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Irvine, CA help with coop please!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
If there are any chicken experts in my area (Irvine, CA), I would love a consultation. I've got a new coop that just isn't working out and I'd like someone to come look at it and help me figure out what needs to change. Of course I'll be happy to pay a reasonable fee for the service. I regret buying this coop, but it was expensive so I've got to make it work. Thanks.


⬅️ Old coop worked okay for five years...but new and improved...so far, not so much.
Edited by xshoshin - 4/19/17 at 9:40pm
post #2 of 9

I know you are hoping for some "hands on" help - but failing that you could take and post some photos and provide the reasons the new coop isn't working for you and we can help you troubleshoot from here.  There are lots of members here who are quite experienced in coop design, re-design and troubleshooting.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice...I will take pictures tomorrow and post them. My poor chickens...they're all mad at me now for ruining their lives tongue.png
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Here's the coop. It's made by chicken saloon. The main problem is they will NOT roost in there. I think they don't have enough room to fly up. The roosting bars tip out easily (the roosts just rest in the brackets) and they seem to have a hard time settling on them when I put them up manually. Are the roosts too high? Are the roost bars too small? Too close together? Too high up? Do they need a ramp? I can lock down the bars, and take one out for space, but I doubt that will that get them up there. Any and all advice is welcome (other than throw out the coop...it was too expensive). Some measurements:
Front to back of roosting area 44-1/2"
Floor (poop tray) to roost top 18"
Distance between roosting bars 11"
Headroom from roost to roof 8 to 14"
The roost itself is 1"

Sigh...they were fine in their old coop...it was just impossible to maintain.



post #5 of 9
The roosts are too narrow. It would be a balancing act all night. I use 3-4" saplings or 2x4s. How many chickens? 11" is too close together and they are too close to the walls and ceiling for an average hen.
Start by removing the roosts and replacing them with only 2 15" away from the wall.
Edited by Percheron chick - 4/20/17 at 10:26am
post #6 of 9

The bars are too close to one another (do you have so many chickens that you need all 3 bars?) so I would take out at least one if possible.  You didn't specify how many chickens you have nor how long each roost is.

 

Headspace is a big issue.  The coop shape was designed to look cute with no thought of the fact that chickens need head room to be able to get up onto the roost bars.  8" definitely isn't enough.  Ideally you'd want to drop down the roosts, so you can try putting in a vertical beam (or beams, depending on how many roosts you need) from where the roost brackets are now, straight down towards the floor.  Secure them top and bottom.  Run new roost bars horizontally across and secure at the ends to the new vertical supports.  This will eat up all the floor space inside the top unit though, so other than roosting and nest boxes, the upper part of the enclosure won't really be usable at all.

 

 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
First of all, thank you for your responses and advice....I so appreciate your help. Let me know if more pictures, measurements or any other info would be helpful. Keep the ideas coming...I have to salvage this coop!

I have six chickens so I'm sure two roosts would be sufficient. The problem with rebuilding them is that the floor is really metal poop trays. Might be able to cannibalize nest boxes... they only use two anyway. I'd love to make them low enough they can just hop up without trying to fly into that too small space. They have a big run they're in all day...they only need the coop for sleeping, laying, food and water.
post #8 of 9

Well an alternative to my suggestion would be to run vertical beams from the top, as previously mentioned, but have it very securely attached at top and not on the floor, with the roosts secured between the vertical beams. So you could still slide out the poop trays.  You can put the roost bars as high or low as you want, and given that you're trying to maximize headspace, you could probably have them fairly low, maybe just a few inches off the "ground" (poop tray).  

post #9 of 9

Just spitballing... 

 

I wonder if you could raise the whole thing up about 4 feet? Like build a pedestal for this to sit on top of? Make it out of 2x4 and wrap it in hardware cloth, then you could mount roosts under the current floor for them to actually sleep on and use the loft, your current coop, for storage instead of sleeping? You could close off one side with painted plywood or corrugated as a wind block. But otherwise our temps don't get low enough in SoCal where they'll get too cold. Those few nights it gets into the low 40s they could just huddle together. 

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