noobie, wanting advice, and knowing that i'm asking what has been answered 1000 times yet still conf

cosmo1104

Chirping
7 Years
May 6, 2012
137
11
93
Ok, I have 6 chicks, 2 reds, 2 sex link and 2 small blackish chicks that i cant remember the name of, sorry. But, I'm going to convert a 4'x4' dog house into their coup and have already built a 10'x 4'x 4' run to attach to it. The whole system is really movable so that is nice. My question is about the flooring/substrate. I like the deep bed idea, but dont think it will work for this small of coup. BTW, I will only be keeping 3-4 of the chickens, the rest are going to a friend. So I'm thinking river sand is the way to go???? I'll be adding a nice roost with poo board filled with sweet PMX/DMX, whatever its called. I plan to keep them free ranging inside my fence as much as possible. My dogs keep any predators at bay and oddly enough, are scared to death of chickens. lol.

Thanks for your help, I like the deep bed concept, but want the least maintenance option for a small coup.
 

RonC

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
130
196
D/FW
I have a 4x4 coop and use the deep litter method. One bundle of pine shavings from TSC is perfect. It will last a couple of months without a poop board if carefully cleaning out the poop so as to not throw away anymore shavings than is necessary. With a poop board I can't say how long it would last. Course sand is another option I'm thinking of trying next time it gets cleaned. Just use a kitty litter scoop or a homemade scoop. A 4x4 coop is large enough for 3-4 birds as long as they don't have to stay in it for long periods(mild climates). I have six in mine now. Covering the run will help because they can get outside if it rains. Your run size will be marginal if they don't get to free range.
 

cosmo1104

Chirping
7 Years
May 6, 2012
137
11
93
I have a 4x4 coop and use the deep litter method. One bundle of pine shavings from TSC is perfect. It will last a couple of months without a poop board if carefully cleaning out the poop so as to not throw away anymore shavings than is necessary. With a poop board I can't say how long it would last. Course sand is another option I'm thinking of trying next time it gets cleaned. Just use a kitty litter scoop or a homemade scoop. A 4x4 coop is large enough for 3-4 birds as long as they don't have to stay in it for long periods(mild climates). I have six in mine now. Covering the run will help because they can get outside if it rains. Your run size will be marginal if they don't get to free range.
awesome, thanks, sounds like we have a similar system. Do you use DE and what depth do you start your shavings at? I plan on letting them free range. My back yard is about 1/4 acre with a 7'privacy fence.
 

RonC

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
130
196
D/FW
I have never used DE. I do understand how it works and have considered it. Use only food grade DE.

I just dump the whole package of shavings in the coop and nest boxes. TSC sells an 8 cu ft package of large flakes for about $6 and it is about 5 inches deep. I have seen the same sized package at my local feed store for $15. Oddly their feed is only about a dollar more.

My backyard is rather large also but over the course of the winter free ranging they did a number on it. I have a 4 ft fence and once one of them flew to the top of the fence and looked at her friends and jumped back down. Guess the other side wasn't greener.
 

Bens-Hens

Songster
6 Years
Jan 29, 2013
2,552
299
238
Perth, Western Australia
I have a small mobile 'grow out' tractor coop. I put a small wood floor int eh roosting area and left the rest with no floor.

We used pine shavings in the 'sleeping end' until I was confident they were using the roost, then removed the floor altogether. I moved the coop daily and just watered in the droppings.




Here is a shot without the floor fitted. I made it so it can be removed with four screws. They only needed the bedding for a week.


I guess weather is a big contributing factor, we don't get snow or extreme cold, only been getting as low at 12C last few weeks, most nights higher.
 

cosmo1104

Chirping
7 Years
May 6, 2012
137
11
93
Thanks for the help Ron! 6 chickens killed your backyard? OUCH, I can always let mine out to the side and front yard if needed, but there's neighbor dogs, although they are in an invisible fence. I'm guessing I should stick with 3-4 birds for many reasons. I think I'm gonna use some DE to help with flies/ants. My girls are starting to get their big girl feathers so I need to get this coup going soon. I think I'm going to use a few old flower pots inverted for nesting boxes;) I'm all about recycling old stuff for new uses.

Thanks again for the help, much appreciated, I may go with the shavings method, I have about 2-3 inches in their cage now for about 2 weeks and its not too bad.
 

cosmo1104

Chirping
7 Years
May 6, 2012
137
11
93
I have a small mobile 'grow out' tractor coop. I put a small wood floor int eh roosting area and left the rest with no floor.

We used pine shavings in the 'sleeping end' until I was confident they were using the roost, then removed the floor altogether. I moved the coop daily and just watered in the droppings.




Here is a shot without the floor fitted. I made it so it can be removed with four screws. They only needed the bedding for a week.


I guess weather is a big contributing factor, we don't get snow or extreme cold, only been getting as low at 12C last few weeks, most nights higher.

Nice coup, thanks for the reply, I considered tearing the floor out of mine, but the way its constructed, I may as well start from scratch at that point. I love this design though, easy, compact, easy to move, alot of room. I think i'll have to really consider something like this next year.
 

RonC

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
130
196
D/FW
I live in Texas so the climate is a lot warmer in winter. We had a real mild winter this year. Climate can make a difference in how you handle your flock,especially when they are younger.
 

Bens-Hens

Songster
6 Years
Jan 29, 2013
2,552
299
238
Perth, Western Australia
With those temps I think you would need other considerations. This one suits us and local conditions. I found we needed a second coop for quarantine/grow out so I made this for when it's needed.

We just had 6 birds in there from 5 weeks to 7 weeks old (plus a week of 'day visits') We are in Autumn and the temps are very pleasant.

Good luck, look forward to seeing how you go. :D
 

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