, and water/feed containers. This will give you plenty of eggs for yourselves, with lots left over for others. I'm sure the families will appreciate your generosity! [​IMG]
    I'm not sure the sawdust would be the best for your chickens. The dust may bother them as it gets kicked up in the coop. I would suggest the pine shavings instead. This is just one of those things that you'll need to adjust until you get it right for the way you take care of your flock.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by