Reviving an old coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SadiJane, May 22, 2016.

  1. SadiJane

    SadiJane Just Hatched

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    Hi guys,
    I have already posted in another thread but figured I would post here too. I have a coop that hasn't been used in years but as I cleaned it out I became concerned because of recent pigeon habitation. They really trashed the joint and I had to remove a lot of dead ones. I have it raked out and down to just the original dirt but I want to know if anything else can be done to get rid of whatever nastiness may have gotten into the soil. Suggestions?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Wild pigeons?
    How long ago?
    Mites could be a concern...but you can't really 'sanitize' soil.
     
  3. SadiJane

    SadiJane Just Hatched

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    Yeah they were just wild pigeons but they were dropping dead at an alarming rate
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Dropping dead??? Some disease that you don't want? Talk to your DNR and maybe your state veterinary lab about it before using it again. I would want at least a list of possible issues here, and to be sure that my birds and MYSELF aren't at risk. Mary
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yikes!
    Yes, that could be a serious concern.

    Good suggestion.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently had a conversation with a hatchery owner and the poultry industry in general is keenly aware of and gravely concerned about avian flu. Bird flu in all it's many forms. Wild birds can be carriers. If you have dead birds of any type in your coop, best to find out why before you populate it with your birds.

    It could be something as simple as someone putting out a poison to kill them......and it did......to something as serious as bird flu. Again, unless you want to risk loosing your flock, best to find out what is going on before you put them inside that coop.

    And also try to find out how pigeons were getting in and do the "tighten up"!
     
  7. SadiJane

    SadiJane Just Hatched

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    Update: I found out what was killing them! The coop itself has not been used in well over 10 years and has received the usual amount of traffic due to the fact it had plenty of nesting space and was left wide open (not by my own doing, I live with and support my elderly grandparents who didn't mind letting in the local wildlife.) However, in the last three years we have had an overwhelming population increase in pigeons. We had never dealt with them before and they effectively drove away all of our desert songbirds and doves. What I discovered when I started re-doing the entire coop was that these pigeons are actually rather stupid and unhygienic compared to our native birds. I found some of the rat poison packs we use, which my grandparents have been using for several years and never had a problem before, opened and consumed by the pigeons. They also proceeded to create nests and live on top of the dead ones and were overtaken by ants and the general nastiness of living on a corpse. Once I de-cluttered and cleaned out the entire run down to its bones, I sprayed with one part bleach/ one part water as suggested all over the entire enclosure and replaced the dug out ground (I went about a foot deep) with new soil, and will put bedding in when I introduce my flock. I'm letting it sit for a few weeks while I redesign the space and let my chicks grow more. This should also show me if I have any holes that need to be patched up and give my chickens time to acclimate to the outdoors in general as it just became nice enough here to keep them outdoors in a smaller cage day and night. Will update again as things go along, thanks for all the feedback, this site is a wealth of information.
    X,
    Sadi
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The cause being a poison sounds entirely possible. Hopefully, all will go well with the old place. Sounds like you are working hard to revive it.

    On putting the small birds........outside........in a cage. Make sure they have some shade to retreat to if it is a warm sunny day. And lots of fresh water available at all times.

    Did you say you plan to leave them in this small cage at night as well? Will the cage protect them from weather and predators?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Great news and update!!
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Good for you! I would be careful about the 'small cage outside' because there may be safety issues. Raccoons can reach through bars and tear birds apart! About the coop; any openings larger than 1/2" diameter need to be covered in hardware cloth, ventilation may need to be improved, and door latches secure, again from those rotten coons. Pictures will help here. Mary
     

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