Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Clay In Iowa, Nov 18, 2008.

1. ### Clay In IowaSongster

Oct 9, 2008
Near Wilton Iowa
I know you should give your birds 3 to 4 feet each inside. Let's just say 4 square feet each. I'm planning a dropping pit for easy cleaning. Since I'm in the process of planning my coop I'd like to know is that 4 square feet floor space or total space?

For example. Say I'm planning a 10x 10 coop with a droppings pit that will me 4 x 10 so we have only 60 square feet floor space (100-40=60). can I put 25 birds in the 10x10 coop or do I need to adjust for the reduced floor space and only have 15 birds (15x4=60)

Over thinking the details is how I roll.

May 7, 2007
Forks, Virginia
The minimum space requires is 4 square feet per bird inside their house and 10 square feet per bird outside.

Minimum.

They thrive better with MUCH more space inside and out.

3. ### Clay In IowaSongster

Oct 9, 2008
Near Wilton Iowa
No problem My birds will actually be getting closer to 6 square feet inside and about 20 birds will just have to share 5 acres outside (1,600 square feet at a time).

4. ### MarlinchaserSongster

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Oct 18, 2007
MERRY LAND
That 4 foot is recommended for HAPPY chickens, but they can and do survive with less room. I take into consideration that mine are outside of the coop till its time to go to bed, so my SQFT is less than 4, and they dont seem to notice since they are free all day.

5. ### patandchickensFlock Mistress

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Apr 20, 2007
Clay, an easy solution to your problem is to use a droppings *board*, or raised droppings tray, under the roosts. (although I will say this is less feasible if you have lots and lots and lots of chickens). That way you get all the benefits of a poo receptacle and they can still walk around underneath it

Pat, a big fan of droppings boards (cleaned every morning, takes 15 seconds) in particular

6. ### Clay In IowaSongster

Oct 9, 2008
Near Wilton Iowa
Hmmmmmmmm .... Interesting Idea. I could build a raised 'box' under the roosts that is high enough to allow the chickens to roan around under it. And than add an outside access door for cleaning.

Might be too much work ... we'll see.

7. ### patandchickensFlock Mistress

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Apr 20, 2007
Quote:If you wanted to do it that way, one suggestion that would be fairly easy to build would be:

Get a sheet of plywood, or part thereof, the right size. Screw 2x2 around 3 edges (omit one of the long sides). Now, screwing into that, add 1x8 along the sides (this will keep poo from falling off, and support your wire). Cut another piece of 1x8 to friction-fit the long side that does not have 2x2 (you may have to notch the corners, depending how you put your 2x2 on). Ok? So now you have a tray with sides (except on the back, but the wall willtake care of that), the long side being removable by hand.

Put a piece of 2x4 welded wire mesh on top - either carefully file off the sharp points along the cut edges, or 'kill' em by using wire to lace a length of old garden hose (sliced open lengthwise) over the poky edges. You might need to put a little cutoff piece of wood in the middle if it sags real bad, depending on dimensions.

Now you need two (just 2) pieces of 2x4 long enough to be legs. HINGE them onto the bottom of the tray, on the side with the removeable 1x8, so that they can fold back towards the wall if desired.

Where you'd normally put two other legs if this were a table, instead mount the tray on the wall using hinges or (my preference) using a couple large hook and eyes (that makes the whole thing totally removable from the coop if you ever wanna take it out to powerwash or whatever).

So, you end up with this wire-topped tray hinged onto the wall with legs supporting the free side. Put a little shavings in there so the poo don't stick. To clean it, first remove the wire. Then herd all the pooey stuff over to one end of the tray and remove the friction-fit 1x8. Then, with a muck bucket or similar container positioned underneath, hold the tray with one hand while kicking the legs back so they hinge back and no longer support the tray. Tip tray down, scrape pooey bits into muck bucket. Replace shavings and put it back the way it was.

Just a thought,

Pat

Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
8. ### Clay In IowaSongster

Oct 9, 2008
Near Wilton Iowa
That's basically what I was thinking. I was even thinking I might be able to get away with putting the nest boxes under the Tray since it'll protect them from poo. And it'll make for a nice dark place for the hens to lay. I plan to have access to the boxes from the outside with large enough doors to clean so I won't need to worry about getting under the tray to clean or refill boxes with nesting material either.

The more room I can give the chickies the happier they'll be.

I'll have to see how it lays out when I start building.

9. ### patandchickensFlock Mistress

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Apr 20, 2007
Quote:

I'd have preferred the board be about 4" wider (this is just what I had laying around, but it works ok). The way the photo is cropped it may be hard to tell, there is about 18" walking-around clearance underneath the floor of the nestboxes. Works great for me, as have other smaller versions.

Pat

10. ### Clay In IowaSongster

Oct 9, 2008
Near Wilton Iowa
Outstanding... that's why I post here good advice from peeps who know...

Oh and what breed is that?

Speckeled Sussex?? Yes/no?

Last edited: Nov 18, 2008