Suggestions for housing and bedding

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by akhadley, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. akhadley

    akhadley Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2014
    My boss is going to give me a homemade chicken tractor that will act as the girls' coop as well. I have not seen it yet but imagine I will have to make a few changes to make it more comfortable as a permanent spot.

    My concern though is the bedding and the shavings in the outdoor, yet covered, "hang out" areas... I live on Guam and it is very humid. We don't have four seasons but rather a dry season (very hot) and a wet season (lots of rain).

    Would the deep litter method work for this type of an environment? They will have a lot of air flow and I will probably attach some tarp here and there so they can be outside of the coop area even if it is raining. Would I just want to go out there and rake the shavings around everyday to make sure nothing starts to get soaked? Or just apply a new layer on top to get it dry for the girls again? Something else?

    If deep litter doesn't seem like the best choice, what should I consider doing instead? I only have 3 chickens and the tractor is 8' x 4' so I don't imagine the maintenance will be too major as they won't be producing too much waste (I hope) on a daily basis.

    Any and all suggestions please :) I am very much a "new egg" at this.
     
  2. akhadley

    akhadley Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2014
    And if they are going to be outside on the grass... do they need shavings? How much should I initially put down? etc... etc.. etc...
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you are moving the tractor around you won't want to put shavings on the ground. Don't put shavings on the ground where they will get wet (I have tried this- it turns into something awful and smelly).

    They can be on plain soil if you are moving the tractor around (or grass) and will scratch it up for you. They will eat all the grass and then you can move the tractor to the next spot.

    Shavings or sand is good for the coop (where they sleep) and you can scoop the poo out if it is sand with a kitty litter scoop. If the tractor doesn't have a place for them that is enclosed, you may wish to build onto it and make them a ventilated coop within the tractor to protect them from predators.

    They need a lot of ventilation up high but not right on them (no wind on them while they are sleeping). So vents up high would be good. Use 1/2 inch hardware cloth for predator protection from rats, weasels, and other predators that kill chickens. Apron out the hardware cloth to help protect against diggers. (Hardware cloth apron.)

    Enjoy your chickens!
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  5. akhadley

    akhadley Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2014
    What if the tractor will not be moved? I live in a fourplex with a very small "yard" so I was hoping to keep the tractor stationary (if I do ever move it, it will be very limited.
     
  6. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say pine shavings would be good for inside the coop but not on the ground. As stated above if you are going to be moving the tractor around then plain grass is fine for covering.
     
  7. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your not going to move it I still wouldnt put down pine shavings due to the fact of it getting wet. Really I wouldnt put anything unless you want to clean and change it often.
     
  8. mallege

    mallege Out Of The Brooder

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    Eagle, Idaho
    It's been a while, but I seem to remember a lot of rocky volcanic soil and also red clay in in some parts. For the run portion I wonder if sand would work if you are keeping the tractor in the same area or rotating it between the same areas. I would consider leaning toward the sand if you are eventually planning to build a permanent coop/run.
    I wonder what the local Chamorros are using for bedding (coconut husks? palm fronds)? I would think that pine shavings would be shipping with the shipping. Looks like there are a few member from Guam on BYC - Maybe start a Guam Thread?
     

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