are there ever "bunkbeds" re: a coop's nesting "stalls"?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wannabe4birds, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. wannabe4birds

    wannabe4birds Out Of The Brooder

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    A "handy" friend of mine -- who has really graciously volunteered to assist me in building a coop -- asked me today if the coop could have nesting boxes atop each other (?). I'm even less-than-new at all of this, and I couldn't answer. I don't think I've ever seen that -- just the usual 3-4 little stalls for the birds adjacent to each other. I plan to have 5 hens. From what I've heard/read lately, 3 brood (nesting?) boxes should be adequate.

    He has a good "spatial" grasp of things, so I'm guessing he has some idea for space conservation, or for good use of space in my small garden [where the coop'll have to go; so long, vegetables].

    My 1st thought: it could be an issue for birds to go so high to reach the upper boxes, even with a little ladder. Make sense at all?

    While I'm at it: I'm in eastern NC, and we can get nights, during winter, to the single digits and for a # of nights in a row, with days not above freezing. What would be the most economical, sensible method of keeping the hens warm enough to survive this?! I could use an extension cord from my house to the coop (~30' away from the back door) if I had to.

    I'd be obliged for any ideas/suggestions/anecdotes/warnings......

    Mitch
     
  2. featherhead007

    featherhead007 Overrun With Chickens

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    I stacked my boxes, It didn't work. 16 hens share 4 of them on the same level. sometimes 2 birds can be found sharing and laying at the same time.:confused:
     
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  3. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    I have stacked nest boxes and they work well. I had 30+ nest boxes in my last coop... they were about 3--4 rows high starting at floor level. With the number of hens you're planning for, I doubt you will have any need or want of stacked boxes.

    ETA: I find my fatter LF hens can jump about to about human waist height comfortably. Past that, they start to have some issues with making it 100% of the time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  4. featherhead007

    featherhead007 Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine, never wanted to lay in the bottom boxes on the ground? I wonder why.:idunno
     
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  5. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    Pictures, if it helps.
    The old nesting boxes. I trashed these—hard to clean and they became roosts. Yuck.
    P1140073.JPG
    The new (temporary) nest boxes. I am really enjoying them. The birds like them, they're easy to clean, they don't get slept on, and they don't harbour lice.
    P1290511.JPG
     
  6. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    I have ducks, so those were for them. Chickens don't like floor level boxes.
     
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  7. featherhead007

    featherhead007 Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, so it's that flat foot thing then?
     
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  8. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    Don't heat your coop at all for those temperatures. Trust me, they will be just fine. ;) My birds survived two weeks of constant daytime highs under zero Fahrenheit this winter—with no heat. Nights were much, much colder. Chickens are built to take cold and coddling them does your electricity bill no favours and introduces fire risks.

    It was -2F when I took this image. I didn't get any pictures of them out and about in anything colder due to camera concerns—still, it should highlight just how hardy they are.
    -1f.JPG
     
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  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

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    Yes they can be and often are stacked. The birds just need a way to stand in front and check out the upper boxes.

    I am on my mobile so don't have a pic available.

    I get eggs most often in the upper boxes.

    As to whether you need to add heat...... I choose not to. It sounds like your coop will be small. I doubt you will need to heat it.
    You will want good ventilation to allow the moist air out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  10. CiscoChickens

    CiscoChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Plenty of people have nesting boxes on top of eachother—it works, but you have to do what works for YOU. If you're planning on more chickens in the future, have stacked boxes would be easiest (that way they're all in the same area). You really won't know until your hens start using them!

    In my first flock of chickens, I had 5 hens as well and 3 nesting boxes. Never had a problem until I need to get my second batch of chicks. They end up laying on top of each other—it's weird. ;P

    When two of my hens went broody (and I let them) then that's when problems starting occurring. I wanted to let thing happen naturally, but immediately intervened when the non-broodies would crush developing eggs. So sad.
     
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