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Interior Coop Design

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm obsessing over the interior design of our coop...

 

The exterior is almost finished and its 6x8. We currently have 20 chicks, with 6 more coming soon, so I know it's going to be a bit cramped but we'll have a large run, that will open into a garden and will allow them to free range as much as possible, so ideally they won't be inside too much. (Though we live in NH and winter can get harsh). I think we have a few too many roosters on our hands, so we'll have to see how that pans out with the numbers as well.

 

Anyway, we'll put an appropriate number of nesting boxes and plenty of roosting space as well, but if we add levels, does that effectively provide more square footage? I'm envisioning something like shelving to provide additional space? Our coop is tall, so some of it feels like wasted space.

 

Knowing me, we'll need to add another coop next year anyway because I think we want to hatch next year, but obviously I want the birds we have to be happy and healthy for the time being!

 

I'd love to see any interior designs if anyone would like to share as well.

post #2 of 5

I don't think "a bit cramped" is how I would describe that many in a 48 sq.ft. space. 4 - 6 nest boxes and 25 ft. of roost along with food and water won't leave much room for you to get in there and do any sort of maintenance.. Adding shelves or such is probably not a bad idea but not really going to add to the space and will likely restrict your access even more. I honestly can't imagine that it's going to work out without issues.

Our coop build thread...

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088771/cheryls-hen-house

 

1Peter 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

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Our coop build thread...

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088771/cheryls-hen-house

 

1Peter 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

Reply
post #3 of 5

I'd hang the nesting boxes on the outside, so as not to take up any interior floor space.

 

hopefully you have a run for them?

post #4 of 5

Sorry, but I'll have to agree with TerryH - you have a good chance of ending up with issues (health/pecking) with those numbers, mostly since you mentioned that you get some pretty good winters.  Will the run be covered?  If so, that'll help.  

In areas that get decent snow, I typically recommend a minimum of 4 sq. ft per bird of coop housing space.  Places with mild winters can get by with 2 sq. ft. fairly easily if they have plenty of outdoor space, because the birds are pretty much never inside except for roosting at night and laying eggs.  But in areas with real winters, the chickens spend quite a bit more time indoors.  I'm in Indiana, and in the winter time, my 6 x 12 coops feels pretty cramped for my 12 hens, although it feels really roomy during the nice months.

 

By the time your chickens are adults, it's recommended to allow 12" of linear roost space per bird.  So right now, you would need three rows of roosts (assuming you're running the roosts along the 8 ft. width).  That in of itself will take up a lot of your 6 ft. depth space.  Normally I would suggest wall mounting your nest boxes so as not to take up any of your "in short supply" floor space.  But I'm not sure where you could mount them since almost 4ft of your depth will be covered by roosts...???  So maybe external nest boxes, as was suggested???

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys so much for your feedback! You've totally confirmed my suspicions that it's totally not big enough. I'm fairly certain at least a handful of them are roosters, so they'll likely have go to by some means, which will cut our numbers down a bit. They will have a large run we can cover and I've seen people wrap it in the winter as well to provide additional protection.

 

Either way, you've helped me convince my husband we need to do something different :) We will probably section off some of our barn and have them split up. As my husband said it'll be good to not have all our eggs in one basket, ha.

 

We will definitely make a change to our plans, don't worry!

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