What do you think of this new coop?

lablover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
572
11
124
My 5 hens and 1 rooster are currently living in a 4x8 tractor. (They free range.) But it was hard to keep dry, and it was just a bit cramped. So, I changed a 10x10 chain link dog kennel into a new coop for them.



We're in the southern U.S., so heat is MUCH more of an issue than cold.

There is an air gap at the top of the back wall. The only other place I can put one is on the back right corner. The gate is facing south, so the back wall blocks the northern winds. There are 3 pieces of 2 foot wide tin on the left side, and 2 pieces on the right side. The roosts are in the lest corner, and the nest boxes are in the right corner. Excuse the crooked 2x4 on the back wall.

I plan to hand food and water under the nest boxes somehow. The only problem I have right now is the flooring. Right now it is just dirt. With their old tractor, it was attached to a run, so I did not move it much. I just lifted it up and raked all the poop out. I'm not really a fan of doing this, and that is my concern with the dirt floor in this new coop. Any suggestions? Shaving won't work because rain will blow in the front. But what if I use 2 landscape timbers stacked on top of each other and made a square under the roosts with shavings or sand as the floor? That way, the poop won't pile up. I really can't come up with anything else.

So what do you think?

Editing to add that I also have 4 chicks that will also end up living the 6 I already have.
 
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4 the Birds

Songster
9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
1,490
104
163
Westfield, Indiana
I am not sure how much rain you get in your area. In our region, we can get heavy rainfalls which would make any dirt floor a muddy mess. I add plenty of straw and pine chips in the run and the coop has a wood floor that is high and dry. I would at least box off the area under the roost bars and add pine chips there to dry up the poop piles. You can shovel that out periodically and replace bedding material. The other run floor may be fine as dirt if you don't get a lot of rain; Yet, it would be great if you could add a bottom edge board and sand or wood chips. Wood chips stay put better than straw in high winds. I assume your cage has a large access door so that you can go inside daily to clean, feed, and give fresh water. Hope this helps!

 

lablover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
572
11
124
Thank you! Yes, it does have a large door. I was concerned about using shavings because rain can blow in the front part, and they would get wetter than they needed to be.
 
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boxofpens

Songster
6 Years
Mar 9, 2013
411
38
102
Texas
I like the landscape timber idea. Is it possible to frame the whole bottom edge with landscape timbers and use sand for the whole floor? You would just have to step over it when you go in through the big door. The sand would allow water to escape and you could just scoop or rake the poop throughout the coop.
 

boxofpens

Songster
6 Years
Mar 9, 2013
411
38
102
Texas
Sand would also keep mud from splashing up on them if you have a really heavy downpour. Shavings are just going to get wet and expensive. If you have any leaves, you can use leaves instead. We have tons of leaves and I put piles into the run, rake them into a pile every few days (I'm already out there checking water, etc.), the chickens love climbing on top and scratching the pile down. This keeps the poop dry until I remove the leaves and then I take them out and put fresh in. They also attract creepy crawlies that they love to eat. I don't know how leaves would work under the roost though. (If leaves are even an option for you).
 

joan1708

Songster
May 14, 2011
802
37
196
DFW - mid cities, Tx
Have you considered Horse stall mats? I have them in my coop and they work pretty good. I got them at Tractor Supply. I use the 1/4 in thick and have had no problems with it. I put bedding over it. I think water will drain through it, but I'm not 100% sure of that.


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Stumpy

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
1,960
66
211
I have sand in my run and I really like it. It's easy to scoop the poop and occasionally rake it smooth.
 

lablover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
572
11
124
Wow, thanks for the suggestions everyone!

I did not think of stall mats, but that is a good idea!

I have used leaves before in the run, but I didn't think to use them in the new coop. I'm currently adding a run that is 13x13 ft, but this will probably stay dirt and leaves.

I just can't decide whether to use shavings or sand if I fill in the whole floor... or use leaves. I haven't seen what a heavy rain will do to the floor yet. I would have to buy shavings more often than I would sand, and leaves are everywhere... Sand would provide them an easy place to bathe and access grit. I just want the smell controlled, and prevent a lot of poop sticking to my shoes lol.
 

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