Raised Coop with Sand?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flspnr, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    I'm wanting to do a raised coop. I've been thinking of using sand - that's what I have in my brooder now, and it's working very well! I'm loving it.

    I'm wanting to do a raised coop with a run next to it and under it (similar to this model but to my own specifications), and I'm going to be putting a bottom on the run and using sand in the coop and the run.

    Has anyone else done this or something similar? I'd love any comments on your experience, any problems you've had, the good points, to this, etc. etc. Just, really, any thoughts at all. [​IMG]

    Also, if I made the coop part 4x4, the run extend out another 4 feet (total floor space for run at 4x8), would that be enough for 3 standards and 3 bantams? They're free ranged when I'm home to supervise, but would have the run when I'm at work.

    Thanks!!

    ETA: One more question. If I have food/water in the run, and they're closed in the coop at night, should I put food/water in there too?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  2. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    flspnr, Cute coop in photo. Do ya plan on putting yours on wheels to make it easy to move? As far as the 4' x 8' of space..that might be alittle small for 6 birds, even with three being bantys. Folks here go by 3-4 sq. ft in coop and 10 sq. ft in run. If they are only gonna be able to free range when you can keep an eye on them consider trying to go bigger. If you are in a cold/snow area you also have to realize that there may be days when they can't go out and you could have some problems with a small coop area. Good luck with yur coop.
    Erik
     
  3. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, Just realized ya in Florida...Da! Erik...so disregard the cold/snow issue. More of a heat issue, so provide plenty of ventilation.
     
  4. starina

    starina Out Of The Brooder

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    I use sand as bedding in my 6x12 raised coop and in my run. I love it. I am dreading changing to a warmer bedding for the coming cold. You're in the perfect climate to use it year round. I can't think of a single negative. I have a stainless steel mesh scoop, I believe a reptile litter scoop, from Amazon, taped to an adjustable length handle. A few minutes daily, and the coop is clean clean, and odor free.
     
  5. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
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    FireGuy56, thanks! I was thinking about making the "front" of the coop - where the chicks get into the run - out of solid wood with a door, making the back solid wood with the nesting boxes sticking out (so as to not take up any square footage inside), and then making either side of the coop out of wire (hardwire cloth is the name, I think..) so they'd have plenty of ventilation. At 4 by 4 for the actual coop, that would be 16 square feet, so I agree, it's a bit small, but would something like 4 by 6 be better? The run would have to be 4 by 8 to fit where I want it. But, they have until 2pm to free range 4-5 days a week, and all day the rest of the week, and actually they tend to spend about half that time back in the coop, lol!

    As for wheels, I'm not sure at this point. I am going to see if I can make it so they can be added later if necessary. I was thinking about making the coop detachable from the run to make it easier if we move to a new place. As long as we're here, the coop is staying put. [​IMG] Thanks for the comments and for giving me things to think about!!

    Starina, thanks for your opinions on the sand! I'm loving it on the small scale for the babies, and was hoping it worked as well with a large coop too. Did you have to worry about the weight of it on the raised coop??

    Any why do you need to change it in the winter? I know it doesn't get that cold here, but I thought in colder climates you could just put down a tarp or something and put wood shavings over it, so you didn't have to take all the sand out? That must stink if you do!! Again, thanks!!
     
  6. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 3, 2011
    In my plans to make a raised coop with wheels; it occurred to me that there
    is no way on earth I can lift all that sand and move the coop.

    There's a calculator somewhere on the 'net where you can put in the dimensions
    (volume) of sand and it will work out roughly how heavy it will all be - and that
    will increase as the air-humidity increases. Also make sure your floor rafters
    can take the weight of the sand and you inside it if appropriate.
     
  7. smeek1

    smeek1 Out Of The Brooder

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    here's my 2 cents: sand in the run, and shavings in the coop and DO use a poop board. design your roost ( a two by four on the flat side) and a 16 to 18 " board underneath. 90% of the poop in the coop is on the board, and I have access doors right in front of it. so, 30 seconds of scooping and the coop is clean. I use a cat litter scoop for the sand in the run and in about 2 min I'm done in there. I do have only 3 hens F( my run is 5 by 12) but I love my design. easy access is a must.

    My coop/run is not moveable, and it seems many folks think they are building a moveable coop only to find out it is too heavy to move. I suggest looking at LOTS of pictures on this site before commencing building. BYC rocks!
     
  8. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kevinhannan, I'm not planning on moving it unless we move to a new place, so I'm thinking that will be ok. When we do move, I planned on using that time to take all the sand out and deep clean. [​IMG] I'll look for that calculator! And thanks for the tip about the weight. I won't be in it, but that sand is heavy! I'm going to talk to my Dad before I build to make sure the coop will hold up. Thanks!!

    Smeek1, I'm not planning on moving it but once every year or two. And when I do, I'll take the sand out. Why do you prefer the shavings in the coop? I find that my chickens move them around so they are not where the poop collects, not sure why, lol, but the babies, who are on sand now don't do that, they seem to like it just fine.I do like your idea about the thing under the roost to catch the poop, I'll have to plan for that. Does it just sit on the ground under the roost? I have been looking at lots of pics here, this place is so awesome and there are so many creative people! Thanks!!
     
  9. smeek1

    smeek1 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2011
    I like shavings in the coop to add a little warmth at night. It doesn't snow here, but sometimes gets into the 30's. My coop is not insulated. If you search poop board you will see how they are set up. Mine is removable, about once a month I take it out and scrub it. I essentially have no poop in my coop. The coop is 4 by 5, about 4 feet tall (raised about 3 feet off the ground, and part of the run in underneath) that way it is waist high or so for me which is super convenient. the roost is nailed at about 2 feet off the floor of the coop, and the poop board is about 6 inches under that.
     
  10. TN_BIRD

    TN_BIRD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    My coop is similar to the raised "playhouse" coops. The whole thing is 4' x 8' and the hen house portion is raised. We have sand in the hen house & in the run. Works fine. I use a kitty litter scoop for the poop. I will level out the sand in the run with a lawn rake every once in a while just because the chickens have a way of moving the sand around. Works pretty good for us.

    I recently started laying a sheet of newspaper under their roost to catch most of their droppings. That too is working great in catching most of the droppings.

    We have 4 chickens. IMHO, the 4x8 is fine for 4 chickens, but I'd want it a little bigger if I had more birds.
     

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