16' x 12' coop, need help with inside design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kathyinmo, May 19, 2009.

  1. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Newbie here.. OK, We have the coop built. We live in southwest Missouri. We have 2 week old chicks (44, so far). We thought we could handle more?? Anyway, It is 12 ft (sides) x 16 ft. (nearly 200 square feet). It has a "shed," type roof (front high, back low) 8 ft front, 6 ft back wall. Metal roof, over OSB. We have 2 windows on the (west) back wall, and the front is 4 ft opening for the door (not done yet), and a large window. On the sides (north and south) we left the top triangular area (where the 8 ft goes down to the 6 ft) open, covered with chicken wire), for ventilation. No plan to cover these vents, even in winter. We used OSB, and have covered it all (inside and out, floors and walls) in oil based glossy porch paint, as recomended on another thread. No insulation and no inside walls, just lots of paint. My questions are: Plan is to build the nests on one of the 12 ft side walls. How many and what size? How about bookshelf looking nests, 3 high? No nests open to the outside. Is it wise to have the roosts along the back wall (3 - 16 ft long roosts made of 2x4s, about 16 inches apart??)? All 3 same height? How would we do a poop board? I don't understand how that works. Is it a board on the floor, or elevated and close to the roosts? Is it a board covered with linoleum or tin or what? If it is 16 foot long, how could I move it? No electricity, as it is quite aways away from the source. Also want to have a storage area for supplies on one side, should it be a room, or just a big box with sloping lid? Do we need to cut out little "chicken doors?" Can I use sand on the floor, or only pine chips? Is sand only for older chickens, or what age chicks? We will have a very large (huge) outside run. Please advise. Any suggestions welcome! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You will need at least nine nest boxes at a rate of one box per five birds. These should be 12x12x14D. Having the nests stacked is fine, with a slanting top "roof" to it at around 45-55 degrees to keep them from roosting.

    Your plan for the roosts is fine. 12" from the wall, then at least 12" apart.. 16" apart would be better. Same height keeps them from pecking in a bid to gain higher status and roost space.

    Given the huge roost space, a poop board might very well be impracticable for you.. Might consider a sand pit under the roosts. A poop board should be elevated and around 6" from the roosts themselves. This allows floor space under the roosts so that the square footage per bird is not impacted. It is possible to do one that big, mind you. Just not sure how well it would work given the size.

    One thing I was thinking of in terms of poop boards was a modified poop board, sand pit method where I had a box built under the roosts deep enough to hold 3" of sand or so. Then I could just kitty litter scoop the poop as needed and replace sand from time to time. But with that much sand comes weight, so the structure needs to be braced.

    My "Storage area" is a sectioned off part of the coop which has chicken wire up to keep the birds out and a light weight wire door into the coop area. You could go with a box though, or a cheap cabinet from Wal*Mart or something modified to have a slanting roof. Depends on your needs and wants.

    Not sure about your "Chicken Doors" question.. So will let you expand on that.

    You can use sand on the floor.. Some people swear by it.. I'm going to try it next year after I give the DLM a try and see how it works. Advantage there is pure poop for the garden. Disadvantage there is half the poop "disappears" into the sand, never to be seen again. So I wonder about the long term as far as sand goes. Like.. 2, 3, 4 years down the road..

    Look forward to seeing your work.. Love those big coops.. [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Plan is to build the nests on one of the 12 ft side walls. How many and what size? How about bookshelf looking nests, 3 high?

    As with almost everything else on here, there are different ways to do the nests. I'll include a thread on community nest boxes which might interest you. There is also information on nesting boxes in the Learning Center at the top of this site. If you build individual nesting boxes, you need 1 box for every four laying hens. They won't use all of them, but if you cut it too short, they tend to lay outside. Of your 44, I don't know how many are going to be laying hens. The minimum size is about 12" x 12" x 12" high. I made mine 16" square since they like to lay together and this gives them more room. People do stack them 3 high.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=173767

    Is it wise to have the roosts along the back wall (3 - 16 ft long roosts made of 2x4s, about 16 inches apart??)? All 3 same height?

    This should work quite well. Just make sure they are clearly higher than the highest nesting box. Chickens tend to roost on the highest point they can get to. Nesting boxes two high may make this easier.

    How would we do a poop board? I don't understand how that works. Is it a board on the floor, or elevated and close to the roosts? Is it a board covered with linoleum or tin or what? If it is 16 foot long, how could I move it?

    I'll let someone else talk about this. For this number of chickens I'm not sure how well a poop board would work.

    Do we need to cut out little "chicken doors?"

    Whether you do a pop door or not is up to you, your preferences and your set-up. They are convenient if you don't want a human door to the run. They reduce the rain that blows into the coop like you would get if you left a human door open. They also reduce wind compared to a human door. Many people just leave the human door open.

    Can I use sand on the floor, or only pine chips? Is sand only for older chickens, or what age chicks?

    You can use sand. I've seen where some people use sand successfully in their brooders with very young chicks.

    Good Luck! It sounds like a very nice coop.
     

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