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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Need help on Improving Existing Coop *PICS PG2*

I am currently trying to figure out ways we can improve our coop. The coop was here when we moved in and was used for chickens. My husband made a few modifications and we now have 6 homing pigeons in it.

Unfortunately, the people who built the coop did not put fill dirt under it so it is level with the surrounding ground so it floods when we have heavy rains. Also, the way the tin roof is, it is allowing rain to come in and soaks the entire coop.

Being that we are in Florida, heavy rains with winds are a constant issue. I know we need to keep the open areas for ventilation, esp with the heat, but we are struggling with the wetness.

Also, dirt + moisture + food = ANTS. I am really pushing for some type of floor, like wood, to try to make it a drier environment.

Any ideas on how to fix the floor and how can we safely kill the ants? I am scared to put pesticides in there. I tried diatomacious *sp* earth and it did not work. And I was veryyyyy liberal with the application.

I will try to get some pics of it tomorrow. Its around 6x6x6 and it has a one way door thing with a landing pad for them to come and go out of. Then 4 nesting areas, a wooden ladder from the floor to the "loft" edge that was there I guess for the chickens before. The bottom half of the walls on 3 sides are wood with wire on top. The back wall is solid wood except for the door. Unfortunately, the tin roof has a slightly angle but there is NO over hang and it allows the water to run in and soak the coop. I would think SOME over hang would help with the rain blowing in. And obviously something other than dirt (IE mud) for the floor.

Thanks!
 

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Have you thought of just starting over? Might be easier in the long run.
 

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Can you put down cinder blocks, or bricks and put plywood down on them as a floor? This would lift it up. Or put wooden 2X4s around the inside walls, and put in a hardware cloth floor. Of course, you'd have to have something under that to pull out and get at the poops. Also, something under it where you walk to support your weight. Or put plywood on the 2X4 frame. You could also build a drywell around it, and fill it with gravel for drainage. If it is wide enough, and deep enough, the water should drain down, instead of running into your coop.
You still need to raise the floor, as rats can and will dig under and into the coop. They'll kill your birds.

Put another roof over the one you have, that is larger so that there is an overhang.

As far as the ants, put ant bait outside, under something so that the birds can't get into it. Some of the ant baits come inside a can or something that the ants will enter.
Keep us posted as you improve it.
 

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Start new. Dismantle the old ones. Then use those woods to create a semi-new one. Based on your descriptions the only working part of the chicken coop are the walls.

If you can't, then you have to make a sort of foundation which you then lift your old loft and put it down on the new foundation. You have to fix the roof as well.
 

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sounds like you put the cart before the horse. did you not know it was a wet place? wet and pigeons spells sickness. I would cage up the birds and start over, a wood floor off the ground, ventilation down low, in Fla you can have a bit more of an open situation as it does not have alot of freezing winds like other places. the chicken coop also should of been disenfected too, no telling what kind of bad microbs are hangin out in there being it is wet....
 

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Ya know, a little shed makes a nice pigeon loft. You can often pick them up for not too much money, then add windows and ventilation, and an aviary. They come in all different price ranges.
Spirit wings, thanks for mentioning the part about disinfecting. Probably the most important part, and I thought of it after I had posted. I just came in to add that, but you had already mentioned it. She's right. Lord only knows what kinds of bacteria and the like are lurking there where it had been used before. Especially with a dirt floor. Many things live for years in the soil. Keeping pigeons is lots of fun and enjoyment, but that's if you keep them healthy. Sick birds are not fun, and it's expensive treating them. You also can lose many. Until all that is done, I'd remove the birds to cages for their safety. Good luck. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
*I* want to rebuild but husband is being very resistant to that idea.


I did disinfect the whole thing and left it for 2 weeks before we got the birds. I used Stallsafe, the same disinfectant I use for my horses. Its antimicrobial as well.

