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 Post subject: Best floor for pen...
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 4:41 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Lancaster, VIC
Ok.. so we are going to be re-building our chook pens. At the moment we have a dirt floor & we line it with hay & clean it out every month or so... but as hay is sooooo exp at the mo i am looking at other options.

THey will be free ranging during they day - so getting greens & dust bathing wont be a problem..

So is concrete best or rocks (small flat ones - not sharp), dirt... whats the easiest to keep clean & pest free?

What do you have & does it work?

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 5:55 pm 
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Great Game
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Location: Dromana - Victoria
My chook shed has wooden boards as the flooring, which are sealed and it works fine. A quick sand and re painting will make the boards last abit longer.

On our other shed it has a cement base. Works fine also...

The main thing to make sure of is that 1. the floor wont rot, 2. that it causes no harm to the birds, 3. is easy to clean.

It is really up to you as to what you wish to go with, as your pens/sheds already have dirt flooring it may be easiest for you to conrete it.

Just make sure that you have a nice thick layer of Woodshavings or straw on top of the floor so that when the birds jump from the perches onto the ground, they dont damage their legs, breast bone, etc.

If you use wood shavings, the bords will continuously turn them over, and you wont have to replace it as often as hay/straw.

Just a couple of idea's on what i use,

Let me know if you need anymore help.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I have been putting re-cycled colorbond floors in my pens, they are raised off the ground. Some I also put thick mesh as part of the floor to let the droppings fall through.
It is easy tto clean, I justt hose the shiny colourbond or brush it.

Sarah.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:29 pm 
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Any litter will do. What ever you can get your hands on and is organic. shredded Paper, lawn clippings, autumn leaves, wood chips, shavings, rice hulls, etc etc. Just throw it in the pen, and the birds will do the rest 8)


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:33 pm 
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Great Game
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Location: Dromana - Victoria
Quote:
Any litter will do


I suppose i mainly referred to as Wood shavings as i can get them for nothing...

Anything you can get for nothing or for a cheap price will be beneficial, so then you have more money to put towards more birds, or more importantly, feed!

Cheers


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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I would suggest concrete. If laid properly it will be mouse and vermin proof. A good thick layer of litter(we prefer straw, but whatever is cheapest available). The litter needs to be changed at least three times a year, to prevent lice and other like parasites, gaining a foothold. Concrete can be swept, washed with mop or hose, and if thought necessary, sprayed with a suitable disinfectant, or vermin spray. Last but not least the fowls cannot dig holes in it.

granpa


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:37 pm 
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Great Game
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so is shredded paper ok?

sorry to but into a thread here... :roll:


at the moment i use woodshavings, i really like them, and will keep using them, but we actually have a paper shredder at home, and for some daft reason, i have never thought of using it...

would i need to be careful what sort of paper is used... newspaper, yay or nay? office paper?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Sammiiz wrote:
so is shredded paper ok?

I get shredded paper from work. On its own, its not the best litter, but I find it works well when added as an addition litter. It can be a bit "tangly" when in long strips, but the chooks soon make short work of it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:26 pm 
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Great Game
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the only problem I have with office paper is it doesn't break down that well and I tend to throw the used litter directly on the garden...so I end up with white strands throughout my beds ( or I would if those bl**dy malays would stop their earthworks and leave my flower beds where they are supposed to be) but a mixture of anything would do I guess...so long as it soaked up the poo and is able to be turned over by the chooks.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:34 pm 
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Great Game
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well our shredder doesn't do the long strips, it chops the paper into about 1cm squares (ish)... so i guess that would be better?

and if i just mix it in with woodshavings, that should be alright i guess. hmmm.

thanks guys


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:41 pm 
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Champion Bird
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My reading suggested sand as an ideal flooring - about 30cm deep. In our new chook house we first laid bird mesh over the floor area and extending out around the house to prevent foxes digging in. We then covered that with about 20cm of gravelly toppings (Anakie toppings are the local variety here) deep enough that the chooks can't scratch down to the mesh. Then pea straw on top of that. As the house stays dry (as it is intended to) the toppings haven't really packed down and have become very dusty. So I just laid some washed sand over the top - only a few centimetres deep - and this has solved the dust problem. The idea of sand (or soft gravel) is that the chooks can scratch it, it absorbs moisture from their droppings, and it can be dug out and replaced annually. The straw (or rice hulls or shavings or whatever) is replaced more frequently when it becomes soiled. Also with gravel or granitic sand there are many little particles that the chooks can eat as part of their grit requirement. We looked at concrete as a floor alternative, but haven't really got any water to spare to hose or wash it clean, and I liked the idea of the chooks scratching on a softer surface. Judy

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 2:15 am 
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Superior Bird
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I'm seriously thinking of doing without a floor altogether. As my chook house is about a foot and a half off the ground and they only use it to roost and lay I'm not convinced I need a floor. Just little ladders to boxes and lowest roost. It has a wooden and lino floor at moment and I use woodshavings as litter but it always feels very dry and dusty in there.

I don't think much of the woodshavings on the garden because they stay dry and blow around everywhere (with help from chooks and dog of course).


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:16 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks Judy..


We have actually put sand down at the moment... only as we had a massive pile of it outside & i have noticed that it worked really well... may just do the floor with wire, pebbles & sand.

At the moment i have all my chooks in one house & all but one of my roosters in small cages... we need to do some rebuilding & fast!

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 5:02 pm 
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Showy Hen
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My chook pen is straight onto dirt, and I throw in about 30cm straw every couple of months, which has worked ok so far, but we haven't had much rain for months / years so maybe when it rains it'll get a bit messy! I've also got a roost and nest boxes off the ground.
Cheers, Richard


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