disease prevention

msjay2u(7)February 26, 2009

I noticed today that the bedding in my coop is moist but it has been pretty dry outside. I am not quite sure how to dry the coop out. First mistake I made is building my coop on the north side of the barn because it was the only side that made sense. I have hay down and when I went in the coop today the underlayment of hay was moist. Any suggestions on how to fix this? I do not want my chickens to get any diseases and once I put the other 4 chickens in there it will only get worse. I am thinking of putting in a cement floor to solve the problem. I am not about to mix it myself and thinking of asking one of these cement places to dunp their extra but problem with that is there are some power lines going to the barn that might prevent the truck from getting close enough.

suggestions??

I was going to add this to the barnyard special thread since it is swerving towards disease prevention but it is getting off the original subject and I did not want to hijack ...

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I use the 'dry litter' layering method, where I only fully muck out my coop several times a year (unless it gets wet from rain). My actual coop where the roosts are is pretty well protected, so I just add more straw as the existing stuff gets broken down. Mine stays odor-free and has no problems with this method--but I'm in a pretty warm, dry climate with no snow or heavy-duty winter.

When I do muck it out, I choose a time when it is hot and dry, and get everything out and let the coop dry out and air for at least a day. I use straw, not hay, since I find it aerates itself better and stays dry due to the way it lays down and doesn't 'pack' down. Maybe try straw?

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:32PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I think making a new thread was a great idea. Is this ground water that is wicking up, Rain or waterer water that is being splashed into the hay, or some other source?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 12:51AM
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brendasue(6)

We manage like Velvet during the winter. Around here it's called manure packs or deep litter method, heat/warmth is generated from the pack. We usually get 2 thorough cleanings in somewhere between Nov - March/April. We use shavings-havn't had any respiratory issues and it works for us.

During good weather we either clean out or rotate, for everyone not just chickens.

Brendasue

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 10:14AM
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seramas

The coop out back we built it and dug out all the dirt-and such out to the depth of 18". Then used treated 2"x12" all around the bottom two high giving us 6" above grade (outside soil level). Filled with crushed concrete (14") over that heavy duty greenhouse floor cloth and 2" of sand on top of that. The bedding we use on top of that is the pelleted pine saw dust used for horses. The chickens do not eat it and if they did it is digestible. It absorbs the moisture from their droppings and the deep base does not allow water to rise up even when we get 1-2" of rain in one day. The alkaline nature of crushed concrete discourages rodents from tunneling in it, plus the greenhouse woven floor allows water to pass through it but the sand and such stays above it.

When cleaned we shovel to the sand and even take some of the sand in with the saw dust and chicken poo. The sand levels are restored to 2" and new sawdust pellets are about 1" deep and as needed (due to weather or time constraint) more sawdust is added over the old until we able to clean it again.

It is always dry. And they love it to dig in. This year were going to build 3'x3' trays to put a DE/peat/sand mix in there for them to dust in. Love those trays that someone posted earlier, a good IDEAL. That way the dusting mix can be changed regularly without changing the whole floor areas.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 11:35AM
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msjay2u(7)

I am not sure where the water is coming from. The sides of it are all wire so it might be rain blown in or it might be seeping up or both.

seramas can you ptovide an internet link or photo that illustrates how to do this? I clean out the coop every week. and the boxes they hang out in at night I clean daily. I was thinking of digging some of the dirt out, putting in bags of cement (loose, not mixed) and then some shavings on top of that to see if that would help with the water build up.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 2:01PM
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seramas

Loose concrete will harden when becoming wet and will then hold moisture. We used crushed concrete (old concrete that has been crushed into smaller pieces) with about 1/2 to 1" pieces with no other gravel added. You have to dig down so that the crushed concrete will be below the level of the outside dirt. It must be deep enough to be above the outside dirt on the inside of the coop. Use Landscape cloth if you can't get the heavy woven greenhouse flooring cloth. Place 2" or so of sand on top of the cloth then your bedding on top of that.

The goal is to create a drainage zone that is big enough to contain and drain away water no matter where it comes from (even the runoff from the roof). Having these layers deep enough to be well below and above the outside ground on the inside of the coop. Any spilled water (or water from a leaky roof) will drain down and away not pooling-up causing a muddy spot in the coop.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 3:00PM
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msjay2u(7)

no photo showing up for me. I wonder if bricks would accomplish the same thing? I have a stack of bricks in my barn that the goats keep knocking over and a piece of something that looks like an old chimney. I could bust that up. I think I am getting the idea now.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:27PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:52PM
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msjay2u(7)

same thing

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:09PM
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brendasue(6)

Maybe the contractor has one of those extention chutes, they could slide the concrete into your coop?

We like the concrete-easy to clean & works for our area. Your weather may be a big deciding factor, too. Velvet pointed that out in one of the other threads.

Brendasue

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:24PM
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msjay2u(7)

Brenda I thought of that and was thinking when I feel better I am going to call around and ask.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 12:43AM
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