winter coop care

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by squat, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. squat

    squat Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2008
    I'm reading about the DLM method and how some put a board underneath the roost or newspaper to easily remove the droppings . . . I have a dumb question. Is the roost the area where they lay their eggs? We have three boxes (look like wood filing boxes) with sides where the hens sleep and lay their eggs. These are up off the floor of the coop. I keep wood shavings in the boxes so they have a soft place to lay their eggs, but I have to clean out the poop every couple of days or it gets all over the eggs. Then I put new shavings in the boxes.

    Is there something I'm doing wrong? Should I line the boxes with newspaper? Open for suggestions to make my life a little easier through the cold winter months.

    Squat

    Online
     
  2. bkbuz1987

    bkbuz1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I built mine like this... I have four nesting boxes close to the floor with a dropping board over them and thier roost above that. I clean the board (cheaply covered in peel and stick tile for easy cleaning) every moring and then sprinkle pine shavings on it ( the pine shaving either come from the floor or from the nesting boxes when I clean them out) I'm using the DLM over the winter to help keep it warm in there.

    I live in Colorado and have to deal with frozen water every morning and my Roo shwing the first signs of frost bite. I'm looking into a panel heater just to keep the coop above freezing.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:The boxes should be used only for laying, otherwise you get pooey egg problems (as you're finding [​IMG])

    A roost is a pole or bar that they sleep on. You know, like birds normally perch on a treebranch to sleep? That. Put it HIGHER THAN the nestboxes -- chickens generally prefer to roost as high as possible, and if it's not distinctly higher than the nestboxes you'll be back to chickens sleeping there and causing pooey eggs.

    The best two materials for a roost would be a NON pressure-treated 2x4, the edges rounded off a little if they're too abrupt and sharp, or a 5-6" diameter tree branch with the bark stripped off. If you use the 2x4, in a warm climate it is ok to do it with the narrow side up but if you live somewhere it gets significantly cold in the winter it is better to have them sitting on the wide side of it so their belly feathers cover their toes and prevent frostbite.

    If you've been letting your hens sleep in the nestboxes for a while, they may well require training to use the roost once you've built it. It's very easy though. Just go out after dusk, once they've put themselves to bed, and lift each hen out of the box and put her on the roost. She will stay there (chickens have terrible night vision, and tend to stay where put in the dark). After some number of mornings waking up on the roost, they will start going their of their own volition to sleep.

    Good lluck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:NO , the area where they roost is for sleeping .... the nesting area is where they lay only . We have our nesting boxes on opposite side of the roost area . So , no poop is dropped in the nest . We cover the floor area with pine shavings and poop falls on shavings .. Shavings are tossed every morning and we add more shavings as needed . I figure a drop board is just as much trouble as adding a little more shavings which we DO NOT have to add more but maybe once every 2 - 4 weeks . Depending on the size of your coop and amount of chickens you have inside .... They have 24/7 access to coops , during the day the go and lay and come back out into run;. They enter and exist on their own .

    We have 2 coops and 3 runs ... Over 100 head of chickens and we still have no oder or flies inside of coops ....

    The runs have about 4 - 6 inches of sand added as needed to keep runs semi dry from rainy times .. TRUST ME, it does help ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008

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