You can choose from a wide range of flooring options for your chicken run. If you set up a portable chicken run on the lawn, you can easily move it to your garden area to allow the grass to recover. If the chicken lawn is stationed at a fixed place, then after rain, the place is likely to become very messy, and the chickens get dirty as well. Before selecting the cover, you need to study the environment in which these chickens can thrive. Secondly, the type of chicken and the number of chicken which will be living in the coop should be taken into account.
The option for keeping hygienic
Wood chippings: You need to make wood chips with the whiter portion of the wood and not use the bark. As the wood chips made of barks make the floor muddy, they are likely to destroy the hygiene of the place. The use of white wood chippings on the chicken run floor is one of the best methods to keep the place hygienic. It looks very tidy, lightweight, dust-free, and features good drainage, and most importantly, chickens love to hang around inside them.
Wood chippings are also known as play chips. The play chips do not get dirty easily as they do not get easily crushed into the mud; hence this prevents the chickens from muddy feet. You can even clean the wood chippings very easily.
Once or twice a year, you need to top up the floor with wood chips as they are natural items and gradually break down with time.
Sand: You can use coarse sand for the floor of the chicken run. These sands are cheaper, and the chicken droppings can easily be cleaned with the help of “cat litter scoop.” Due to rain, the sand can be washed off; then, you need to prepare it all by yourself.
Pea Gravel: Rounded small size stones are known as pea gravel. You can easily wash the chicken droppings just by spraying water over them. It is better to place the pea gravel just over the sand without the weed membrane in between because this can significantly affect the drainage. Some breeders complain that the chickens hate to walk on the pea gravel as they find it uneasy.
Straw and wood shavings: Both wood shavings and straw can be used best for the bedding purpose, but some of the chicken keepers use them to pave the way for the flooring of the chicken run. But in the long run, it makes the floor soggy and untidy. And hence, it cannot be properly cleaned as well as it turns unhygienic.
Grass and vegetation: If your chicken ground is moveable, then you can consider grass or other grass type vegetation for its flooring purpose. This type of flooring is known as chicken ARKS. Chicken can look for worms and other insects in the grass and can feed themselves. Chickens, which are fed on worms and insects lay eggs which are considered to have high nutritional value.
The eggs are rich in omega-three fatty acids, vitamin E. But there is also a disadvantage of this grass flooring. The chickens often uproot the floor grass by scratching and make the place dirty and muddy. During this time, you need to shift the floor to the other side and quickly repair the scratched portion by planting quick yielding seeds such as buckwheat, flax. When the grasses start growing, you can again shift back the floor to its original space.
Concrete flooring: Concrete flooring is a permanent one and can be easily washed
Whichever material you use, you need to ensure that you level the flooring properly, as undulation on the surface discomforts the chicken. It never becomes muddy too. But it turns out very cold during the winter season, which may hurt your chicken’s health. At that time, a mat or haystack can be used above the flooring to make the chickens comfortable.
Benefits of own chicken coop
Keeping in mind the current situation of the world, which is a worldwide attack of the novel coronavirus, is the right time to invest in proper business. With the increasing demand for the poultry items, it will be wise to decide if you start your chicken coop. The pandemic is causing a global lockdown all over; hence the supply chain has been broken big time. If you can set up your own chicken coop, not only can you meet the local demand but also make a good amount of money. Flock caring not only provides you with the option of having freshly laid eggs but also flaunts the charm of chicken farming.
If you can raise chicken organically by avoiding injecting hormones and antibiotics, then there will be nothing as good as it; approximately you can get 300 eggs per chicken. The other benefits are as follows.
Healthier back yard chicken: Chickens grown in the back yard coop are much healthier and full of food value as they are free from hormone injection and antibiotic diets. The demand for these chickens is quite high, and they are costly, too, whereas factory-made chickens are treated with antibiotics and hormones for quicker growth.
Eggs have better nutritional value: If you grow eggs in your chicken coop, it will have more nutritional value in a sense there will be more vitamin A, E, and the percentage of beta carotene content.
They will also be high in comparison to the factory grown eggs.
Tastier eggs: The eggs grown in the back yard chicken coop is much tastier than the factory grown ones. A certain group of people has the demand for these types of eggs only. They are ready to spend more to buy these eggs as they have firmer whites and the Yolks are bright orange in color.
