Apr 5, 2012

Droppings Boards, because Poop Happens

Droppings boards in the chicken coop serve several important purposes, including keeping the coop cleaner and identifying health problems in the flock.
Droppings boards are essentially a shelf designed to collect chicken poop deposited overnight. Most chicken-keepers scrape off the droppings boards (DBs) each morning. I use a 12" taping knife and a big bucket, which makes quick work of the task. Then it goes directly to the compost pile.

DBs can be made from many materials ranging from a simple plank of wood to a repurposed kitchen countertop. Some droppings boards are permanently installed while others are removable. Removable droppings boards make for easy, semi-annual deep cleaning of the entire coop.

Some of the benefits of droppings boards are:
  • they aid in keeping a coop clean since the nightly deposits do not pile up in the litter/bedding
  • cleaner litter means less frequent changing
  • less frequent bedding changes saves time and money
  • less bedding in the compost pile means a higher percentage of the compost is nitrogen-rich manure 
  • they provide a clear opportunity to assess the health and well-being of your chickens daily
  • they reduce ammonia exposure, resulting in better conditions for chickens' delicate respiratory systems
  • they reduce flies by eliminating sources of moisture and odor
  • they reduce the risk of frostbite in the cold by eliminating moisture from the coop
This was the state of my first chicken coop when it arrived.
Droppings boards are installed underneath the roosts in the chicken coop.
Our first attempt at coop droppings control was to install a droppings pit, which is simply a box on the floor under the roosts that collects the droppings. It is covered by chicken wire or hardware cloth (we tried both) to prevent the chickens from walking in the droppings. This design was short-lived (as were the burlap version of nest box curtains) as it didn't work quite as planned. The droppings didn't fall through the chicken wire as much as they stuck to it. The chickens would walk on the wire and drag shavings up onto it, making a big, matted mess that was a nightmare to clean.
A droppings pit was a huge failure in my chicken coop.
Enter: the first droppings board. We had to raise the roosts in order to accommodate the droppings board, which worked out well as I wanted removable roosts for cleaning purposes. The DB was made of a solid piece of wood with vinyl flooring stapled on top for ease of cleaning. It was heavy and difficult to move inside this 4'x6' space.
Chicken coop droppings board made of inexpensive linoleum.
The chickens don't seem to notice it and they tend not to walk on the droppings board as I expected they might.
Droppings boards provide an opportunity to observe and identify abnormal droppings left overnight by chickens.
This is the Little Deuce coop, which can be seen in my Virtual Coop Tour. We installed these temporary roosts so the Black Copper Marans chicks could move in but we intended to install a droppings board when time permitted. (It's obvious they were molting when this shot was taken. Those shavings were no more than a day old.) The position of the nest boxes and pop door (on the right in this photo) presented installation challenges for the roosts and the DB.
Droppings boards installed underneath the roosts in a coop can free up more clean square footage for chickens to occupy during waking hours.
This was the original location and size of the droppings board. The nest boxes can be seen on the left. I was very unhappy with this design as the roost space was extremely limited and the droppings board didn't span the length of the roosts. My husband's rationale for this design was that access to the pop door would have been limited if it ran the length of the coop. We also had an electronic pop door opener on order and he thought its operation might be hampered with a longer droppings board.
Droppings board iteration #1 in the chicken coop.
With the auto pop door opener installed, the droppings board spanned the width of the coop and did not interfere with the pop door or nest box access but the upper roosts were much too high and the lowest roost nearly touched the DB, which was unsatisfactory. Back to the drawing board.
Droppings board #2 iteration in the big chicken coop. The roosts were too high.
The current roost and DB setup is shown here. The pop door is obstructed in part but the pop door opener is not affected. One of the nest boxes is partially obstructed, but that does not interfere with the hens's ability to access it at all. It's actually one of the coveted nest boxes. Go figure.
Using droppings boards helps remove moisture from the chicken coop daily, keeping it drier, reducing the risk of frostbite and bumblefoot infections.
We switched over to using sand as litter the same time we installed the final version of the droppings boards. One of the benefits of droppings boards AND sand is that they allow for the removal of a significant amount of moisture from the coop. Removing droppings from the coop keeps it drier, reducing the risk of frostbite, the risk of bumblefoot infections, and makes the air healthier for them to breathe.

