Small coop concerns

littlejohnacres

Songster
5 Years
Jan 15, 2016
93
22
107
Casstown, Ohio
Good Morning,
I have a little coop with 4 Isa's right now. My concern is my roost height. I was wondering if I could raise it and try to add a poop board? It is really cold here in Ohio and the girls are staying in most of the time so I am having a hard time trying to keep it clean. I was also wondering if I could use Sweet PDZ instead of shavings? I also have their food and water in the coop because they aren't going outside much right now. Should I try to put it outside to encourage them to go out more? There is snow on the ground now and temp have been in single digits. Thanks for any help. I am new at this :)







 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,475
20,693
907
Southeast Louisiana
Is it pretty windy? You might find they spend a lot more time outside if you set up a wind break. It was 4 degrees above zero Fahrenheit when I took this. I left the pop door open and they chose to go outside. If it had been windy they would not have been there. Putting food and water outside will encourage them to go out more but you may still find a wind break helps.

700


Those small coops can be a challenge to do much with them. Often they are vertically challenged as well as limited floor space. There are all kinds of poop boards, some you scrape off, some people use bins they can empty, some build trays that can slide out. It doesn’t really matter how much room the roosts are above the “bin”, just that you can clean it. Some people use PDZ, sand, shavings, or leave them empty or bare. I’m sure you can come up with a way to collect the poop from the roosts. If your door is big enough an easy way may be to get a plastic bin from Walmart and slip that under the roosts. Access may be limited though.
 

littlejohnacres

Songster
5 Years
Jan 15, 2016
93
22
107
Casstown, Ohio
It has been a little windy but not to bad. I have a bale of straw on one side. I might try to get more or put a tarp or plastic up. Thanks for the help. I am still figuring this out and having fun in the process.
 

lynnehd

Songster
6 Years
Jan 1, 2015
777
137
206
Vancouver, Wa.
It has been a little windy but not to bad. I have a bale of straw on one side. I might try to get more or put a tarp or plastic up. Thanks for the help. I am still figuring this out and having fun in the process.
I would definitely put a clear tarp or 6+ ml plastic over the run, on the top and 1-2 sides that get hit hardest by the weather. Block the wind, and they will be happier to go outside.

Yes you can use Sweet PDZ instead of shavings. I have a small coop, and use Stall Dry (not exactly the same, but same idea) on my coop floor. The roost is over the next boxes which are on the ground, and there's vinyl flooring on the 'poop board'. I dust the poop board with the Stall dry after scooping poop in the morning. So if you can modify your coop in this way, I think you'd be happy with it.

With protection, my chickens spend their time in the run, where their food and water is. They are only in the coop to lay eggs and sleep.

I think you can encourage them to go outside.
 
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JacksFarmNGardn

Songster
5 Years
Dec 26, 2015
299
123
151
New York
I have a relatively small coop for my 6 as well. They dont have roosts,but an upside down mini pallet. It has the beams supporting the "floor". I use pine shavings,the mess collects in there and i can just take the pallet out and clean the mess. Winter time is just not an easy time period! I also keep the food and water outside. It encourages them to come out and get some excersize. I also don't want any more of a mess inside.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,588
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Covering your run with plastic - at the very least the sides that take the most wind - is your best bet as far as encouraging them to leave the coop and exercise. The more "outside" time they get from the coop, the better off they'll be. If they are confined to the coop all the time, they can start to get, well, weird! They can start pecking feathers out of boredom, ganging up on a single chicken, fighting, egg eating......simply trying to get them out of the close quarters of the coop makes a difference there. Mine only go into the coop to lay and sleep, even when it's 20 below zero. Their run is covered, so it's dry and draft free, and they are out there long before I even get up. Sure cuts down on poop in the coop, too!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,067
581
Southern Oregon
Covering your run with plastic - at the very least the sides that take the most wind - is your best bet as far as encouraging them to leave the coop and exercise. The more "outside" time they get from the coop, the better off they'll be. If they are confined to the coop all the time, they can start to get, well, weird! They can start pecking feathers out of boredom, ganging up on a single chicken, fighting, egg eating......simply trying to get them out of the close quarters of the coop makes a difference there. Mine only go into the coop to lay and sleep, even when it's 20 below zero. Their run is covered, so it's dry and draft free, and they are out there long before I even get up. Sure cuts down on poop in the coop, too!


You know, I start to get weird(er) when I'm confined to the house with other people, too! Makes me want to peck at someone
wink.png
 

ECBW

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
812
41
133
NJ
Op, the photos convey a lot. Yes the roosts are too low. Raise them as high as you can so the birds can walk upright under them, 18" min if you have the headroom.

I would keep the food and water in the coop. They choose to stay inside for a reason.
 

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