…you get chicken poop. That’s the long and short of it. What makes chicken poop more manageable? Poop boards.
When I was planning our coop, the one element that I kept coming across in coops that everyone raved about was poop boards, a feature in which chicken droppings are caught in some fashion, making it easy to remove. I am now one of those people raving about them, and hopefully someone who is planning their coop will read this. If that’s you, then listen up…build these!
Poop boards, also known as dropping boards for the more polite, range in design. Some include a canvas hammock suspended under roosting bars, some have a pull out tray that can be accessed from the outside of the coop and some, like mine, is basically a large litter box.
To build ours, we just used a large rectangle piece of scrap paneling to form a bottom base then we used scrap trim to build sides on the bottom and to run boards under the paneling to support the bottom. We then filled the box with stall dry, a product found at most feed stores which is primarily marketed as a horse stall covering. Since we’re lazy, we just sat the tray on two upside down 5-gallon buckets directly under the roosting bars. We then bought a metal kitty-litter scoop, and when the board gets full like this… (OK, I probably should have cleaned this sooner. This is about a month and a half worth of droppings from 13 chickens).
… You just use your kitty litter scoop and scoop it out. I wear gloves and a respirator (a respirator only because my husband has one at the house for working on cars. A face mask will work just fine. You just don’t want to breathe in the dust).
It is especially important to clean your coop out in the winter, because the moisture in the droppings can cause your chickens to develop frostbite. The poop boards leave the rest of your coop primarily poop free, which means you have beautifully clean eggs waiting for you in the nesting boxes.