One of the useful things about a droppings board is that it provides the opportunity to learn what is happening with the chickens during the night and early morning hours. Sometimes there will have been a scuffle and blood that otherwise would have disappeared into the bedding and droppings will be visible on the DB. That alerts me to look for a victim who may need first-aid or to be segregated from the flock so she has time to heal and isn't injured further.
Droppings boards in the chicken coop are cleaned every morning.
This particular morning, I found many new feather shaft casings on the DB, which told me that the hens' new feathers were emerging, which is painful for chickens and they should not be handled if at all possible. The removal of the waxy casings isn't painful but the emerging, vein-filled feather shafts are.
Feather shaft casings on the droppings boards indicates molting.
Another very important benefit of having droppings boards is that problem droppings are quickly detected. The morning prior to this installment, there were no abnormal droppings seen. Since I know the usual roost positions of my chickens, I knew exactly which hen had this advanced stage of coccidiosis.
Abnormal droppings on the droppings boards signal a health concern.
Disclaimer at The-Chicken-Chick.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick

100 comments :

  1. When u discover the cocciodiosis what do u do? Is it not cureable?

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    1. When I found the bloody droppings pictured above, I treated my entire flock with Corid. Cocci is treatable. It can also deadly if not treated.

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  2. What great information!! I hadn't read about a droppings board before, but as we design our chicken coop (hopefully for the very near future!) we will make sure to include one. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Please join me on Facebook so you can share your new coop photos. I'd love to see them!

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  3. I always learn so much when I read about your chickens. Thank You for sharing what you know in such detail. It really helps me understand my options with my little flock!

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    1. That's so nice to know, thank you. I'm happy to help. :)

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  4. The shed we converted into a new and much larger coop for our flock of 7 using the plans from your coop tour as a guide, is now finished and the chickens are settled in their new home. There will be plenty of room for 18 more when they are old enough to join the gang. Its funny now to see them all huddled down in one corner on the top roost and a huge expanse of space between them and the other wall. I LOVE the dropping board which I did have in my old coop too. It makes cleaning in the morning a 5 minute easy chore. Thanks for all your good info.

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    1. I'd love to see your new coop! Thanks for blogging with me.

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  5. Great post, and I can see how this will be helpful in my coop. Thank you for sharing and I am becoming a new follower.
    Gail

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  6. Very good post - I added a droppings board not too long ago and it really helped with cleanup. I had not thought of using a drywall taping knife.. awesome idea. Thanks for the great tips.

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  7. I'm happy I read your article. I'm considering getting a few chickens and wanted to read up to determine pros and cons. Cleaning up poop is certainly a con for me. I'm considering a mobile coop as opposed to a permanent structure. I'm trying to not invest too much money in this project until it is determined if chicken keeping is for me/my family. Thanks for your wisdom!

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    1. Hi Jeryl! You're wise to do your homework first. There are lots of decisions to be made about how to care for your chickens. I have yet to hear of a chicken-keeper that regretted their decision.
      I hope you do give it a try when you're ready and check back to let me know your thoughts on it!

