Our new coop; need ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickepoo, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. chickepoo

    chickepoo Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    34
    Jul 21, 2007
    Buffalo, MN
    We had been using an old horse stall with a dirt floor as our coop and free-ranged during the day. Lice has been a huge issue with the dirt floor and the chickens have annihilated my gardens and landscaping so we decided to build them a full time indoor/outdoor coop with supervised free-range access from time to time. We have also had a lot of predator visits, so we think we pretty much have eliminated the possibility of losing any gals when they go in at night, and made it quite difficult for any daytimers to get them.

    We would like some input as far as ideas to help make this the perfect coop. I want to put up a sandbox outside for the dirt baths. We have hanging feeders and waterers outside now but I hate the waterer because you have to disassemble it to fill it. We should have sprung for the top fill model and plan to get that soon. The covered outdoor run is south facing and has a concrete floor (it was hay storage under a lean to previously) that we pressure wash when needed. The inside coop has VCT tile on the floor that we are going to sprinkle shavings on to try to keep lice at a minimum and rodents and to help with easier cleaning. Our roosts are handrails, but I think the top one is too high right now. I want to put a ramp to the lower ones to help the old girls.

    Our biggest obstacle right now before the kids have access to the inside (we have to rustle them into the outdoor run daily which is no fun) is the door. I want to put a plexiglass "door" a few inches off the ground to keep the shavings in and let light in on crappy winter days and let heat from the south in as well. I don't know if a slider up and down or side to side would be better? Or how to best secure it from little coon hands that can open the sliding window in our cat's room on the barn. The pictures are mid construction and we still haven't completed the inside yet. About 12x16 outside and 14x12 inside for 12 guys and girls.

    Any ideas that we can get to install or implement before it becomes their permanent home would be wonderful!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,122
    42
    143
    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    A sandbox to take dust baths in is a good idea. i have one for my girls in a dry spot too. I also use sand on the floor of the coop to keep it clean and dry.....i dont have to clean it out as often now.
     
  3. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    140
    7
    128
    Sep 22, 2008
    I am not having luck with sand in the bottom of the coop. All that happens is the food, poo and water all get mixed up. Its gross.And hard to clean.
     
  4. heybarb

    heybarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    16
    111
    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    I use sand for the coop floor too, with DE mixed in. I moved the water outside. left the food inside the coop, elevated, with a tray to catch all the food that falls out of the feeder. So far it's working pretty well.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,228
    478
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Welcome to the joy of sand. You HAVE to go out there every day, with your little cat crap scooper, and sift/clean the sand. Otherwise, what you have now, is what you get. I'll stick with pine shavings, gets to looking a little rough, just dump another bag in there, done.
     
  6. heybarb

    heybarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    16
    111
    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    Just an FYI, but I do not clean my coop every day...more like once a month. The poop dries out fast in the sand, so there is very little smell.
     
  7. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,122
    42
    143
    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    Same here....i dont keep the food or water in the coop so theres no issue there for me. but I guess u gotta do whatever works best for u
     
  8. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    140
    7
    128
    Sep 22, 2008
    What do you guys have under the sand?
     
  9. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,122
    42
    143
    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    i have wood at the bottom right now....i might put a plastic liner in there next spring but im not sure
     
  10. heybarb

    heybarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    16
    111
    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    Plywood with a piece of vinyl linoleum over the top. I just bought a scrap from the local flooring place.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by