We had abnormal rains a few weeks ago (CONSISTANT downpours for over 8 days straight) and that is really what did it in. I went in each day and scooped the floor, put down "stall dry" which states it is safe for birds and has DE in it, and constantly replaced the bedding. So other than the walls that are wood and therefore wet, everything was dry, it was just having to be tended to multiple times a day, which needs to be fixed.

Is there nothing safe we can put in the coop on the dirt to kill the ants? I will try the ant baits and see what happens.

Thanks guys and I will try to get some pics soon.
 

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I know borax kills ants, so I googled it and found this article.
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Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
Borax is made of 100% Borax, a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. Borax is a fabric softener and Borax is not harmful to washing machines, plumbing or septic tanks and does not contain phosphates or chlorine. If you mix borax with sugar, the worker ants would carry them into their ant hills and feed it to the Queen ant. The queen ant dies after consuming the borax and the whole ant hill is destroyed. For more information: http://killgardenants
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Although for some ants, you have to mix it with sugar to get them to take it. You probably don't have to even put it in the loft. You could probably put it along the outside walls of the coop, and they would probably take it. Although, if you were to sprinkle it along the inside of the walls, I don't think the pigeons would bother with it.
Lots of us use Borax in the bath water for the pigeons to keep mites and lice away.
 

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If you can't rebuild, then raise the coop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for that info on Borax.

As far as raising the coop... the support posts (I believe they are 4x4 posts) are deep down in the ground. At least 3 feet. Husband said he couldnt lift the coop due to that. He was going to try to lift it up and put cinder blocks under it and build a wood floor until he saw that the posts were in the ground. It is already just tall enough that I (5'7) can go in there to feed/clean/etc and Im afraid if we have to build a floor without raising the actual structure, it will be very difficult to move around in there.

Hmmm.... I think if I can find some cheap wood and come up with the plans I can get him to rebuild or just severely modify the coop.

I am going to look into the Borax. That is just the kind of suggestion I was hoping for.

BTW, we have a waterer for drinking (like the kind you can use for chickens that has a shallow bowl and then a center cylinder that is gravity fed to only let the bowl fill up a certain amount) and then a 2" deep pan for bathing and all but I never see them bathing in it. Does it need to be bigger or something? They are allowed to fly each day and it is possible they are bathing somewhere else but they stay on the property (3 acres) for the most part and like to hang out on the barn and shop roof.
 

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Thanks for that info on Borax.

As far as raising the coop... the support posts (I believe they are 4x4 posts) are deep down in the ground. At least 3 feet. Husband said he couldnt lift the coop due to that. He was going to try to lift it up and put cinder blocks under it and build a wood floor until he saw that the posts were in the ground. It is already just tall enough that I (5'7) can go in there to feed/clean/etc and Im afraid if we have to build a floor without raising the actual structure, it will be very difficult to move around in there.

Hmmm.... I think if I can find some cheap wood and come up with the plans I can get him to rebuild or just severely modify the coop.

I am going to look into the Borax. That is just the kind of suggestion I was hoping for.

BTW, we have a waterer for drinking (like the kind you can use for chickens that has a shallow bowl and then a center cylinder that is gravity fed to only let the bowl fill up a certain amount) and then a 2" deep pan for bathing and all but I never see them bathing in it. Does it need to be bigger or something? They are allowed to fly each day and it is possible they are bathing somewhere else but they stay on the property (3 acres) for the most part and like to hang out on the barn and shop roof.
cat littler pan works for the bath, with about a tabls of borax to the gallon. as far as the drinker goes, a gallon milk jug cleaned, with a hole cut out of the side makes a great drinker,it is hard for debris and poop to get in, in a few weeks make a new one, no need to have to scrub a drinker, just make a new one!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow. That milk jug waterer sounds SO easy and simple. I have to clean the water every day. Genius. I love it.

grau, that is a very nice loft. Except the the aviary, it is very similar to ours but ours is like 6x6x6. What do your nest boxes look like?

Also do you HAVE to have an aviary? Like I said, ours fly every day and love it. They start flapping and trying to escape if I dont let them out.

Heres some pics of the birds.

