Dropping Board in the Coop
How to Keep the Dropping Board Clean
Dropping board is a term used to describe the area directly below the roost bar in a chicken coop. It helps by collecting the manure and keeping it contained so that removal of the chicken manure is easy to complete.
With chores, I always find that the easier they are to complete, the more likely that the chore will get completed. Think about the fact that while chickens are sleeping on the roost at night, feces drop from them onto whatever is directly below. We did not realize this when we built our coop. The manure dropping into the built in nest boxes below was a disgusting problem. I did not look forward to cleaning that mess up every week. The smell of manure would sometimes get pretty bad and some years the flies were just terrible. I tried to clean up daily so that the task would never grow too large. Still, there had to be a better way.
How I Made the Dropping Board in Our Coop
I placed two wide boards across the top of the nest boxes that sat under the roost bar. These boards would serve as the dropping board. Doing this helped the problem some, but I still had to clean manure off the dropping board frequently, in order to keep the flies and odor under control.
One day I tried laying feed bags on top of the dropping board. The chickens promptly threw the bags on the floor of the coop. I gave it some more thought. I smoothed the bags out better, laid them on the dropping board and tucked them in behind the boards, up close to the wall. Pushing the dropping board back to the coop wall, anchored the bags, and kept them from being pushed to the floor.
How Often To Change the Dropping Board Liner
Now when I see a lot of chicken droppings have accumulated, I carefully remove the bags to the floor, stack them on top of each other. Next I fold the bags up, trapping the droppings inside the folded up bags and carry the package to the trash can. Easy! No mess to rake out of the coop, no mess to scrape off the dropping board and a lot less flies! I re-cover the dropping board once or twice a week.
Edited to add : I neglected to point out the the loose droppings are added to the compost before the bags are trashed. Thanks to all who pointed out my omission. We do, of course, use the droppings for compost, but this method keeps the liquid part of the runnier droppings from sticking to the wooden boards. This is the part that is tossed with the bags. The feed bags would have been trashed immediately, if not saved for a second use. Our practices try to reduce or eliminate as much debris and waste as possible. Thank you all for reading and helping me to improve my content clarity.
We have plenty of empty feed bags every week from feeding the animals on our farm. If you don’t use enough feed bags to try this method, perhaps newspaper would work the same way. Using newspaper, you would have to change it out more frequently than twice a week with the feed bags. The newspaper can be added to the compost pile as well. This method might not work for every chicken coop but it has made one job, on our farm, easier to complete.
Peek Into Our Coop
The video shows how the feedbags are used to collect the droppings under the roost bar.