Making compost with chicken wastes: These Chicken excreta are high in nitrogen content, you can use them to fertilize your soil; even you can use the used shell as well.
With chicken cooping, the garden’s condition improves: These chickens scratch the garden ground to find yummy feeds such as earwigs, grubs, etc., which destroy your veggies and fruits in the garden.
The importance of chicken coop is as follows
Many people think that keeping the chickens in the coop is a cruel idea as you are caging them. Still, by doing so, you are making them safe by protecting them from the predators, plus it increases productivity and profitability too.
The importance of chicken cooping is as follows:
Safety: Your coop needs to be strong and sturdy; it keeps the predators away, such as foxes, cats, snakes, hawks, rats, etc. It also helps to restrict your chicken from roaming around in unsafe areas.
Shelter: Though chickens adapt themselves in different climates and weather conditions, they need proper shelters during climatic extremes such as thunderstorms, strong winds, bitter cold, extreme heat, etc. Coop keeps your chicken safe by providing shelters.
Laying space: If you are into serious egg production business, then you need a proper coop for the chickens to lay eggs. Get laying boxes of the proper size, which will comfort your chicken to lay decent eggs.
Roosting space: Chickens need to access a common area where they can roost throughout the night; coop is the best place for it. A suitable coop helps chickens roost and allows them to maintain a social hierarchy, which will control territorial behavior.
Feeding space: Chickens are normally well-disciplined if appropriately trained, if you train them that coop is the place where they need to come back when they are hungry, they will come back to the coop when they need to be fed. This will help you to keep a proper tab on your chickens.
Confinement: You need to confine the chicken, to keep them away from the place where they are not entertained.
Features of great chicken coop
There are different designs, sizes, and styles of chicken coops, you can build your own structure or can purchase a readymade one. While choosing the design, keep the following in mind:
Size: The size of the coop totally depends on the number of chickens you are willing to grow, the bigger the size, the more the comfort for the chickens.
Predator Protection: Elevated coop will be a bit vulnerable for the small predators. Cracks, holes should be appropriately sealed; windows should be properly shut so that the predators cannot use the chickens as their meals.
Ventilation: Shed feathers, droppings, decaying bedding cause fumes, which might create respiratory issues for your flock. Hence coop needs to be selected with proper ventilation so that there will be adequate air circulation.
Cleanliness: Coops need to be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain their hygiene. You can remove the debris parasites on a regular basis. Select the proper dropping board, which can be easily removed and cleaned.
Proper fencing in the outdoor area: The chickens often move out of their coop to the surrounding for worm hunting; this keeps them healthy too. So you need to do proper fencing to protect them.
Cleanliness: The breathing system of the chickens is completely different from the mammals. They do not have a diaphragm; they use their breast bone and rib cage for the inward and outward movement of the air.
Their lung is highly dependent on air sacs for the distribution of oxygen to the rest of the body. The bones are also connected with the air sacs, which also help in the air intake.
The toxic fumes generated from the chicken droppings and other waste can create breathing issues for the flocks. Hence it needs to be taken care of. Use natural cleaning products such as citrus fruits, which naturally cleans the coop and also deodorizes it without troubling the chickens.
When you are cleaning the old shavings, use proper citrus cleaning material to spray it down. Try to clean up the damp area with the blower or so.
The water founts and the feeding bowl need to be sterilized properly to keep the infection away.
Application of wound care ointments: You need to take proper care of the chicken wounds to make them healthy. Appropriate paste with the coconut oil and lavender and turmeric need to be made to treat the chickens’ open injuries. The mentioned ointments are soft in nature and smell good as well. It can be used as a burn first aid kit also. This type of ointment becomes very useful if your chicken is attacked by any predator such as snakes foxes etc.
Benefits of feeding oregano: For chicken care, the diluted form of oregano oil is very useful. The renowned farms have shifted their feed to the oregano instead of antibiotic feeds.
When you are using the essential oils for chicken care, you need to ensure that you use it in a diluted form.
Oregano or peppermint oil is hot in nature, be careful in using it.
Types of herbs keep the chicken healthy
There are some herbs, which keep the chicken healthy, try to arrange some of those in your open yard, so that when the chicken comes out from their coop, they can enjoy the benefits of those herbs.
The herbs which keep the chicken healthy are as follows:
Make sure you bring in chicken coops that are designed to sustain the lives of chickens, and in between, you can try out different essentials to ensure that chickens can live, enjoyably.