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Dirt/old hay on cement floor in chicken coop?

1803 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  1jooj
I'm (still!) in the process of cleaning out my chicken coops. I've cleaned out the brooder and pens in the front of the barn, but now I'm tackling the larger enclosed pen and it's a BIG job! They haven't been used in 5-10 years, there is a cement floor in there, but as I was cleaning it there is a good 2-3 inches of packed down dirt, hay and feathers (who knows what else) on top. I hacked away at it and am trying to get it all in a pile, but it is a LOT of work, and Im not near done yet. Do I need to get down to the bare cement floor and wash it all, or can I just get the top layer out of there and lay down new litter everywhere?? This is the place I will put my chickens once they are old enough - around 6 weeks. Can I put hay down in there? Should I put pine shavings in the cages? (Can't explain the setup, but here are the pics I took a few weeks ago, I have since cut down some trees in the outside caged area and pruned, raked etc.)

Thanks! Hopefully I'll get all this info together and figure out what I am doing, my head is reeling from reading so much!!!
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We just swept ours out and scraped the floor hosing or scrubbing...took a broom to walls and ceilings, too. I'd try hard to get all the old crud out. I am kind of anal about stuff like that, and the thing is, it will be so much easier to sweep clean once you get it thoroughly clean in the first place. Do you have a sharp barn scraper?
Does the run have a top? Because hawks will come get them if it doesn't. Hard to tell in the pics.

Are you going to do deep litter? Most people do pine shavings for that.

It does seem like bare concrete would be easier to just sweep out the old shavings (or hay) when it was time for a change. My grandpa cleaned out an old horse barn, he used a backwards turning garden tiller to break up all the dirt and horse manure that was compacted in there. A regular forward-turning tiller just crawled on top of it because it was so packed!
Thanks, I was afraid of that!
I've got a metal hoe/rake to scrape with and break up the gunk. Maybe I can recruit my brother to help me tomorrow! The top of the run is fully covered, we just need to repair some holes and reinforce some of the posts.

BTW, by looking at those pics, would you just leave the chickens in the main open area inside at night, or do I put them in their cages...? Or should I just leave their cage doors open and let them decide, so long as the main door to the run is shut?
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They'll probably want to fly up and roost. We build roosts of scrap lumber so they have an elevated place to rest.
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