2-story coop, roosts up or down???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by briteday, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I'm working on plans for a 2-story coop to house our 6 new EE chicks that will be coming in a few weeks. So I have a couple of months to finalize the plans and get it built.

    I'm making the coop 2 stories to save space in a small yard. One floor will have the food & water, probably the nesting box. The other level would be for sleeping / roosting.

    Should I put the sleeping/roosting on the top or bottom floor? I'm thinking that chickens will naturally gravitate towards roosting as high as they can get. And I don't want to make the mistake of putting the food up top and having them sleeping on the floor up there instead of on their roosts like good little chickens do! (the guy who raised my 6 RIR's never gave them anything to roost on and 3 of them still prefer to lay on the floor of the coop near the food and water...instead of on the nice roosts or in the soft bedding that I've put in the sleeping area...makes them a bit dirty from walking around in their poo in the morning)

    On the other hand, for convenience sake, it would be really convenient to have the food and water on the upper floor so that we don't have to crouch down so much to re-fill things on our daily rounds. And I'm also worried about not being able to open the lower door should we ever get a big dump of snow...that only happens every few years, but still...

    So will the chickens stay downstairs to roost...or will nature tell them to go to the top floor, no matter how it is furnished, to roost?

    There will be a ramp for them to move from one floor to the other.
     
  2. lobb40118

    lobb40118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 1, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    see my BYC page i have a two story that works great. I have a real small flock i had 3 until today and now i have 4. but i have 39 square feet for 4 birds almost 10 square feet per bird. I also let them out while i am home and keep an eye on them.
     
  3. lobb40118

    lobb40118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 1, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    oh, to answer the question my roost is upstairs and a daytime one downstairs. My nests are upstairs so i need a faux one upstairs to keep them from pooing in the nests.
     
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    When I first got chickens I had a small urban yard and so needed a small coop. I built a 2-story that worked out just fine. The top was solid and had roosts, a hook for hanging the feeder, the nesting area was attached to the back (to save space), and it had clean out doors on each side. This way I could reach the birds if I needed to and it was convenient for clean out. I also use the deep litter method. The footprint of the coop is 4'x4'. It also had an opening for the ramp which goes to the bottom which has a hardware cloth floor and 2 sides to make it cooler in the summer. While the top doors opened on the sides the bottom doors opened on front and back. I have found this arrangement convenient in that if I have a broody I can lock her in the bottom and let the birds come and go through the top doors. I put the waterer on the bottom so if it gets spilled it'll just drain onto the ground underneath. I also made a portable long ramp that I could setup if the birds were locked out of the bottom and so used the top doors. This would be convenient in your snow situation. Also, the nest box lid is hinged to make the gathering of eggs easier. I have used this coop for at least 5 years with bantys and standards and it has worked well. hth.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  5. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Your set up is currently a lot like what I have for the RIR girls...I have an A-frame with the coop over the run. And the coop is divided in the middle with the hatch for the ramp...food & water sitting on linoleum flooring on one side of the ramp...bedding, roosts and nest boxes on the other side of the ramp.

    My new creation is a 2-story enclosed coop with the run attached, sitting on the "one day vegetable beds."

    So it looks in the photos like your girls have bedding and roosts downstairs? Can you close them in at night down there?
     
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Roots up high.

    They feel more comfortable that way.
     
  7. lobb40118

    lobb40118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 1, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    my coop is enclosed. i have 4 doors and wish i had a fifth...lol. I am happy with it just wish i had more than tarp on one side but it got down to -10 last night and they were fine. They seem to be happy girls and lay 2-3 eggs a day between the 3 of them. now with my 4th i hope for one more when she gets a couple more months on her.
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I suggest too, to have the roosts higher than your nest boxes so your birds won't sleep in them and poopy eggs. Most of the poop will be under the roosts.
     

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