This is Mr Boo and Roxanna - very upset that I was taking pics in the dark. I love this pic because Roxanna is giving me the stink eye, which she is very good at.


Mr Boo and Roxanna again


This is Tito, my boss male pigeon, taking a nice flight around the property


This was 6 months ago when we first got them.. You can see the trap door where they fly in and out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And me learning how to catch pigeons.. hah - that is Madonna flying. She is Tito's woman.


You can kind of see how the coop is from the last pic. I am thinking maybe we need to place a solid wall where the bigger post is in the left of the last pic. That is where it goes from a solid full wood wall to a half wire wall. Maybe if I made the area that is already 1/2 mesh the "aviary" and put up a seperating wall, it will at least keep the back half of the coop dry... RIGHT? Did I just have an epiphony!? lol Did I even spell that right... heh.
 

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grau, that is a very nice loft. Except the the aviary, it is very similar to ours but ours is like 6x6x6. What do your nest boxes look like?

Also do you HAVE to have an aviary?
I thought the aviary was quite nice :rolleyes::confused: I can close it with all the birds in the loft or in the aviary, and it keeps the rain/snow/wind out when it is closed. YES, as most will say it is best if you have a aviary, it is best for the birds to get some fresh sun light, and help learn their area from just sitting in the aviary. It is also a good place to give the birds their bath so you don't get the loft wet when the birds splash in the bath. Spirit wings, I just went and bought some borax and the birds are bathing right now :):cool:

I have not built nest boxes in mine yet, all of these birds are only a few months old, but I will build some next year most likely.

Mat

P.S. not all dog trainers are the same!!!
 

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Where are you in FLA? I'm in Ocala. If its not to far maybe we can meet and Ill help you figure it out. I too got that crazy rain you mentioned and also like you have a metal roof which I hate! I plan on replacing it at the end of the YB season.
 

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cat littler pan works for the bath, with about a tabls of borax to the gallon. as far as the drinker goes, a gallon milk jug cleaned, with a hole cut out of the side makes a great drinker,it is hard for debris and poop to get in, in a few weeks make a new one, no need to have to scrub a drinker, just make a new one!:)
Actually, I've used the pigeon waterers that are heavy plastic and work like the milk jug one, and I now use the chicken waterers myself. They work better. When you mix in probiotics, or medicine, or whatever, it doesn't always mix well. Lots of what ever it is will settle back to the bottom. With the milkjug type, or pigeon ones like them, the birds drink from the top. If they don't drink the water on the very bottom, they often don't get all the additive. With the chicken type waterers, they do, as they are drinking from the bottom where it has settled down to. For this reason, I think the chicken waterers work better. Mine seldom soil it. They can't sit on top of them, as I cut the top from a one litre soda bottle, and use caulk to cement them onto the top of the waterer. They can't perch on that. And even if I used the milk jug, I'd still be cleaning and bleaching every day or so. Easier to do that than to make another one. It's also easier for a handicapped bird to drink from if you have any, which I do.
 

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As far as raising the coop... the support posts (I believe they are 4x4 posts) are deep down in the ground. At least 3 feet. Husband said he couldnt lift the coop due to that. He was going to try to lift it up and put cinder blocks under it and build a wood floor until he saw that the posts were in the ground. It is already just tall enough that I (5'7) can go in there to feed/clean/etc and Im afraid if we have to build a floor without raising the actual structure, it will be very difficult to move around in there.
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Would it be possible to cut the support posts off with a recipricating saw, or sawzall? Can you dig down a little around each post, just enough to get in there with a saw blade? You could cut them off at the base of the coop. Then you could move or raise it. It shouldn't be impossible. A pain in the neck maybe, but not impossible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am just south of Jacksonville, across the river from Green Cove Springs.

I took some more pics of the coop.. am about to upload them.

I will talk to my husband about cutting the supports.

Also he informed me today that the coop is 8x8x7 - oops. Bigger than I thought.

I did draw up some plans that might work.

He said I was expensive to be married to. :rolleyes:
 
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