Size for poop board

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PetesChicks, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. PetesChicks

    PetesChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm working on my new coop this weekend. It is a 10x16 shed, and they have a 10x10 space in it, with 10x5 separated from them with a chicken wire wall so I have room for supplies. I was wondering how big my poop board should be? I have 4 chickens, but I'm planning on making the poop board 8' long - I've been here long enough to learn about chicken math, and know there is a good chance of us getting more next spring. But how big should it be front to back? I'm planning on using a piece of plywood with sand & PDZ.

    Also, how high should it be? I have 2 Silkies, a Black Australorp, and what I think is a Welsummer. In the small coop I have now, the poop board is about 18" off the floor, and they hop onto that & up on the roost. One of my Silkies roosts every night, and one of them will sometimes sleep in the shavings in a corner. In the new coop, I will have room to give them a ramp to walk up to the

    Also, what else should I have in their coop? I'm assuming that they will be spending most of the winter inside, I know my neighbor's chickens don't like the snow. I'm planning on keeping their food & water inside for the winter, but should they have anything else? Stuff to keep them occupied & entertained?

    Thank you.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Eighteen inches is a bit too narrow to catch all the poop if the chickens are facing two directions. You can't trust they'll all face the same way and therefore be sure of hitting the board. Twenty-four inches wide is perfect as long as the roosting perch is a foot away from the wall.
     
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  3. PetesChicks

    PetesChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. The current poop board is 4' x 15" (2 1x8 boards put together). I'll be making the new one from a sheet of plywood, so I was wondering how wide I should cut it. They do usually face different directions now, when I check on them at night I never know who will be looking at me and who's backside I will be looking at.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    24 inches wide is good. My poo boards are only 6 inches below my roost which are just below shoulder height to make them easy to clean. I did the whole cat scooper thing.... but took forever with 48 chicken. You already know about the math, 3 turned into 48! [​IMG] So good that you are planning ahead. So I thought about how we did it at the zoo. And now I use a rake to get everything to one location and scoop it out with a shovel. I also use (washed river) sand and sweet PDZ.

    Do you have a covered run for your flock? I have seen many suggest if you put a little straw hay or something like that it makes them more likely to go out and enjoy the clear days.

    Also, don't know if it's true, but have heard that silkies get cold easier. [​IMG]

    And since you've been around enough to appreciate chicken math and poo boards, did you also know that good ventilation in your coop is the way to avoid frost bite?

    To occupy, you can always hang a head of broccoli for them to jump and pack at. And I highly recommend a compost scratching area, though I don't know how that will fair with cold weather. I know many use the deep litter method in their coops as a means of also adding a little warmth because stuff generates heat as it decomposes.

    Best wishes!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
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  5. PetesChicks

    PetesChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    My run is going to be about 20x16. Right now, I'm not sure how much if any will be covered to keep the snow out.

    I have a 2 gable vents that are about 18" x 8", and the window in the storage side that I will be able to leave open all winter. It is on the south side, 6' from the chicken side of the shed, and will be about 8' from the closest part of the roost. From what I've read about Wood's coops, that is far enough away that there shouldn't be a draft on them. I am planning on making the gable vents bigger, there is room there to make them about 2'x3'. Not sure when that will get done, between work & other projects I have going on.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm a big fan of sand as bedding in the coop. I just recently switched over to it from wood shavings (Masonry sand with variable size particles), and I am pleased and then some. I knew sand acted as a heat sink, absorbing heat during the warmer part of the day, retaining it, making it warmer. I got to see that really tested the last couple days when we had our first plunge into the teens. The coops were noticeably warmer when I opened them up at dawn to clean and nothing froze even though it was nineteen degrees.

    I measured my poop boards and they are twenty inches, but they aren't stationary like some poop board setups, and I need them to be of a size I can easily handle when I pull them out to clean.
     
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  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    We have tons of projects also. That sounds good for your current flock for ventilation. Average suggested was 1 square foot per bird, gable is great location.

    You won't regret covering at least a portion of your run, I promise. And your flock will be much happier, I think...
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    But....Woods coops have no vents/windows open in winter, only the open south side.
    Any other windows and vents need to be closed tight in winter or it won't buffer the wind from blowing thru the coop.
    The proportions of width and depth of coop are critical too.


    Poop boards...24" with roost centered 8" above the board(leaves room to clean under) works for me.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...raphic-gross-poop-pictures/1100#post_13179595
     
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  9. PetesChicks

    PetesChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    All I meant by mentioning the Woods coop was the distance and orientation from the open window to the birds. The coop is 10x16, and the window I will leave open is on the 10' south wall, the same side that would be open in a Woods. The chickens will be on the far side of the coop. I would be able to block the gable end vent on the north side, if needed. However, it is above the 4' loft that is on that side, probably about 8' off the floor. I will try to post some pictures later tonight, or tomorrow. Right now, I am still putting up the OSB interior walls. Poop board & roost will be next - I might need another trip to Home Depot in the morning.

    And thank you for mentioning the height of the roost from the poop board - I had totally forgotten to ask that!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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