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  8. Okay you I know what you thinking right now what a The Queen doing with Chickens.. but I have 4 backyard free roaming chickens and this is my first time commenting ... but not my first time reading your awesome suggestion. This is the one I going to have my hubby do next... I hate the dropping from over night and this would be an easy way to keep the coop cleaner for the my girls... thank you
    The Scrapbooking Queen.. :o)

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    1. Just don't tell him that I made more work for him this weekend! LOL

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  9. Hi Kathy, you mention Coccidia in this post. I am a new chicken keeper and had a chicken die recently of Coccidia. I have been treating the remainder of my flock with Corid 5-7 days per month and guess I will have to do that forever. Is that what you do? When treating with Corid, can you eat the eggs? I have been throwing mine out during the Corid week. Any adviser would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Cameron in Nashville

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  10. Hi there, I acquired some young cochins & I really new nothing about owning them so I found a guy that was selling coops & bought one that has a wired floor, the coop is raised high off the ground & has a nesting box & two perches inside with a small door. I find it difficult to remove the poop off the wire, any suggestions? They basically are only in there at night time & when they go in to lay eggs (I had to add another nesting box because of an annoying broody). Otherwise they roam an enclosed area along side my house. But when they have some big droppings I can't seem to scrap it off the wire & water certainly did nothing but make a mess.

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  11. TheChickenChick12/3/12, 8:55 PM

    As you saw from reading my blog post, I had a droppings pit covered with wire once upon a time too. I 86'd it because it was impossible to keep clean. I recommend replacing the wired floor with wood and installing a droppings board or, at a minimum, boot trays underneath the roost. Much easier to clean than wire!

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  12. Anne Kimball12/10/12, 11:32 AM

    Hi Kathy, great post.  I have a poop board, too, but I do things slightly differently, as when I have an empty feed bags, I lay them out on the board.  When they get pretty poopy, I take them out, scrape the poop into the compost pile, then throw the bags away and replace with new. 

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  13. Is your droppings board just a flat piece of wood under the roosts? I think we need to do this. This was a wonderful post, thank you!

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  14. Shirley Corwin12/10/12, 4:35 PM

    I have a droppings board under my roosts.  (Actually is is an old red kids plastic  toboggan, but it works.)  I keep about 2 inches of PDZ in it so the poop dries out immediately and there's never an odor.  I also scoop it out like cat litter every 2-3 days.  (I only have 5 chickens.) When it is clean I notice the chickens like to go on it and take a dust bath so I also added some DE so it's serving two purposes!  

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  15. TheChickenChick12/19/12, 10:11 PM

    Kim: the board is covered with linoleum to make cleaning it easier.

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  16. I don't use a droppings board. I have had great success with the Deep Litter method, a mixture of pine shavings and rice hulls, and I experiment with additions such as nut shells, wood/bark chips, etc. I aerate the litter daily with a pitchfork, and sometimes I do remove big clumps of fresh poops by hand and put them directly in a compost bucket, which gets emptied into the compost piles. (By hand but usually it's a gloved hand!) I don't find moisture build-up a problem, as the coop has very good ventilation. In fact, I have to add water to the litter in the summer to keep it from being too dry. No smell, no muss, no fuss, and what's more, chicks raised on deep litter (once there is a healthy microbial field going, which is the point of it all) are much less prone to get coccidiosis. The secret isn't to eliminate pathogens, which is impossible to maintain even if it were a good idea. It's to keep them in balance with benign and healthful microorganisms. Nature has this all worked out, we just need to pay attention.

    Love your photos!

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  17. TheChickenChick1/10/13, 9:42 PM

    Let me know how you like the sand, Jeanmarie. :)

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  18. Can you explain your Deep Litter method a bit further? Constructed with and how, and mixture of pine shavings/rice bulls is directly on floor of coop or in a box?

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  19. I can't imagine having a coop without a droppings board! I have sand on the floor of the coop and the run and the girls free range during the day. Clean up is quick and easy. A few minutes in the morning for the droppings board and a few minutes in the evening for the sand. Nice!

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  20. I want dropping boards so much, but my husband & I aren't very handy. Still, this doesn't look too difficult even for 2 clueless carpenters. We'll try it, i think.

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  21. really? That sounds good too! i didn't know if it was ok for chickens to have contact with the PDZ.

