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This sandy coop isnt working. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jenny1, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2008
    Okay, I have 3 girls. (Do they count as hens if two arent laying yet? They are almost 6 months old) I made a REALLY simple little coop for them. It is small- 4 feet by 3 feet and about 3 feet tall. There is no bottom on the coop. Inside there is sand. I thought it would stay dry and be good because I could use a kitty scoop to pull out all the poo. What really happens is they mix it all up and spill food. Then, somehow it gets wet (Either rain or when I spray down the run area) and the food gets really nasty and flies are born.

    This isnt working well. I am sick of wasting this much food, sick of the mess, sick of the smell. What can I use instead?

    Also, the run is on gravel, surrounded by our block walls and house. The bird netting I had put up to keep them in didnt work, so I just bought some chicken wire and pvc pipe. I was going to bend the pvc to make a half of a tube type of enclosure covered with chicken wire. Sound okay? Also thinking of moving the whole thing under the grapefruit tree instead.

    If you say straw tell me where I can get it. Petsmart is so expensive. I live in Phoenix (southeast) and there are no feed shops nearby. I get my chicken food at ACE hardware.

    Oh, and is there a cheaper option for chicken wire than homedepot?
  2. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2008
    Any ideas? What do you use for bedding?
  3. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    Dont feed and water in the coop, do it in the run area. You need good ventilation and 2" deep sand. Should never be moisture in the house area.
  4. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    Definitely feed and water in the run. You can also add Sweet PDZ (or Stall Dry) to the sand to help get rid of the moisture that is there already - it is a product used for horse stalls to help dry them out and eliminate the odors. As for the run, chicken wire is better than the bird netting but be aware that if you have predators, they can get through chicken wire. Most folks recommend hardware cloth for at least the bottom two feet of a run - you can always put it over the existing chicken wire. Chicken wire over pvs would work great to form the half tube cover for the run. Good luck finding any of the wire cheaply - unless someone has some left over from a project that they want to get rid of - maybe check craigslist?
  5. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2008
    Thanks. I know everyone reccomends the hardware cloth. We have 6 foot tall block walls around the yard, rock hard soil that nothing could dig through, and a busy street between us and the foothills, so I am less worried about predators. I know people say coyotes walk on the walls, and it could happen... but its been a month and nothing has happened yet.

    Okay, I will try the food and water out of the run. Would just plain old landscaping rock be better than the sand? I can hose it off easier....
  6. gardendufus

    gardendufus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Rock (or gravel) will be very hard on the hen's feet. They really need something they can scratch in like dirt or sand. If the sand in your coop is getting wet from the rain, that is also not good for your chickens. You need to make the coop water tight I would think.

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