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Hi! I just (well, it was actually my dad) finished my coop and I'm getting my chickies in May and I'm so excited!



Anyway, a few questions-



Right now our coop (the inside part) has wood plank floors. What should we do for bedding? Should we use pine shavings and deep litter? Sand and scoop out the poop? Poop trays under the perches and fill with sand and/or shavings and dump it ever so often? Also, has anyone used/heard of Sweet Pdz or Stalldry? The folks over at backyardchickens seem to like this for odor control. Should we line the bottom of the coop with linoleum and then put one of above on top? What do YOU do with the inside of your coop and how do you maintain it/clean it? Just wanted some ideas out there. What's the easiest for you?



Right now my tentative plan is to cover the floor with a layer of DE and/or sweet pdz and pine shavings on top and just do deep litter on top with the pine shavings, but not sure if I should also add a linoleum floor to easy cleanup the few times I have to clean it out, or also add poop trays under the perches to dump it if I ever need to?





Secondly, has anyone used the brinsea brooder? It's pricier but the fact there's little fire risk and don't have to fiddle with heat lamps and all that makes it interesting. Just wanted to see any opinions on it, good or bad. If not, what's the best way to set up a heat lamp? Clamp it to the box or using a stand? Also, should we use a large plastic tupperware crate (like rubbermaid), a large cardboard box, or a large aquarium for the brooder? Pros/cons of each?



And any pictures of your heat lamp set up or the inside of your chicken coop would be welcome.



Thanks!
 

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Bedding is all about what works for you. Personally I use straw because that is what works best with my coop. In the future I plan to build a coop with an actual floor and will probubly use sand inside. As for the brooder, again its what you prefer. I just use the heat lamp with the red 250 watt bulb because when its not baby chick season we use the heat lamp in our pump house to keep our pump from freezing.
 

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sheisaeval

Seal your wood floor with a couple of coats of Polyurethane Varnish. After it drys well...cover with 4 to 6 inches (deep-litter) of dry hay (straw) (the cheapest that you can find). And then....every 2 or 3 months....rake it all out and put in a COMPOST pile.....and replace the hay. EASY !

-works well for me.
ReTIRED
 

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Yaya
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ReTIRED said:
sheisaeval

Seal your wood floor with a couple of coats of Polyurethane Varnish. After it drys well...cover with 4 to 6 inches (deep-litter) of dry hay (straw) (the cheapest that you can find). And then....every 2 or 3 months....rake it all out and put in a COMPOST pile.....and replace the hay. EASY !

-works well for me.
ReTIRED
I read that a dirt floor allowed earth enzymes to work on the droppings and odor. I was planning to put a foot deep layer of straw on the ground in the coop. I'm hoping they will be warm and dry enough. the space will be 24x5 and have a clear plastic roof. We will cordon off art of it in the spring for starting seedlings. in summer, it will be well shaded by overhanging trees. I'd love to hear if anyone sees problems with my fantasy...quick, before the building starts!
 

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I've been using shavings for the floor with DE. I am thinking of switching to hay or straw because I think it would break down easier in the compost pile and be usable sooner in the gardens.
I used both the heat lamps and the Brinsea. For a small amount of chicks the Brinsea worked great. For larger amounts of chicks, I think the lamps are more practical.
Good luck!
 

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I read that a dirt floor allowed earth enzymes to work on the droppings and odor. I was planning to put a foot deep layer of straw on the ground in the coop. I'm hoping they will be warm and dry enough. the space will be 24x5 and have a clear plastic roof. We will cordon off art of it in the spring for starting seedlings. in summer, it will be well shaded by overhanging trees. I'd love to hear if anyone sees problems with my fantasy...quick, before the building starts!
I haven't ANY "argument" with a DIRT floor.
BUT.....having built and used a "Hoophouse-Greenhouse"....I WILL say that it gets danged HOT inside there. My area is relatively COOL...even in Summer....but I had to have a "Swamp Cooler" and a BIG fan operating in there (in the Summer) to keep from KILLING my plants (which generally LIKE warmth). I THINK it will be TOO HOT for chickens in the Sunny Summertime....regardless of "Shade-Cloth" or shade Trees !!! :eek:

just MY 2 pesos worth,
-ReTIRED-
P.S. Whatever YOU decide.....GOOD LUCK with your Projects ! :)
 