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  22. I have 2x4s making a rectangle box on the floor under the roost area. I lay a small tarp in the box and put a layer of sand in. I treat it like a litter box as I do with my cats and the tarp makes it easy to lift it all out to replace the sand when the need arises.

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  23. what is cocci ? and how will I know.thanks

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  24. TheChickenChick8/27/13, 9:48 PM

    Here is the link to my article on cocci, Doris: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/coccidiosis-what-backyard-chicken.html

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  25. Here's my patent pending AUTO cleaning Drop Board.

    I've designed it as a self cleaning drop board.

    I cut a slot that is 2 inches tall and as long as the roost is in length - it runs along the bottom of the wall at the baseboard so that the drop board will sit in it, be sure to frame out the 2 inch slot with headers and trim to manage the load bearing wall.

    Then mount gutters down low at the bottom side of the cut out opening with a down spout to a bucket. (Instant liquid fertilizer as needed).

    Then for the inside drop pan: It's made of AZEK to Mill (ATM) is available in a board size of 1 ¼” x 9 ¼” x 18’ and sheet size of 1 ¼” x 48” x 8’ (http://www.azek.com/azek-to-mill-atm/styles/).

    Think of the drop pan as a flat gutter with raised sides screwed in place to prevent the water from spilling out the sides. Like a pan sized to the roost with a lip on each side. It's then angled from the outer side of the roost and downward towards the wall at the outside base. Be sure to extend the drop pan edge to the down low outside wall so water runs into gutter outside.

    Apply hard screen above gutter to the outside wall opening of slot to stop snakes or critters.

    Now take a PVC pipe at least the length of the roost and add spray heads or just pre drill holes on one side and set a water line to one end with a plug on the other. Set water on a slow low steady stream, you can use a battery timer to regulate water usage and now you've created a small water fall from the top of the board down to the bottom of the board and through the wall into a gutter and then a down spout into a bucket (Instant liquid fertilizer as needed for garden).

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  26. TheChickenChick8/29/13, 2:10 PM

    Sounds interesting, do you have a photo of it, Brian? The water might be a problem in the winter.

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  27. I love PDZ and have been using it with my chickens for a couple of years and have never had a problem. PDZ is just zeolite, a volcanic mineral.

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  28. TheChickenChick9/4/13, 9:20 PM

    Hey Kim! I just can't justify the expense of PDZ when sand does the trick.

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  29. Sandy Potter11/17/13, 11:48 AM

    Hmmm... at the moment, I've been lining under the roosts with the cut open feed bags. But, I see tweaking ideas here. Thank you all. I like the plastic toboggan idea!

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  30. FarmGirlShelley11/17/13, 12:14 PM

    we have been using the deep bed method for seven years now and it works well with our coop design. I like sawdust, straw and pine shavings.

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  31. Yes, i use hammocks made from feed sacks. They are suspended on chains, so hens don't roost on them. I love them!

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  32. Rhonda Wilkins Ladenius11/17/13, 5:09 PM

    Hi there - we are planning on installing dropping boards but just wanted to know how low to install it below the roosts. My husband is concerned that the birds will just want to sit on the dropping boards instead of the roosts.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

    Rhonda

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  33. TheChickenChick11/17/13, 7:15 PM

    Some birds cannot be convinced to roost and those birds will either sleep on the floor of the coop, in a nest box or on a droppings boards. There's not much you can do about it except to pick them up and put them on the roost every night after dark and hope they catch on some day. Many do, some will not.

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  34. My husband and I are reconfiguring our coop and I am trying to put in two roosts. How far from the wall and from each other are your roosts?

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  35. TheChickenChick11/26/13, 10:12 PM

    Not nearly far enough away from the wall. Don't go by mine!

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  36. What is the maximum recommended height off the ground for the DB's and roosts? I am designing my coop and building it over the next month so any advice would be fantastic.I only have a small flock of 5 but want full door access for easy maintenance and storage use. Thanks for all the information you share.


