What kind of wire for floor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jkg, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. jkg

    jkg Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2009
    AZ
    I live in a warm climate, so I built our coop with a wire floor. My intention was to both better ventilate the coop for the hit summers as well as let the poop fall through to the ground. I used I think 1/2" square mesh, which I now realize is too small for the poop to fall through, so I want to replace the current wire with something with bigger holes. I would need to balance the hole size with the chickens ability to walk across the wire or to safely land on the wire when jumping down from a roost or nest box (about 2 ft jump from either). Anyone use this? What size opening and gauge wire works best? I was thinking 1"x1" or 1"x2" 14 gauge. Where did you source it and were you able to find small quantities? I've seen it online but never less than a 50 or 100 ft roll where I only need about a 4'x6' section.
     
  2. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    We get really hot weather here in summer, also. I didn't want a wire floor, though because I don't think it's good for the chickens' feet. I have plywood, with pine shavings 2" or 3" deep, which I clean out once a week.

    It may be better to put a board under the roost, and clean that off daily. Not a big deal, really. [​IMG] The ventilation can come through open windows covered with small hardware cloth; if it gets cold during winter, I close shutters over them. You'll want ventilation at the top of the coop, also so the hot air will go out.

    Carla
     
  3. jkg

    jkg Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2009
    AZ
    normally I would agree with the sentiment about wire floors being worse for the birds' feet, but our birds are only in the coop long enough to hop up to a perch or nest box. The coop is never closed to the run and the chickens spend 98% of their waking hours on the ground.
     
  4. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
  5. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    JKG,
    Our chickens only use the coop for sleeping and laying eggs, also. And their run is also open to the coop. [​IMG] I have standard hens, and they land pretty heavy on their feet! I'd be afraid one would catch her foot into an opening in the wire. One reason I like the pine shavings on the floor is because it softens the landing.
    Also, I can't imagine using any wire just because of the nightly fertilizer deposits underneath the roost... if you know what I mean. [​IMG] No matter how large an opening in the wire, it's going to get dirty. It's easier for me to clean out the pine shavings once a week and toss them into a composter, or the garden, then to clean off dirty wire.

    Carla
     
  6. jkg

    jkg Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2009
    AZ
    Carla - I appreciate the opinion, but I'm going the other direction anyway. I have my reasons... there are other threads here on the subject and the conclusion is mixed - some sharing your view and others saying wire works fine in climates where the birds are rarely in the coop. I'm going with an "open" floor of some type because I need the ventilation, and more importantly, I know my family's habits and know that we can't reliably clean the coop every week or even every month (need that chicken S* falling straight through to the ground).

    Nancy - thanks for the tip on the Farmtek grates. Those look perfect, although a little more expensive than I was hoping for. I'm going to search around and see if I can find something similar for less cost... will post something here if I find anything.

    Any other ideas?

    In hindsight I should have spent more time designing our coop and could have built it with the roost resting directly over a compost pit.... oh well. Next time...
     

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