SANDY BOTTOM

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cyndalrash, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. DIRT

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  2. GRAVEL

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  3. SAND

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  1. cyndalrash

    cyndalrash In the Brooder

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    I WANT TO GET PEOPLES OPINION ON A SANDY BOTTOM, DIRT BOTTOM, GRAVEL BOTTOM OF THE CHICKEN COOP? WHAT DO YOU FIND BENEFICIAL AND DOES YOURS WORK FOR YOU? AND IF YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT THE BEST AND WHY YOU THINK IT IS..THANKS IN ADVANCE!
     

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  2. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    The floor of my run is dirt and I use the deep litter method on top of it.
     
  3. cyndalrash

    cyndalrash In the Brooder

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    WHAT IS THE DEEP LITER METHOD?
     
  4. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    @aart
     
  5. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    I’ll do the best I can to explain it. Pretty much you want to make your chicken run floor as much like a natural forest floor as possible that means putting in lots of untreated grass clippings, untreated weeds and grasses that you pull up, leaves, aged wood chips, to create a nice loose substrate for the chickens.
     
    cyndalrash likes this.
  6. Floor your coop with new and clean pine wood chips. Lay them on nice and deep. Then turn over the wood chips from time to time and add new chips as it seems appropriate. You can also remove & replace a percentage of these wood chips from time to time or as the need arises.

    The deep litter method is just like broilers and fryers are raised commercially. John Deere even makes a nifty machine that hooks onto the rear of a tractor and is powered by the PTO of the tractor. This machine's purpose is to aiiate, turnover, and redistribute the soiled wood chips and manure cake in commercial chicken houses so that the new crop of little chickens has a fresh (or fresher) place to eat and sleep.

    You need a dry environment in which to do this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    The most important thing about your coop floor is how dry it stays. If it stays dry practically anything will work. If it stays wet practically nothing will work. Is yours elevated or ground level? Walk-in or one of the smaller ones? How big is it and number of chickens, chicken density has an effect on how often will you be cleaning? But the main thing is how wet or dry is it.

    I stay away from gravel. Crushed gravel can have sharp edges that an scratch the chicken's feet when they scratch in it. If their feet get infected that is called Bumblefoot. Round rock like pea gravel or smooth river rocks are OK in that regard but you will probably be shoveling it out at some point. Gravel can be heavy.

    Some people use sand, especially if they are going to be out there often to scoop poop to get it out of the coop. Sand drains well as long as the water has some place to go. But if it is in a low spot so the water just stands under it then like everything else it doesn't work really well.

    I made my ground-level coop by enclosing the end of an existing shed. It drains reasonably well but rainwater runoff from the hill above it could enter. So I put about 4" of dirt in the bottom to raise the level, keep the water out, and help it drain if water does get in. It stays very dry. I put wood shavings on top of that to act as a diaper, soak up any moisture from their poop. My coop is fairly large so the chicken density isn't that high plus they spend practically all day every day outside so they don't poop inside that much during the day. I use a droppings board under the roosts and collect the nighttime poop for use in my compost pile.

    I clean the wood shavings out of my coop every three or four years. Some people clean their cops out weekly, especially the really small coops. We are all unique, what works for one does not work for another.

    I don't use the deep litter method, my coop stays too dry for that. In the deep litter method you turn the bottom of your coop (or run) into a compost pile. For that to work you need to keep it slightly damp. If it is too dry like mine the bugs that break it down have enough moisture to live and reproduce. If it is too wet the coop will stink and be unhealthy. If you can keep the moisture level right the DLM works great. You get a nice earthy smelling clean coop and great compost for your garden, landscaping beds, or to use on your lawn.

    A lot of people do other things fro coop floors, concrete, wood, linoleum, and who knows what else. There are a lot of different ways you can approach this. Good luck!
     
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  8. cyndalrash

    cyndalrash In the Brooder

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    THANK YOU SO MUCH!
     
  9. cyndalrash

    cyndalrash In the Brooder

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    THANK YOU!
     
  10. cyndalrash

    cyndalrash In the Brooder

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    THANK YOU
     

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