    This is our 110 lb dog Hunter. He thinks he is the Momma Hen and loves the girls. He watches over them protectively.

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  37. TheChickenChick12/3/13, 9:08 AM

    My personal philosophy is that lower is better. Cute pic! :)

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  38. Michele' preston12/19/13, 11:12 AM

    I tried this & my kids aka chickens ended up hanging out on them so much they had poo all over the underside of them so I came up with a idea...someone gave me a huge roll of vinyl fabric for like redoing sofas, hated the color (tan) but realized how great it would work to put a strip of it as long & a bit wider than the roosting bars on the floor. I cover it with a bit of bedding hay & when it needs to be cleaned I can fold it up & carry the whole thing to the compost pile & use the hay to help clean it before I wash it off with white vinegar & water. It dries in minutes outside & then is put back down...no more scrapping off hard dried poo off of wood or metal screening plus saves this old ladies back :) I also cut it & fit it in the laying boxes before adding the bedding so another easy cleaning job for me. :)
    I do love all your ideas on how to make us better chicken people, keep up the good work honey!

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  39. TheChickenChick12/19/13, 3:58 PM

    Sounds great, Michele!

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  40. Michele' preston12/20/13, 9:13 AM

    Shirley I love your toboggan idea & I can see that it would be so much easier to tend to & clean...great idea 7 thank you for sharing it :)

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  41. In the next few nights the temps will be 0° or below here. The days have been in the teens. My boyfriend says we will have to bring in the chickens for the nights. I don't think so. Ive had chickens before and they always have survived. They have lots of food and fresh water, thick bedding too. I keep it fluffy and as dry as I can. Is this going to be enough?

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  42. TheChickenChick1/2/14, 10:44 PM

    This article has my best advice on winter cold issues, Evie: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/11/surviving-winter-with-chickens.html

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  43. Jennifer Shaughnessy2/18/14, 6:38 PM

    So do you just use linoleum and sand now?

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  44. TheChickenChick2/18/14, 11:29 PM

    Yes.

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  45. I just found this site and I love it!!

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  46. natalien5553/29/14, 7:25 PM

    Do the chickens like to perch outside of their coop? I've built an enclosed run around their coop and was wondering if I should build perches outside as well as the one that's inside the small coop. Thanks for you.

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  47. TheChickenChick4/1/14, 12:26 AM

    They roost inside the coop every night- nobody ever tries to roost in the run.

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  48. Brittany Rosa4/14/14, 7:10 PM

    Hello

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  49. Brittany Rosa4/14/14, 7:11 PM

    I am just starting my journey as a chicken owner and this is all so overwhelming! Can you give me any advice on getting started? My coop is the prefab raised kind and I plan to just start with 3 or 4 birds

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  50. I am making plans for my future coop, thanks so much for all the info here! The poop boards are an awesome idea. I wonder: Have you tried maybe affixing linoleum on them, to make it easier to scrape them? I spray no-stick veg spray on snow shovels to make the snow slide off and not stick to the shovel, so I wonder if covering the boards with linoleum (with or without non-stick cook spray sprayed on) is worth trying??

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  51. Erin Stewart4/16/14, 10:35 PM

    I want to use sand as litter, but worry about using it in our colder winters. Do you keep sand through out your winter?

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  52. Susan Frank Cooper4/16/14, 11:24 PM

    I installed a DB and use sand as litter thanks to your writings. I live in the desert, so sand is plentiful and easy to clean with a cat litter scoop! Makes things so much easier!

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  53. TheChickenChick4/17/14, 5:08 PM

    Purchase this book and read it. It's perfect for what you need. http://amzn.to/KCcHh7

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  54. TheChickenChick4/17/14, 6:43 PM

    I certainly do and my chickens are better for it because it keeps their coop drier, reducing the risk of frostbite.

