Wood shavings in coop = buried food, water, grit! Now what?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nonny, May 16, 2011.

  1. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hi, I'm a newbie here and have had my chooks only for a few weeks. I have three Australorps at point of lay, but not yet laying. *waves to the other forum members*

    Someone told me that wood shavings made good flooring cover for the coop, so I put in a decent layer of it, and the next morning I found the food and grit trays completely covered in shavings, and they were also in the water container and had soaked up a whole lot of the water as well. (he water container is one of those things you fill and turn upside down and it comes out a little at a time as they drink. I have it sitting on a brick to raise it up, but tey still managed to fill the dish with wood shavings). Obviously my chooks like to do a lot of scratching and ferreting around in there.

    Should I change to a different flooring material? The coop is open on the bottom and rests on the grass/dirt, and the reason I put the wood in there was to make it easier to remove the manure and keep[ the flies down a bit, only it seems to have the opposite effect as the chooks are just scratching it all up and mixing it in.

    Can anyone offer some guidance on how to deal with this?

    Also, they are sleeping in their nesting boxes (well, one in each box and one on the perch). SHould I try to discourage this - will it stop them beginning to lay eggs if the use it for sleeping instead?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia,CA and [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    you can try putting the waterer and feeder a bit higher so you wont get shavings in them
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Yeah, try hanging them from a hook in the ceiling so they aren't sitting on the floor, but hanging a few inches off it. Or you could try one of them homemade fancy pvc type feeders that you mount on the wall. I love those, but dont have one...yet.
  4. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Try putting the food/waterer up a bit more on bricks. They should be at back level of chicks/chickens so they won't scratch the shavings into them.
    I start mine out with 1 brick under for the first couple of weeks then add a brick as they grow til usually about 3 bricks high in the brooder/hutch.
    I also keep my grit in a small rabbit feeder for the chicks and then move to a baby pig feeder in the big chicken's coop. These are also up on cement blocks at back level of the adult chickens and this keeps most of the shavings out.

    My coop was built where they couldn't really get to the nest boxes until they were older, but I did discourage them from sleeping in them since I read on here that they'd use them to perch on and poop as well and didn't want to start that habit. If they are almost at point of lay though I doubt they'd not lay in them just because they use them to sleep in at night...someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, please [​IMG].
  5. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    Is your roosting pole at the same level as the boxes cause if it is thats why. My roost are up higher than my boxes so they wont sleep in them, granted they started to when they where younger but they stopped after a week or so. I would raise the feeder and water up higher, my feeder hangs high enough that they cant scratch in it but low enough they can eat out of it. and my water is siting on a cinder block.
  6. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Wow - thanks for all the replies and the tips!

    I'll definitely raise the water, grit and food up and hopefully that will help. It's only a small coop so I'm limited on where I can put them anyway, so might look into making one that attaches to the wire rather than sitting on the floor. Failing that, I have a few more bricks around here somewhere.

    The roosts are at the same height as the nesting boxes... and right next to each other. The design of the coop seems a bit silly to me now - I bought it cheap online and obviously as a newbie realised once I actually had chooks in there that it wasn't completely suitable. I'm not sure I can move or raise them at all, but maybe add another slightly higher up would help. I'll have to put my DIY hat on and see what I can come up with. :)

    Thanks again!

    From Nonny (and chooks Penny, Florin and Tuppence) [​IMG]
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    If I didn't have 10 or 12 spare bricks lying around at all times I don't know what I'd do LOL. Seems like every problem I have gets solved with a brick or two strategically placed.
  8. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:Any way to lower the nesting boxes? They don't need to be too far off the ground, that might work better than raising the roost.
  9. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
  10. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Near Seattle
    are those the roosting bar holders over there by the door in the picture? Low down? If so, yes, that's a bad design! Perhaps you can make your roost go diagonal from that wall by the door to the back wall - I can see that working out ok.

    (I looked and looked at that coop and others like it... almost got one because it seemed so easy and cute... but then we decided to build. It's been 6 weekends of building and we are NOT done yet!!)

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