Newbie's second post - questions on coop and run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ronteer, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. ronteer

    ronteer Hatching

    Dec 26, 2014
    I have a coop that I built from a kit. I've added on to the run and think I need to do some additional things to make the run easier to clean. I've got some ideas about that, but here are my questions:

    The roosting pole sits about 4 inches over the bedding area. I often see the chickens just standing around in the bedding, which of course has poo mixed in. Is this normal?

    Should I have shavings in the run or just let them roam around on dirt/grass?

    Is it normal for young hens who are not laying eggs yet to use the nest boxes - for hanging and also pooping?



  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Hi, and I complement you on your fantastic chicken housing. The bedding helps keep the coop easy to clean, as well as dry and easy on their feet. Leave the run natural, or add sand. Chicks love to scratch. I put my grass clippings into my run. It keeps chics busy. The 4 inch high roosting pole is not enough to interest your chicks. It is also square, so the chicks cant wrap their feet around it, grab it tight, and go to sleep. Try a branch about 1 inch or better with bark on , and put it up higher. I can almost guarantee satisfaction. Sand off any sharp knots that would possibly cause them discomfort. As for young hens jumping into nest boxes, well they are preparing to use them, its an instinct. Look at it as children playing. As to poop, it drops from chickens randomly, and chicks don't hold it like dogs can. WISHING YOU SUCCESS.
  3. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan Renaissance man

    Feb 18, 2013
    Music City, USA
    I agree that the bar should be moved higher, there is no need for it to be round. Chickens are quite happy to sit (and sleep) on a flat roost and they do not need to grip like parrots. In colder climates flat roost bars such as the wide side of a 2x4 are preferred because the chickens can sit on their feet and the breast feathers keep the toes warmer.
  4. dana0710

    dana0710 Chirping

    Mar 11, 2014
    East Texas
    I agree that you should close off your nesting boxes until laying time and raise the roosting bar. A 2x4 makes a perfect roost. Also, my pullets slept on the coop floor for a long time and didn't take much interest in the roost for sleeping until they were close to grown.

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