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  55. TheChickenChick4/17/14, 6:47 PM

    Yes. That is what I use.

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  56. Denise Allison Magil4/17/14, 6:50 PM

    wow your coops are always spotless

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  57. we are desining a new coop this could not have come at a more perfect time!! Thank you!

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  58. Can one use a coarse beach sand/ gravel for bedding? We live on the beach, so this would be wonderful f it would work.

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  59. Matt Russell5/14/14, 8:11 AM

    Thanks for the info. just in time too, have placed sand in our new coop. First time with chickens so love all the ideas. All the way from Oz.

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  60. Sydney Schierling5/21/14, 2:40 PM

    Do they just know to use it? First time chicken owner. Thanks!

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  61. Abbi Beuby Auger6/8/14, 3:59 PM

    My chickens walk all over the dropping boards. They sleep on the 2x4's like they are supposed to, but how do I keep them off the boards in the daytime? Thanks!

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  62. If you clean them in the morning, there's nothing for them to walk on, Abbi. There isn't a way to prevent them from walking on the droppings boards.

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  63. Abbi Beuby Auger6/9/14, 8:27 PM

    Oh, so they walk on yours too. I understood your blog as they didn't walk on them at all. Now I get it. Thanks! BTW I modeled my new hen house (named Chickhill Downs, because I live in Louisville, home of the Derby/Churchill Downs) after yours. It's amazing! You're an inspiration! :)

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  64. Stacie Mandrell6/17/14, 5:21 PM

    So, im a first timer too and my hubs is in the middle of building the coop...he was going to make the droppings board the entire floor but that really isn't necessary is it? do they generally just poop from the roost and the DB can be under the roost? Second question...you are cleaning their coop daily of droppings correct?

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  65. PiTown Patty6/19/14, 5:17 PM

    Thanks - before my babies go into their big girl house I'll be installing these. Also using sand out there, seems so much more practical than pine shavings. I have it in the brooder now and the babies are loving the warm sand to get a quick snooze -- until someone decides to scramble over then there goes the nap :)

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  66. What kind of sand should I use?

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  67. I am totally pleased with using the droppings board in our coop, I covered mine with contact shelving paper. I scrape to poops, it lifts out easy when I want to do a major water jet spray on it, and/or spritz with a cleaner and wipe clean. I sprinkle the dry board with lavender and lemon balm.

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  68. We have pine shavings under our roosts and hay in the boxes and the droppings are EVERYWHERE. I understand that havin a DB under the roost would catch a lot but what about the rest of the coop that has bedding?

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  69. Shauna Bradshaw6/25/14, 11:56 PM

    we have plastic trays under our roost. we just pull them out and dump them daily

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  70. Clean the bedding as usual- it should be required much less frequently, however, with a droppings board.

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  71. Construction grade, washed sand or river sand.

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  72. I am very curious about the sand. Could you give me more info. How often does the entire thing need changed? Do they scratch and dust in it too? How deep so you do you put it?
    Thanks I'm new to chickens. Have 49 almost 3 week chicks that are in our homemade 8x10 coop with hay bedding I fluff everyday and change completely every week= too much being in compost pile! Therefore I like the sand idea please help.

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  73. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/09/chicken-coop-bedding-sand-litter.html

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  74. Hi, newbie here > First, your FB and web sites are great...thank you for so much information! We bought property which included an older large coop. I'll try to explain: it as two huge areas connected by a 2x2 hole. One side is a nice run. The other (middle section) is connected to a third section along the line side which includes the roost area, a separate dusting area, and a separate box area. All three of these areas are accessible from the outside of the coop (great!). However, the roost area, while accessible, I can't walk into. It's a little over 4' at the tallest (where it connects to the main area), and has a permanent corrugated 'roof' slanting down to about 3'. The entire external 3' panel comes off for access from the outside. I can see two permanent roosting bars (2x4s) inside the entire width, however, I can not reach the top of either. About 1' under the bars is chicken wire the entire width (which also serves as a second predator protection level from the bottom), and the very bottom is dirt. The exterior has a 1x4 in the dirt with wire. HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS, (please?) > I want to use plastic bins for the DB. Q1) Would I put this on top of the chicken wire (with pine/straw in them) OR on top of the sand (need to deal w/poop sticking to the wires above). Also, the walls of the roost area have a little space between them for air flow...Q2> is this enough when our summer days get up to 110' (evening to about 80'), or do I need a window w/hardware cloth? Thanks in advance :)>

