The Cabin of the Rustic Light has a...continuously wet floor! I'm at my wits' end! (Slight rant)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rustic Light, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Rustic Light

    Rustic Light New Egg

    May 2, 2015

    I joined this forum during 2015, and a lot has changed since then. My Nankin rooster Bo (Bantam) was joined by two full-sized chicks, because nobody in this area seems to raise Bantam chickens anymore, and the only place that sold them wouldn't sex them; I couldn't afford to have another rooster! ACK!

    Well, anyway, the girls, a Rhode Island Red named Pippi Kate (The slightly older one), and a Barred Rock named Lucy Locket (She is a family member's bird, but that person rarely gets out to the coop, so she's sort of my baby, too), are fairly sweet, and they're lovely, too, but...

    There is a definite difference between the habits of Bantams and full-sized chickens, with regards to the level of chicken poo that soaks through into the floor...

    Now, The Cabin of the Rustic Light (My chicken coop) looks about like this:

    There are some slightly unstable concrete block steps that lead up to a raised walkway, and, to the left of that are two identical, raised-off-of-the-ground, wooden-floored, wire-sided enclosures, with doors, which, unfortunately, swing closed violently (and which, as of yet, have no way of being anchored open). The coop was built during the mid-1990s, when I was a teenaged 4-H Poultry member, and so, there is much refurbishment that should be done, including the re-building of an entire outside wall (The orig. is still there, but it needs replacing), the installation of new shelf hooks in the hallway (So that I don't bump my head on the current ones anymore), etc.

    That having been said, the enclosures have, as I said before, wooden floors. I had several cement bricks and blocks put in, so that I could elevate the water containers properly, and ceiling hooks hold the food containers successfully.

    The current problem that is just about driving me absolutely batty is the problem of a constantly wet floor on the girls' side of the coop, and occasionally on Bo's side, too. I am currently using only straw on the floor, and, no matter what I do, I find myself contending with the same large, wet patches on the floor, day after day, so that I cannot take much more of this unnecessary, daily straw-raking, coop-cleaning nonsense! I'm using a mere rake, a broom, a dustpan, and the brush that came with the dustpan...and the dustpan is already kind of broken, because I was madly, and continually scraping at all of the dried yuck that had previously been wet, since that seemed to be the only way by which to remove some of that hardened "mud" (I can't afford to use a heavy shovel, either)! I should probably get a lightweight shovel to keep inside of the coop, but I'd also like to just solve the problem of the wet floor, anyway.

    I am thinking about switching back to wood chips...for all but maybe the nesting box, and using some of that leftover straw to make one heck of a Harvest Man for Halloween! LOL! [​IMG]

    In all seriousness, though, the wet floors concern me for a few reasons:

    1. My sanity is being eaten away at every day, and I have a medical condition that makes me tire easily in a hot chicken coop, even while I'm forcing myself to finish a cleaning job through a ton of frustration. I'm not afraid of "a little hard work," because I am willing to turn over straw, dust, sweep, and change water every day, but scraping wet poo and straw off of a floor each day is not just an average amount of hard work (Is it?), but an unnecessary step that I must be able to avoid...somehow...Right? If I'm overreacting, please tell me so, but I filled half of a majorly large trash bag with litter in just one visit, and, in my estimation, that's just not normal.

    2. Wetness leads to mold and mildew, which lead to respiratory problems in birds. Luckily, I at least let them outside for awhile, so that I can give the coop a cleaning, while they're taking their dust baths...and exploring...

    3. Those poor floors! I mean, really, who wants to re-do a perfectly good wooden floor, just because chicken poo has been soaking through, day after day, for months, or a year? I don't want it to come to that!

    I recently realized that you're supposed to be turning the floor covering material over each day, and adding new on top, so that you really only have to empty the coop out completely once a year, and I also recently learned that it's not a good idea to shove poopy chicken litter out underneath a tree's branches (OOPS! Too late...My bad!), as the ends of those branches mark the ends of the tree's roots, which might suffer if they're effected by chicken litter (I began to remedy that problem by just putting the dirty litter into a huge trash bag, but the bag filled up quickly, due to my having to keep maintaining the bedding after each daily floor-soaking episode!), but I'm curious to know if there's anything else that I should do in order to end this nightmare!

    Thank you in advance for your suggestions, 'cause I'm just about at my wits' end with the continual wet spots!
    Bye for Now,
    Rustic Light, A.K.A. The Frazzled Chicken Farmer!
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    If your problem is caused by having water in the coop, then move it outside - this is perfectly fine assuming that you can assure that you let your flock out at first light every day. I use dried grass clippings and leaves in my coop and i have never had an issue with moisture / wetness in the coop. Both my feeders and watering stations are outside. Horizontal nipple waterers may ease your problem, assuming that is the source of the problem.

  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There is a lot I don’t know about your set-up or the size of your facilities, a photo or two might help some with that. Photos show things that are really hard to describe with just words. It’s hard to get too specific without seeing it. Even then it can be challenging, so I’ll be kind of generic.

    First, identify the source of the water. It sounds like it is probably your waterer but I don’t know that for sure. If it is your waterer, why is it spilling that much water? Is it a faulty waterer? Certain types need to be perfectly level or they can leak. Are the chickens scooping the water out when they drink? Can you put something to make them just drink straight down instead of letting them scoop their heads sideways? Do you need another kind of waterer or can you move it outside?

    It doesn’t matter what kind of bedding you use, if water is getting in there it’s going to be wet. Wet is not good in any coop. With a coop with a wooden floor it will cause the floor to rot. In a coop without a wooden floor it can lead to disease. You need to attack the problem at the source instead of treating the symptoms. Stop it from getting wet to start with.

    Are you over-cleaning? If it is wet, yes you have an issue, but there is nothing wrong with a little dried poop. As long as it is dry, you are not going to hurt your chickens if you have some dry poop in there. Don’t get ridiculous about letting it get that bad, but it certainly does not have to be spic ‘n span clean. It has to be dry. I don’t know enough about your set-up so I don’t know how well your coop is suited to something like the deep litter method, but many of us don’t clean very often at all. On the other hand, with small coops some people clean pretty regularly. We all have different situations.

    Can you make it easier to clean? I don’t have a wooden floor in mine, just dirt, but many people that do put linoleum or something similar to make it easier to clean. Even if you use a good paint to keep the floor from rotting poop tends to stick to a wooden floor. If you can retrofit that with some type of flooring that makes it easier to clean you may be able to help yourself a lot.

    Still, the main thing is to identify the source of water and address that problem first.

    Good luck!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

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