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We used linoleum tiles in our coop. We thought it would make the clean up a lot easier. 5 years later, and the floors still look great, and it's so easy to just sweep all the wood chips out (we use aspen chips) and pour new on top. Now if only we could get the perches as clean as the floor. lol

ETA: we sprinkle DE in with the wood chips, and have had zero bug problems.
 

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InnKeeper said:
I have linoleum with sand on top. So far so good
I think my girls would love to go live with some of you!!!! LOL!!! ! We're a little more old school here. Our coop has a dirt floor. We live in VA. temps can get pretty hot but my girls have never had any issues with it or with bugs or oder. We have 2 platforms in the coop that right now are just wood. I do plan on covering those with linoleum for easier clean up and to help preserve the wood. We have never done any kind of litter. They are free range and only spend time in the coop at night. That's my 2 cents! I am excited for you to get started! You are going to love it.

Our brooder is home made. We attached the light to the top of it out of reach. And only on one side so they can cool if they need to. The bottom is a tray that slides out for easy clean up. We have ducklings in there as well. They get along fine even with how messy the ducks are! The bottom is 1/4 inch wire and they have always done fine with that. Good luck!
 

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We have laminate floor, straw. Just built a new coop. Will be adding a window for cool off when its hot. Large dog kennel, red - 250 watt works great for us. Living in my greenhouse for another month, then out the gals go.
 

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Yaya
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Siriuslaminin said:
We have laminate floor, straw. Just built a new coop. Will be adding a window for cool off when its hot. Large dog kennel, red - 250 watt works great for us. Living in my greenhouse for another month, then out the gals go.
can you tell me some about "living in (the) greenhouse", please? The coop/shed I'm building will have a clear roof, so they will get sun in wi ter shade in summer, lots of windows, electric poultry fence around. Straw floor. Were yours in there all year?
 

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Yaya
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ReTIRED said:
I haven't ANY "argument" with a DIRT floor.
BUT.....having built and used a "Hoophouse-Greenhouse"....I WILL say that it gets danged HOT inside there. My area is relatively COOL...even in Summer....but I had to have a "Swamp Cooler" and a BIG fan operating in there (in the Summer) to keep from KILLING my plants (which generally LIKE warmth). I THINK it will be TOO HOT for chickens in the Sunny Summertime....regardless of "Shade-Cloth" or shade Trees !!! :eek:

just MY 2 pesos worth,
-ReTIRED-
P.S. Whatever YOU decide.....GOOD LUCK with your Projects ! :)
you have a point. I'm going to gamble that the way it's situated and the windows and doors will help regulate the temps, but I'll be watching and have fans ready, thanks.
 

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Sure, our greenhouse is unheated. We install windows (4 free from friends who are building. We have 2 more to install, by next mo. the gals will be in their coop, (thats about time when it starts heating up in there) i agree it can be to hot, especially at the wrong time of the year.
We lost a C. Cross at se point last night, the first one we have lost, one out of twelve in 2 mo. is not bad though.
 

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I would be afraid of the poops and ick getting down into the cracks between the wood planks eventually causing rot. We went to Menards and hit the clearance odds & end pieces of linoleum. For about $20, we have (just since they had it there) what looks like wood flooring linoleum flooring. Easy to wash down periodically and saves the wood from rotting or anything getting between the boards. I have plain old pine wood shavings on the floor then. Easy clean up and recycled back into heat for all of us since we heat with wood. I just toss the old bin full of chips into the wood boiler. If its summer, then the wood boiler is shut down for the season so I hall the old chips to spread around under the trees & shrubs for added nutrients for them.
 
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