What are your favorite tips for a tidy coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TinyLittleFarm, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

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    My coop is big enough for my birds, but only just big enough. There is more of a poopy presence that I prefer, even with regular maintenance.

    Here are my problem areas.
    1) My roosts are too close to the wall so there is crap all over the walls. Pretty easy fix (for DH [​IMG]) But I plan to get the walls as clean as humanly possible and then repaint with something a bit more scrubbable. We did not use the best paint the first time round. Do I need to do anything to the walls other than scrub? Can I paint right over any old stains?

    2) My poop boards. In the winter the stupid poop freezes in these poop piles which become poop mountains. It freezes right to the board overnight and it's tough to remove. I want to remove the boards and use some sort of plastic boot tray or something. Does anyone in cold climate have experience with the frozen poop problem and a good solution?

    3) Roosts and ladders. Why is it that I can never get these totally clean? Especially their ramp from the coop down to the run. It is painted white. It is now brown. I have been out there with a bleach spray and a wire brush and scrubbed for a long time and it still looks gross. Solutions?

    Or am I just being too OCD about this? [​IMG]
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Crowing

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    Quote:For the first problem, I'd just move the roost farther away from the wall.

    I use plastic boot trays myself, and love them. Poop doesn't stick to plastic the way it sticks to other surfaces. We don't get much of winter where we live, but on the few days when it gets down to freezing I don't hose off the trays before I return them to the coop. On these cold days, I dust the trays with a little sand to make the poop roll off even more easily, right into our composter.

    Are you sure your chickens need a ramp at all? Mine just hop up and down, so there's no ramp to get poopy.

    White will show dirt, etc. more quickly than just about any color. If you repaint, go for those ...um...earth tones.
     
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller

    Quote:1) I'd scrub then paint with a good bathroom primer. I'd also spot any nooks and crannys and caulk before painting. Killz comes to mind its a bathroom primer that has mold inhibitor in it. Then paint with a gloss paint.

    2) a bit of tongue in cheek here but almost serious.... How about Ice cube trays. pull them out give them a twist... [​IMG] ahem... I am really liking the idea of Boot trays Never even heard of them till I got addicted to this site.... Though I have thought of this poop board some and Daydreamed about a Nonstick surface angled toward a wall paper tray which is eventually disposable.

    3) Um scrub then paint with bathroom primer.... then paint with poop brown paint. [​IMG] Outa site out a mind. Just scrub them when you scrub the rest.
     
  4. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    someone else posted about spraying their poop boards with Pam or WD-40 or something, and the poo just dumped right off. I don't know if it is true, because it doesn't freeze here.
     
  5. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

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    Quote:Yes, what I meant but was not clearly saying is that DH will move the roosts out farther from the walls. I'm glad to hear the boot trays work well for you! And I think they do need a ramp, sort of. Our coop is raised, and it's about 3 feet from the pop door to the floor of the run. I think my full grown birds would make it, but I worry about the wee ones.
     
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Songster

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    From one frozen Upper Midwesterner to another, I will tell you on the plastic boot trays - it freezes to the tray. Hard. Like frozen poop glue. And then when it's -20 or below and you attempt to get that frozen poo off that plastic boot tray, the tray WILL crack. [​IMG] I think if a person put shavings in the tray, then dumped the whole shebang into your muck bucket, it would work pretty well. (I had good intentions of trying that after the first boot tray cracked this winter, but never got around to it and just ended up scooping the shavings under the roost daily instead.)
     
  7. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

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    Orchid, that makes sense.Maybe I'll try it with the shavings. Or even sand would probably work great.

    Frozen poop piles have been the bane of my existence this winter. [​IMG]
     
  8. Hottchick

    Hottchick Songster

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    We don't get as cold in the winter here, but it does get cold enough to freeze at times. I use a car ice scraper to scrape the poop off of my poop board every morning. It works great. The one I have has a mitt attached so I don't get poop on my hand.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:If you paint (or even prime and paint) over the old poo, there is a nontrivial chance things will get prematurely peely in those spots, also because those spots will be rough they will be harder to clean. My suggestion is to remove the stains first (that is, just *color* remaining is fine, but if there is actually any *material* on the wall however thin, remove it before priming/painting). If you don't like scrubbing or it isn't working well enough, sanding is a fast fix [​IMG] (wear a dust mask). I would suggest priming the walls before repainting, I know it's an extra step and requires extra material BUT if you don't prime you will need to clean those walls REALLY REALLY WELL and possibly lightly sand them if you used a glossy paint previously, whereas if you use primer you can generally get away with just "reasonably cleanish" [​IMG] Actually you *could* just use primer and leave it at that, but it will be harder to scrub poo off in future (as compared to semigloss paint) and since you want things really cleanable you probably DO wanna use the paint.

    Does anyone in cold climate have experience with the frozen poop problem and a good solution?

    Yes. Every day after you clean the poo board, use your cleaning utensile (scraper or whatever) to scoop up some used bedding from the coop floor and sprinkle it all over the poo board. You will have to experiment to find the amount you need (if it's too little, the wind of their wings going up to the roost can blow most of it off). With the dirty shavings sprinkled on the board, the poo will freeze to the *shavings* not the board and it is super easy to clean.

    Those whose chicken droppings are not freezing to boot trays etc are probably not in really cold climates. You could TRY spraying Pam or whatever but since by reputation it keeps iceballs out of horse hooves but IME it does absolutely no such thing, I would be rather skeptical of it working for droppings boards, also it seems like it would build up into a greasy mess by Springtime. Whereas the shavings are already there and they work real well no matter what the temperature [​IMG]

    3) Roosts and ladders. Why is it that I can never get these totally clean? Especially their ramp from the coop down to the run. It is painted white. It is now brown. I have been out there with a bleach spray and a wire brush and scrubbed for a long time and it still looks gross. Solutions?

    Paint it brown.

    Seriously. Or sponge-paint a pattern of color-on-white, or whatever.

    You are not going to be able to keep things that chickens shuffle their pooey muddy feet all over all the time sparkling-white.

    If there is actual material still adhering to the boards, laying a hot damp rag on the spot for a few hours and then scrubbing is usually pretty helpful... but your problem sounds more like staining, and yeah, that can happen.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  10. new chick 203

    new chick 203 Songster

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    My poop board has a heat rope along the bottom to give them a little extra warmth, so no frozen poo. Also, i use coffee chaff for the floor, so after I do my "morning coop spruce up" I throw a little chaff up on the board. It helps the poo not stick, like flowering a cake pan.[​IMG]
     

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