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  75. The use of 2" x 4" wire instead of wire cloth or chicken wire does facilitate passthrough. In the past, our roosting boards are over a drop pit. However, in the middle of the roosting boards I installed a platform for the water dispenser with a heat lamp suspended over to keep it from freezing in the winter. I will try and include photo links. We've added on to our coop and attempting to re-design the pit area. A DB sounds good but I'd prefer they not walk in the drop zone. We do go on 3-4 days trips and their habitat is turn key.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/davedube/14885044931/in/photostream/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/davedube/14701452669/in/photostream/

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  76. Poop will stick to and clog up the wire.

    This is an article you're going to want to read with regard to the ventilation issue. It is as important in winter as it is in summer. I would put windows on all four sides of the coop. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/11/surviving-winter-with-chickens.html

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  77. Hi, I am new to having a 5 month old chicken. We have a coop that has wire fence all around including the bottom area which we were given straw to put down as bedding. Now I'm reading straw is not good, to use pine shavings. My question is with the cage being wired, what can I put down so thst the pine shavings just don't fall through to the newspaper?

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  78. Try some cardboard all the way around the outside going up the crate about 6" or so, maybe? (duct tape to keep it in place)

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  79. Janet Gamache9/16/14, 11:43 AM

    I am building my first chicken coop and someone told me not to use a board at all in the coop. He said if I use a wire bottom, the poop drops to the ground and I can rake it out. Do I NEED a solid bottom with shavings in the other area besides the hen boxes? I am making a small box for 2 hens

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  80. Robert Kresse9/21/14, 11:03 PM

    I have have a coop that my daughter designed part of the floor is chicken wire were my roosts are is were the chicken wire is and there are steel drip pans below will I need to tarp the lower portion around the legs to stop drafts.

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  81. Do you use any kind of predator control other than the auto door? Things like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Predator-Guard-Maintenance-Free-Weather-Proof-Protection/dp/B00E51X8Q8/ref=pd_sim_hi_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1PNEYCSPW9AWYFEPXR48

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  82. I'm installing PB's today very excited! thanks for the valuable info.

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  83. You are so dang smart & helpful!

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  84. My roosts make it difficult to put in board.....if I only put under the used spots it could work

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  85. Jessi Sheteron- Lewis10/12/14, 3:33 PM

    I am going to try this but may not be till spring I only have 4 hens 1 roo so weekly cleaning is good. I would like to finf actual plans to build it will be me duilding this thank you your ideas are great!

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  86. Paula Pearson10/12/14, 9:36 PM

    I use empty feed bags.. The inside of the bags have a waxy coat.. I just cut them open, lay them out flat underneath the roosts. I take the bag out over a big trash can, and the droppings fall off right into the trash can.. No mess, I can reuse the bag 4 or 5 times, then I just burn it!

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  87. Brian Patton10/13/14, 3:40 PM

    I use a 4' by 6' sheet of linoleum under my roosts, Home Depot sells 8' by 6' sheets for about $20,I cut it down the middle.
    Each sheet lasts about 6 months.
    We put a little sand on it then shavings on top of that, This is good for about 10 days before we pull the linoleum out empty it into a wheel barrow brush it off and re-install.
    We have 20 chickens.

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  88. I have a few perches in the run and the hens love to sit there in the sun. they go inside when it gets dark.

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