November 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm #257427
I’ve been looking at different chook house designs and one I saw has a 50mm opening mesh floor with a pull out tray underneath “for easy cleaning”.
Just wondering if anyone has had experience with this type of design and whether it’s any better than just having a hard floor. I also wondered if you still put bedding on the floor if you have one of these. Seems to me it would defeat the purpose of having the mesh if you did, but it doesn’t seem that comfortable for the chooks.November 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm #529125
:wave: We built a chook pen ourselves and encased the whole thing in mesh. Top bottom sides the whole bit. We then put some pavers we were given over the mesh on the floor to make it more comfy for the ladies and easier to clean. Works well and gives a double layer against foxes for when they are locked up at night. The coop that they sleep in is in the pen but up off the ground and fully locked up at night. We let them out of the pen to roam in a fenced area during the day but come 5 oclock they get put in the pen.
We put pea straw or sugar cane mulch in the coop and the pen for them to scratch around in when they are in there. They break it down for us, add their ahem bits to it and then we put it in the compost bin ready to use on the gardens.November 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm #529126S.O.PMember
This one has a mesh floor and straw litter over the top:November 22, 2012 at 12:19 am #529127BelMember
We had a mesh floor coop once. All the crap got caked onto the mesh and was hard to scrape off. Especially as it was a low coop and we couldn’t walk inside to get the job done. May be different with a taller coop or with pavers on top as suggested. We don’t have mesh now & I much prefer it that way but we also don’t have fox problems. It may be a different story for you…November 22, 2012 at 10:48 am #529128
I found the Milkwood one on Google after posting. Seems they use bedding in winter but leave it bare in summer. I guess that would help with cooling in summer.
I wasn’t sure how the chickens would go walking around on bare mesh suspended in the air. Sounds uncomfortable to me, but chickens obviously have stronger feet than me, since they can clamp themselves upright on a horizontal bar and go to sleep.
The idea of the mesh floor is that the house is up off the ground and there is a tray underneath, like on a BBQ, to catch the poo. Presumably the idea is that it all falls through the mesh and you just pull out the tray to clean it. That was the bit I was sceptical of.
So I guess I’ll just go for a solid floor and bedding on top. I was originally planning to make a full height house with a paver floor that you can walk into, but was starting to sway towards one up on stilts with sides that open right up to clean with the floor at waist height. Still not sure which way to go! I’m trying to come up with something that is easy to look after.
We do have the odd fox and there are occasionally stray dogs.November 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm #529129
I’ll see if I can find a photo from my old blog silentc. Our pen area is head height and the coop up on stilts to make it waist height and is easier to clean. We also put a plastic sheet on the floor to make it easier with bedding on top of that. You just pull it out and hose it off. The floor of the enclosed pen is the pavers on mesh which is really easy to clean out if you put straw in there. All the poop sticks to the straw and you just shovel it straight into the compost.November 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm #529130DennisMember
Some have the chook house a couple of feet off the ground and have put the night time roost over the mesh. This way all the poop falls through and you just rake it out from under. If the shed is near the fence you dont need to go into the pen to do it. Problem if you only have a small moveable pen.November 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm #529131
I’ll see if I can find a photo from my old blog
That would be great.
I’ve already got the chooks (Isa Browns) but a friend is looking after them while I get my act together. So there’s a little bit of pressure on me to get it done (or he gets all the eggs). That needs me to make up my mind what sort of hen house to build, and making up my mind is something I usually take a long time to do 🙂
At least I have worked out where they are going and I have their run planned out. There will be two areas side by side that are 10m x 6m and they will be fenced off separately so I can swap them between and grow veges in the other one.November 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm #529132
Photos as mentioned:
The day the ladies arrived. There is pavers under the straw.
DH building the pen. This one shows the size a lot more clearly.
I forgot to add. It is worth making the roof of any pen mesh. We had a fox dig under the yard fence one night and climb up over the roof of the pen to the coop then as it was wet it slid off and landed on the egg box on the other side which has some plastic over the timber roof for weather proofing. Hasn’t been back to my knowledge 😉November 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm #529133
OK I get it, so you’ve made the whole enclosure fox-proof with the mesh and pavers, then the chook house is just a smaller building inside the pen.
I should do something like that I suppose. My idea was to just have a fortress chook house which gets locked up at night with a ‘pop hole’ that opens into one of the fenced off areas for during the day.
I see your ramp lifts up to close the entrance, so you have a double layer of protection because even if something got into the pen, it would still have to get into the chook house.November 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm #529134
silentC post=350716 wrote: OK I get it, so you’ve made the whole enclosure fox-proof with the mesh and pavers, then the chook house is just a smaller building inside the pen.
I see your ramp lifts up to close the entrance, so you have a double layer of protection because even if something got into the pen, it would still have to get into the chook house.
Exactly. If a fox wants to get in it has to unscrew the bolts that hold the roof or timbers on or work out how to pick a bolted lock :laugh:
We do have to go into the pen each morning and night to open and close them up but given how many of our neighbours have lost all of their chooks we figure it’s a small price to pay. My kids would be devastated if they lost their ‘bocks’. And we’d have no eggs.November 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm #529135
I guess they free range during the day? I’m going to try and keep them contained in the 6×10 pens because we don’t have full fences around the property and I’m a bit paranoid about letting them wander, especially with dogs about (mine included).
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