What is the best floor for our open pen?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tres-gallinas, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. tres-gallinas

    tres-gallinas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    We are totally new to the BYC. My husband's family had a few chickens when he was young so he is somewhat familiar with them, but I am green! So, here is my question - What kind of flooring do we need or can we leave it alone? We have an open air coop/run? It is concrete fence on two sides and framed chicken wire on 2 sides (and top) with the nesting boxes and roost house on stilts. We just got 19-7mo old laying hens 3 days ago (3 Rhode Island Reds & 16 light Brahmas) sooner than we anticipated, but was a good deal. The floor is the ground - dirt, sand & plants that were still growing wild. What do you think?
     
  2. Silkie Chick

    Silkie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    A dirt floor is fine, especially if you use the deep-compost method. Just be careful because predators have an easier time digging through a dirt floor than clawing through a wood one. Good luck on your chicken adventure!
     
  3. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC! You won't be green for long; chickens will teach ya quickly!

    The dirt floor is great for deep litter, as said.

    What do you mean by open air? You do need a coop (where they sleep) that is well protected. I'm not sure chicken wire is complete protection. For example, I live in a place w/ raccoons and they are strong enough (and smart enough!) to bend chicken wire.

    Good luck!
     
  4. tres-gallinas

    tres-gallinas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    Thanks for your replies! There is so much information on this site and I have had most of my questions answered by looking at other threads.

    Where they roost is covered and nest is enclosed with an open door. The rest is enclosed with framing and wire. My husband buried the wire 12" in the ground with broken concrete & asphalt etc.

    The winter temp is not an issue here in N Florida and they don't seem to mind sleeping in the open air. Yes, we do have raccoons where we are and, thankfully, have not had any issues with them. We are wondering what type of wire to use over the chicken wire for added safety.
     
  5. shocksystems

    shocksystems Out Of The Brooder

    tres-gallinas:

    Can you post some pictures of your current coop / run?

    Thanks!

    Jim
     
  6. tres-gallinas

    tres-gallinas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    I can do that tomorrow morning. I forgot to get them today.
     
  7. River Sand. You'll have to call around about it, it's the real rough stuff with tiny little pebbles and such. Play ground sand is too fine and too uniform in size, it packs down and does not drain as well. You'll never worry about grit for them and the sand dries the poo quickly so you can scoop it with a kitty litter scoop
     
  8. tres-gallinas

    tres-gallinas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    Thanks, we live right on a river. Lots of oyster shells, sand, & fine dirt. We've had them several weeks now and they seem to be perfectly happy.
     
  9. Chickadee55

    Chickadee55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Florida
    Our floor is lined with conveyor belt that goes 6" up the walls, also sand and pine shavings covering that. Everything was recycled from an empty horse stall. I don't know where you live,but I'm in Florida and we have snakes and after losing one of my 2 month old chickens to a corn snake, I closed it in really well. We have 2 windows that have critter-proof wire covering them so I don't worry about racoons either. My point is if you don't want them to be something's breakfast, close it in well. [​IMG] Welcome to BYC.
     
  10. tres-gallinas

    tres-gallinas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    Finally, a picture of the coop/run. Thinking of putting an enclosed coop off the end (left of photo).

    [​IMG]
     

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