Question about deep bed foundation, cob viability

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Pat_tato, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Pat_tato

    Pat_tato New Egg

    3
    0
    9
    Jun 7, 2017
    Hello from Georgia, USA :)

    After some research, I have decided on making a deep bed system. I want to have a foundation that has a stone or cement 8x8ft wall structure that goes 3ft above ground to contain the compost matter. It will have no floor so that more microorganisms can surface and be eaten by the chickens.

    Does anyone have any links or recommendations on how to make this deep bed foundation?

    This is how I imagine doing it (I have no prior construction experience):
    - Create an 8x8 concrete footing that is 1ft underground
    - Stack solid cinderblocks reinforced by concrete until it is 1 meter above ground.
    - make a gravel drainage system covered by landscaping paper around the perimeter with perforated pvc at the bottom that slopes down 1 inch per 4 feet.

    Once I have this established, I want to experiment with cob to create the rest of the structure. When making the ventilation, should I install a chicken wire window on each wall that has adjustable flaps? Or should I just have one wall entirely open with chicken wire that I can cover up with plywood when very cold? Or should I scrap the cob idea altogether and just use wood?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

    3,114
    776
    276
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Making such a structure as you describe seems labor intensive. Not to mention slightly costly. Are you sure you need such a structure for your experimentation purposes??? My suggestion to you is to start with something small. See how the composting works and can you tolerate the odors generated. Don't expect it too feed your flock. Yes, your chickens will scratch thru it and will find some insects, but they only scratch not very deep. Try an open ground compost pile and let nature maintain it. Rain water or added hose water will keep decomposition going. The runoff from underneath will provide nutrition to nearby plants whatever they are. Open air composts will vent naturally (continuously) and the smell are tolerable. I do not know all your needs and reasons, so if you provide some more info/ideas/reasons you may get additional opinions.
    :welcome and WISHING YOU BEST
     
    Pat_tato likes this.
  3. Pat_tato

    Pat_tato New Egg

    3
    0
    9
    Jun 7, 2017
    Hello and thanks for the warm welcomes :)

    You're right, I need to start smaller.
    I've scrapped the cob idea all together. A little too far fetched. Plus I learned that you can't water the inside of cob structures to clean them out.

    The reason why I want the 1 meter tall cement/stone structure is because I figured it would be able to hold the compost over a longer period of time without degrading. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't a wooden structure decay over many years if it is holding in a lot of compost? We plan on keeping this coop for generations, so I want it to last as long possible. Though 1 meter is probably too much, I could bring it down to like 70 cm.

    Since this is the first time i'll be making a foundation, I'm not sure how much work is necessary to put into it, so I'm sure my plan is a little overboard. Are the footers and the drainage system not necessary?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,004
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Depends on the site and your climate.
    Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.
    OK, scrolling back I see you are in Georgia USA, your use of metric measurements made me think you were not in the US.
    So frost heave is probably not an issue for depth of footers..but they could be a nice digging predator deterrent.

    Yes, concrete would hold up better for composting litter than wood would.

    There's no reason to wet clean a coop IMO, so cob walls could work...but in your climate I'm not sure it would allow for adequate ventilation-just harder to add windows and vents openings.... or any other modifications.

    My best advice? Plan long and keep flexibility, modification/additions in mind.
    8x8 is great for 10-12 birds....but if you like it, you'll want more and need more space to integrate new birds.

    Just some thoughts.
    Best of cLuck!
    Oh, and, Welcome to BYC!
     
    Pat_tato likes this.
  5. Pat_tato

    Pat_tato New Egg

    3
    0
    9
    Jun 7, 2017
    Thank you very much for the tips aart! Do you think that I should build some sort of water drainage system within the foundation? Or is that unnecessary?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,004
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Depends on the topography and how water flows on your site, and maybe where the water table is.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by