Asking for help/ advice on coop interior

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by annette964, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. annette964

    annette964 Just Hatched

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    Feb 2, 2015
    Missouri
    Hello,

    I just converted an old shed into a chicken coop. The coop is 8 ft wide by 16 ft long and 6 ft high in the very center dropping down in height sharply as you move to the sides. The interior is completely bare at this point. I have 1 bantam rooster and am planning on getting about 10 hens standard and bantam breeds. I would like to ask advice about flooring, nest boxes (number of and height of placement), roosting bars (round dowels, boards, ?) , poop board? and whatever else you may think of that I am not. Thank you.

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  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,820
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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    My opinions..... based on LOTS of research, 18 months chicken keeping experience and 20 year equipment design experience:

    First thing I see is maybe not enough ventilation, add some more up high.

    I'd be tempted to put another pop door in the side of shed and fence off the front of the shed for storing feed and supplies.

    Roosts: 2x4 wide side up make an excellent roost. 1 foot of roost length for each bird give birds plenty of room to shuffle around. Roosts should be at least 1 foot higher than nests so they don't sleep (and poop) in nests. Roosts work best 12-18" from wall.

    I love roost (poop) boards! At least 2 feet wide with 1 1/2" high edges, roost centered and 8" above board. Mix of clean sand and PDZ(zeolite) 1/2" deep keeps things dried out and odors down. Mine are lined with heavy foam backed vinyl sheet flooring, reduces stuck/frozen poops. Sift poops out every couple days.

    Nests: 12" x 12" x 12" minimum, I prefer 14" x 14" x 16". 4" front lip to help keep bedding in.

    Flooring: I put heavy foam backed vinyl sheet flooring in a single sheet and up the walls 4-8". I cover it with 2-6" (summer to winter) of large flake pine shavings and totally change out bedding in spring and fall, keep things nice and dry. Yes, it can be slippery but will keep any spilled water from soaking the wooden shed floor and dried poops pop off pretty easily.

    That's my take on it, see details in the My Coop link under my avatar. You'll get lots of different opinions. Take what makes sense to you and leave the rest.

    Best of CLuck to ya!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Alarmguy66

    Alarmguy66 New Egg

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Madison, Virginia
    more opinions -

    12"x12"x12" nest boxes are adequate (minimum) but I agree that 14" square works better, especially for larger birds. Dont worry about making a ton of boxes, I have 5 and seems like all 11 birds lay in the same one every day (not the same box every day, but once an egg is in any box the rest of the hens lay in the same box).

    Paint the interior white, it will make things easier to see inside and brighten up the interior during shorter days. Speaking of light, you will want more than that shed is going to let in, Some glass or plexiglass panels facing the direction of the sun will help with that.

    4" round posts also make excellent roosts, 8" to 10" per bird minimum. However you go, poop boards under the roosts are (in my mind) nearly mandatory. It makes cleanup and maintenance vastly easier. The board should extend a foot to either side of the roost, so it doesn't matter which way the birds face. My birds occasionally lay eggs while they are roosting, so I had to move the poop boards up to about 8" under the roost.

    Ive never used a wooden floor in a coop, but I would think you ideally would seal it, either with a few thick coats of paint or some other sealant. After that a bit of straw or hay should do the trick.

    A small door that you can open to let the birds in and out is a handy thing to have if they are going to be able to range, the big door on this shed will let a lot of breeze in.

    Build a small closet in a corner, big enough to keep a 20 gallon metal pail with your feed in it, as well as other little things you might want to keep handy in the coop. Bucket, scrapper, egg cartons, etc
     
    1 person likes this.

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