almost finished with coop. need advice on roosts

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ericz, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. ericz

    ericz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2011
    media pa
    howdy all,

    i have the new coop separated into a lighter half and a darker half, but not by much. the nests will go in the darker side and the roosts will go on the other side so as not to be too close to the nests. in the pictures below you can see the setup as i've laid it out.

    the roosts are a bit more than 12" from the walls and each other. they will be pretty close to the chicken door, which i have mocked up with a cutting board (maybe i'll use it for the door, but that's a subject for another post).

    will this setup be good for six large hens? i only have two chickens now, and one's a bantam, but i'll get four or five more in the spring.

    any ideas or suggestions?

    thanks,

    -eric


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  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    It's fine if they are outside all day. And you will need some very good ventilation.
     
  3. ericz

    ericz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2011
    media pa
    Quote:yes, they will be outside all day in a covered enclosure that i'm working on. also under the coop. it will all be enclosed with hardware cloth and a 1' apron all around.

    other folks have told me that the ventilation should be good. it's hard to see from the pictures but i have about 1.5" gap (protected with hardware cloth) all along the front top edge and the rear top edge, just under the eaves.
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    It sounds like a good plan to me. I don't see a problem.
     
  5. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    I would raise the roosts higher as you'll need walking room for your birds underneath them. Also make sure you have poop boards under your roosts. They will save you *piles* of work!
     
  6. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2011
    What do you mean by poop boards?
     
  7. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Install another set of boards similar to the roost boards about 6" underneath them. On top of these boards, lay boot trays, old bin lids, whatever you have that will catch droppings. It will making a full clean out a somewhat rare occurrence.
     
  8. ericz

    ericz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2011
    media pa
    Quote:i was going to use the deep-litter method, where i keep about 4 - 6" of wood shavings in the floor and replenish occasionally, then clean out the whole thing in the spring. i have read here on the forum that this is a good method, and could possibly also cpontribute a bit to some extra heat as the manure and shavings compost together.
     
  9. LizaBlue

    LizaBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2010
    Wee Acres
    I love your coop!! We bought a pre-built workshop and re-engineered it to make it into a coop, and so far the roosts are the only major flaw. I like that you used wider boards - those allow the chicken to keep its feet warm in winter by forcing their body to be in better contact with them. We have one much wider roost to help our turkeys, and the only drawback is that the poop collects on it so the even daily cleaning doesn't keep the birds who use it perfectly clean. Our big mistake was not following common advice on roosts' distance from floor and placement in regard to each other. Our lowest roost is too high from the ground, and our top roost is also. I'm afraid a bird will get an injury leading to bumblefoot from jumping from those distances, since our flock don't do steps and prefer to crash land to the ground from whatever height they are at. Also, one set of our roosts is not placed properly to prevent droppings from the top ones from falling on the chickens below. I'm not giving measurements, since I don't have them for my coop and don't remember what most literature I read suggested for proper placement.

    We don't use poopboards, but our roosts (positioned in corners and nooks) generate a pretty consolidated pile of poo that is easily collected.

    The main thing I see different from ours in terms of contents is that you don't have a feeder or waterer inside your coop. Some say to not have those available at night, leaving them outside, only available during roaming hours. I did not like the idea of food & water available outside in the elements, possibly attracting unwanted animals and vermin. We hung our feeders and waterers inside using a coated wire dog lead from the Dollar Tree store. Be warned that if you choose to do this, you need to make sure that they are not in a flight path or there will be no end to the mess!

    I think the size looks good for the number you plan for your flock, as long as you are good to let them out at daylight so they don't spend wakeful hours in an area where they could get easily bored and corner each other. Our coop is 10X12, I think, and divided, so if I'm unable to let them out early or they have to remain confined, they have a wee bit of playroom with several escape routes, but it is a shaky balance.


    Good luck with your coop!
     
  10. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    331
    2
    111
    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    Quote:i was going to use the deep-litter method, where i keep about 4 - 6" of wood shavings in the floor and replenish occasionally, then clean out the whole thing in the spring. i have read here on the forum that this is a good method, and could possibly also cpontribute a bit to some extra heat as the manure and shavings compost together.

    I use both and if you do, you'll be glad you did! You'll still get poo on the shavings, but once you collect it on the boards, you begin to realize how much they poo!
     

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