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Nest boxes off the roosting area

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all! I have been reading posts for months and bugging my husband to get chickens. He is finally on board! We are hoping to get just a couple (2-3) chickens for our very suburban backyard. I want to start small and keep it simple. I'd love to purchase one of the ready-made coops simply because for $300 they look nice and finished and the neighbors will approve aesthetically. My husband wants to build one, but I'm afraid we'll be in $400 plus before we're done, and although it will no doubt be more sturdy than the pre-made ones, probably won't look quite as pretty. The thing I hate about all the small, pre-made coops is they have roosting poles just above the floor, right next to the nesting boxes. This means the chickens will have to tread through the poopiest spot to get into their nesting box, which is also level with the ground. In my mind, I'd like 2 nesting boxes sitting a few inches off the floor (to minimize mess getting in to the boxes), and a poop shelf and roosting pole above the nesting boxes. I feel this will contain the majority of the poop up and away from the nests and prevent me from having to replace all the bedding so often. Am I over thinking this? Should we just keep it simple and buy a coop to start? Or is it smarter to go with my design and spring for the bigger, more expensive project? TIA!
post #2 of 6

Go for your design idea, for sure - most prefab coops are not up to the job. And it will keep hubby out of mischief for a while :)

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6

Build your own. I started with one of the pre-fab coops and it was so small and had the problems you listed. I ended up building one myself and glad that I did. I only wish I had built mine larger, but I can always add on to it.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tisnelda View Post

Hi all! I have been reading posts for months and bugging my husband to get chickens. He is finally on board! We are hoping to get just a couple (2-3) chickens for our very suburban backyard. I want to start small and keep it simple. I'd love to purchase one of the ready-made coops simply because for $300 they look nice and finished and the neighbors will approve aesthetically. My husband wants to build one, but I'm afraid we'll be in $400 plus before we're done, and although it will no doubt be more sturdy than the pre-made ones, probably won't look quite as pretty. The thing I hate about all the small, pre-made coops is they have roosting poles just above the floor, right next to the nesting boxes. This means the chickens will have to tread through the poopiest spot to get into their nesting box, which is also level with the ground. In my mind, I'd like 2 nesting boxes sitting a few inches off the floor (to minimize mess getting in to the boxes), and a poop shelf and roosting pole above the nesting boxes. I feel this will contain the majority of the poop up and away from the nests and prevent me from having to replace all the bedding so often. Am I over thinking this? Should we just keep it simple and buy a coop to start? Or is it smarter to go with my design and spring for the bigger, more expensive project? TIA!

 

if you already have the tools

 

build your own coop/run (let say for 6-8 chickens? ) probably only cost you maybe $120-$200

 

vs a ready-made --you will get some tiny little coop that is good for 2-4 chickens for $300-$400+ .. i have some pictures coops at costco and petsmart for you to compare price..

 

if you have to buy.. try costco. .since they have the best warranty and reasonable price compare to other places

 

*note it's still cheaper and better quality if you build your own

 

but if you still want to buy..

 

 

these are from petsmart

 

 

 

 

 

these are from costco

 

 

 

 

 

 

some people will use dog kennel as a chicken run


Edited by BruceAZ - 5/31/16 at 9:07am
What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
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What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input everyone! I didn't think to look at petsmart. I might go check those out to see some in real life instead of online photos. 

 

I think we might end up going the "build-your-own" route,but I'll be honest, I think it will be really expensive! I keep trying to price out the lumber to frame it, the siding, the roofing material, the chicken wire, the hardware and hinges for gates, doors, and access panels, plus building the nest boxes and poop shelf. It keeps adding up! I'm easily in the $400 range for a relatively small coop and run! I think my problem is aesthetics. I could probably rough up something a lot cheaper, but we have 6 neighboring houses that see our yard at all times (back to back neighborhood). It's a nice neighborhood and we will easily be dubbed the "crazy hillbillies" once the chickens arrive, so I am really trying to build something that fits in to the nice, manicured lawns and sheds. Hence the appeal of the pre-fabs. Very nice finishes, etc. Ugh. It's such a form vs function battle!!!! 

 

Thanks for your help! You all are wonderful!

post #6 of 6

Yeah, you'll spend more to build one, but it will be hopefully of much better design and materials.

Your point of the roosts being to low is spot on, and not just because of walking thru poop to the nest, the roosts are so low that they will want to sleep in the nests.

One of the biggest reasons to beware of prefabs, is the often(always) exaggerated population numbers they give. 6 birds?..... yeah, more like maybe 2.

I could go on and on. Build, don't buy cute tiny prefabs.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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