Thoughts on linoleum run flooring

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ELShens, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. ELShens

    ELShens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2010
    HI All,
    I've had the Chicken ark http://catawbacoops.com/ up since July and cleaning the roost is pretty simple:
    Roll up the newspaper, cat litter scoop up the "extras," Dust with DE, put in some new newspaper, maybe a little more DE and...Voila!

    The ark spends almost all of it's time on the "Chicken Peninsula" which is about 5 inch deep pea gravel adjacent to the garden raised beds. The yard is pretty small and I found that even if I move it every day or so the birds leave quite a mess behind with the grain, feathers, poop, etc...

    I put a horse fence floor on the bottom of the coop to keep out any burrowers, and I spray the floor of the run a couple times a week and dust with DE, but I still feel like there is more muck then I'd like the girls to be scratching around in.

    So here's what I'm thinking:
    Cut a piece of linoleum flooring from the recycled building supply center and cut some holes in it so it will still drain. Then put in some hay or something that can be raked out every week or so along with most of the droppings. Then I could spray it down or pull it out and spray it down and put in some new bedding.

    What do you think? Am I making this too complicated, is there something else I could look into?

    Thanks for any input,

    Eddie

    1 BO, and 2 EE's
     
  2. Farmington

    Farmington Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The purpose of a tractor, is to be moved regularly to fresh grass. You should move it as often as your birds take the grass down, then you won't have problems with mud. Seems like you are really making this too complicated. My buddy uses a tractor for his birds, and moves it every other day, the length of the tractor. By moving more frequently, your grass isn't taken all the way down.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I didn't see the dimensions of the run, but I suspect one problem you're dealing with is too few square feet per chicken if the run is getting mucked up after only a day.

    I have six bantams in a 12' by 6' tractor, and three bantams in an 8' by 8' tractor. When I move the tractors every few days you can hardly see that there were chickens there in the ground left behind.

    10 square feet per chicken is a pretty good minimum number to work with, but more is better in terms of the work you need to do to manage the flock.
     
  4. ELShens

    ELShens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Thanks for the input.

    I have 3 22week olds for a run that is just a little smaller than 4x8 so I think they have enough room there, I just think my yard is a little small to fully benefit from a tractor. We started moving it around pretty regularly and by the time we've get back to where we started there is still quite a bit of visible evidence that there were chickens there. As soon as we finish the gate on the other side of the house we'll probably let them range a little bit and that should help. I'm on a 5,000 square foot lot and between the driveway, the house, the patio, shed, garden, and playstructure there just isn't much room for moving the ark around which is why we built the chicken peninsula you can see in the background. The grass is much fuller than it was when I took that pic.

    The coop has spent most of the time on the gravel and that's where the mucking is. Spraying down the gravel breaks it all up pretty good but there is still a bit of a build up from the last 20 weeks or so. Thinking of this as a regular permanent chicken coop on a gravel, what would be the best cleaning method? Should I put in some sort of litter that can be raked up once a week or so when I clean the roost?
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again for the input. I'm just trying to keep everyone healthy and happy (Chickens and humans)[​IMG]

    Ed
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
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    I have sand in my stationary runs, and I love it. It's very easy to keep clean with a reptile litter scoop that I taped to a long handle...I don't even have to bend over. The scoop picks up the poop and leaves the sand behind. However, my runs are tall enough so I can stand up in them as I go around to clean.

    I don't think gravel is going to be the best substrate. You won't be able to pick the droppings out of it easily, and it's not the best thing for chickens to scratch in, either. I suppose you could move the ark and hose the gravel down periodically, but ordinarily you want to keep the area as dry as possible because wet poo smells.
     
  6. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Lecanto, Florida
    I too started with pea gravel. It was just plain difficult to clean and the rocks got very soiled. I covered the rock with landscape cloth and then laid a 3-4' layer of sand. Now clean up is SSSSOOOOOO much easier. I use a kitty litter scoop and only clean once a week. Any food scraps lay on top of the sand and are quickly snatched up by the chickens.
     
  7. Thundrr-Chicken

    Thundrr-Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2010
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    ed... imho i think the problem is they are eating in the same space they are pooping... from what little i know about chickens... they seem to benefit from roosting somewhere other than where they scratch for food... so... i guess what you need is 2 separate areas if you cannot move the tractor around... if you can create a second space... cleaning the roosting area will become much easier... in just a generic answer to your question .. i have linoleum flooring in my coop... and its great... i even have it covering the poop boards for easy scraping.. but they have a separate run area... see if you can come up with a plan for a separate run...
     

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