Since my last post about the chicken coop, we made a couple of changes. Husband installed a roost on hinges. I can lift this up to clean if I need to. We also added a dropping board underneath the roost. We just used some old closet doors because that's what we had and they were the right size. Ideally, a dropping board wouldn't have seams for gunk to get stuck in, but this was a trial. I may make a proper one covered with linoleum at a later date since this one has worked out so well. I scrape it down every day with a wide tool that is made for spreading tile adhesive. Then I use a kitty litter scoop to pick up whatever droppings are left in the sand overnight.
Since making this change with the sand on the floor and the dropping board, the chicken coop never stinks.
A new issue was that several chickens decided to roost in the nesting boxes. This is not good. When they sleep in the nesting boxes, they poop in them all night. Then during the day when they go in to lay their eggs, they lay them in the poop. Ugh. Eggs with poop stuck to them is gross!
I've been mulling it over for some time and searching through Pinterest for solutions. One chicken owner actually made curtains for her nesting boxes to discourage the chickens from sleeping in them. I seriously considered that, because, how cute is that...curtains on the nesting boxes and one on the window to match? ooh...ahhh!
But, how long would that last? They'd have to be washed and replaced. Nah. Not for me. So, I had this idea...just drape a sheet over the whole unit. Pull it up in the morning, then let it down at night. In the above picture, I've got it up for the day.
Then, I do this for the night. The hens have no access either to the boxes or the roosts outside the boxes. Last night was the first night for covering them. Everything seemed to go well. The nests are still squeaky clean. I think this is a good solution as long as we can remember to raise and lower the sheet each day. Maybe after a while the hens will break the habit and we won't have to cover it anymore.