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Roost & droppings board question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Pineywoods Peepers, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    When we put our 4 week olds in the coop we put in a "baby roost". It's a 2X4 screwed into two 6" tall blocks. I knew they wouldn't be ready for roosts yet, so I put in the baby roost in so we'd get an indication of when they were ready. Some of the peeps are finally starting to sleep on the baby roost instead of huddling in the corner, so my husband built some real roosts in the coop yesterday. Guess where everyone slept last night? In the corner and on the baby roost. Should I take the baby roost out, or just give them more time til they start sleeping where they should? They'll be 10 weeks old tomorrow.

    What should I put in the droppings pan my husband built for me. For some reason I thought I ought to use cat litter, but when I started to pour it into the pan I stopped because it was blue and smelled like lots of chemicals. I think my peeps will eat that, and it can't possibly be good for them. What's the best thing to use in the pans?


  2. phaethona

    phaethona Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    personally I was suprised at how high my birds roosted when they were little. maybe leave the little one there until you see one of them up there(if one gets up there, the others will try too)

    not sure on the poop board ?, I don't have one but I'm considering it because it really seems like i'm cleaning out the floor way too often. I'm sure you're right about the cat litter, chickens will try to eat anything and that stuff is loaded with chemicals.
  3. kichohana

    kichohana Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Johnston County, NC
    My girls did not use the adult-size ( [​IMG] ) roost until they had nothing else to roost on. Their "baby roost" was kind of a "ladder style" - so I propped it up against their adult roost to use as a ladder to get up there. Now at 26+ weeks old, they no longer need the ladder. I just removed it one day and they manage to fly/flap/jump their way up to their roosts - and it seems their motto is "the higher the better"! [​IMG]

    As far as your droppings pit/pan... how deep is it? I don't have a pan, just a linoleum covered board that runs the length and depth of my roosts. I don't put anything on it. The poop dries in a day or two and then I go and scrape it all off easy-peasy into a bucket which goes into the compost pile. If you have some depth to your pit/pan, a thin layer of wood shavings would be great because when it gets really nasty you could dump the pan with shavings and all into a compost pile. You could also use sand or kitty litter (like you mentioned) and scoop the poop out just like cleaning a catbox. Just get an all natural clay litter without all the fru-fru "smelly good" stuff in it. Super cheap and easy - line the pan with newspapers and dump 'em daily. [​IMG]
  4. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    Well, the peeps can fly up to the top of the nest boxes and peer at me while I fill up their food bowls, and the top of the nest boxes is higher than the roosts are. So I don't think it's that they lack the ability. [​IMG]

    I may just have to build them a ladder to encourage them to get up to the roosts. And at this point I know that even though the big chickens could make it up to the top, the silkies can't fly up that high. They have trouble flapping up to my knee when I'm sitting outside in a chair.

    The pans are about 3 inches deep. I'd only planned on putting about 1.5 inches or so of kitty litter in there. I do have some contractor sand here, so I think I'll use that instead (with a good dab of DE and Sweet PDZ) and just use the kitty litter scoop to clean out the chicken poo every few days.

    Too bad we don't read the newspaper. [​IMG]
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    Might just take tucking them in once or twice and setting them up there as they doze off.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Actually this would probably work pretty quickly. I'll bet if you removed the baby roost and simply placed them up on "big bird" roost a few nights in a row after dark, they would quickly begin getting up there on their own. And I think sand is your best bet with your dropping pans. It's as easy to sift through as cat litter, and safer on them....
  7. turbo13

    turbo13 Songster

    Jun 10, 2010
    Hi.I Had To Change My Roost Today.it Is 37''high And 9 '' Wide.found They Pooped On The Roost.not Much Went To The Pan Under It.the One I Installed Today Is Just Under 4''.they Were Used To The Wider Board.they Each Fell Off The Skinny One.I Hope They Figure It Out,without Hurting Themselves.they Are 16 Months Old.oh The Roost Is 5'long.

  8. chicksbestfriend

    chicksbestfriend Songster

    Jul 12, 2010
    Maui, Hawaii
    I use the automotive oil drip pans under my roosts. I put down a layer of dried "spent" coffee grounds on the pans, the poop dries up right away, there is no smell, no scrapping, the sh-t just rolls off the pans, takes me two seconds to clean up. I empty it all into my compost bin.[​IMG]
  9. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    Woke up in a panic a little while ago because I forgot to close the pop door. I grabbed a flashlight and headed out to the coop with trepidation. When I got in I found 6 chicks perched on their new roosts. And they got up there all by themselves! I didn't put them up there tonight because I wanted to get some sand put in the pans before I encouraged them to sleep up there. But my husband did put an adorable little ladder in there for them. I'm soooo proud. [​IMG]
  10. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    chicksbestfriend, could I see a pic. of your poop-board set-up? I would love to use this method!

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