Calling all Coop experts!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Qi Chicken, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    Coop going up!The coop is really going up!!!! Now if only I could find batteries..... Sorry, the construction pictures would have been much more interesting than the final result.

    But anyway here is my question. He hasn't cut the hole for the nest boxes yet. I posted the other day and someone said 14 X 14 rather than 12 X 12 for standard chickens. Agree? 14 or 12 deep??

    I just read a thread tonight that said that exterior nest boxes were a waste of time. The kind where you open a door on the back and reach in and get the eggs from there. I thought that it would be easier for our kids, ages 3 and 5. Any thoughts on this? We do live in Iowa where it gets mighty cold. Like 20 below for a week or more at a time. Was worried about the eggs freezing. ....And the chickens too of course! The coop is insulated and has electricity to it. We will keep it probably around 40 degrees (?) in the Winter? What temp is appropriate? Thanks! We weren't going to insulate the nest boxes if that makes any difference.

    Sorry, just thought about ventilation. We have vents around the top. Maybe 5 inches high and I would say about 4-5 feet long all together. On opposite walls. (West and East side) Also 2 windows --also west and east. Adequate? We could maybe add a gable vent or something. Coop is about 120 square feet.
     
  2. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am no coop expert, but my DH built me coops that have the nest boxes in the back where you can collect the eggs. They chickens use it unless it's windy (there is a bit of a draft problem that I am fixing today, right where the box opens). Yesterday it was windy so they laid thier eggs in the corner of the coop. But the other coop I have (same design except without the draft problem) those chickens always lay in the boxes no matter what. Good luck!
     
  3. newchicksnducks

    newchicksnducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our nest boxes are inside the coop. It is a way to make sure I check the interior of the coop for any problems inside. This might not be so easy for your youngsters though. If our birds are confined to the run and coop, and the door opens, they make a bee-line for the great outdoors. But the addition of exterior boxes seemed like another chance of problems like leaking, drafts, etc to occur, so DH convinced me the interior boxes were the way to go. Good luck on whichever way you make them:)
     
  4. bonnylass79

    bonnylass79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my coop, built by my husband:

    [​IMG]

    It has two nest boxes on each side. I love that I can just lift the lids and get eggs. It's so much easier than reaching into the coop. My hens have picked one box to lay all of their eggs in. The other boxes are used as their personal bedrooms. I never have an egg laid outside of a box. As for ventilation, that sounds adequate to me. I only have the two east/west windows and roof vents under the eaves. Ventilation is very important here in Florida. Now, I'm not sure about the insulation. I would think that if you're making the coop climate controlled, then everything attached to the coop needs to be insulated. It would be like leaving the door to the garage open. You'll waste a lot of energy. Plus, 20 below is awfully cold for a chicken and egg. The eggs would be ok when a hen is laying on them, but the hen isn't going to sit there all day. But, I'd like to hear what people in places like Canada, Montana, the Dakotas and Iowa think. I grew up in Ohio, but it rarely got below zero. We'd just give them extra straw and wouldn't really worry about insulation.
     
  5. Mr. Peepers

    Mr. Peepers Out Of The Brooder

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    Exterior nest boxes have advantages and disadvantages, but if your coop is large enough or laid out to allow nest box access via the people door, then interior nest boxes are probably the way to go. With exterior nest boxes, there's just one more set of hinges and latches to worry about, there's a problem with leaking at the hinge lines unless special care is taken in construction, and they do require more materials. Interior boxes don't need a lid, hinges or latches and and can take advantage of coop walls and floor for sides and bottom. If the coop is weatherproof, so are the interior nest boxes.
     
  6. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion, bigger is always better on your nest box size. I have a buff brahma that will absolutely not use the wooden nest boxes that I built but preferred a huge plastic tote container that was laid over on it's side despite the fact that my wood boxes are very roomy. If you figure that you build the boxes large enough for the biggest standard chickens, then all the other sized chickens can still use them too.

    My wood boxes measure 21" across the fronts, 14" deep, each with a slant roof that measures 9" on the front entry that then rises to 16" at the back top of the inside roof. The plastic tote is 30" across the front, 17" deep to the back and 16" from bottom to top. I use pine shavings on the floor of every box with grass hay for them to construct their nests while waiting for their eggs to drop and they do seem to be little Rembrandts about their nest bowls. I have read in here that they just do not care for pine shavings alone and judging from the nests that they construct, I can see why not. Shavings could never hold up to the shapes they like to build.

    You can have the best of both worlds if you want access for your children to collect the eggs without entering the coop, just build interior boxes with the typical open fronts that the chickens access the box from inside the coop but add back doors that are flush with the side of your coop. I would put the hinges on the bottom and make the little doors open downward like little draw bridges so that any eggs laid close to the back of the nest box won't fall out and crack when the pop door is opened.

    This would also possibly prevent egg freezes if the coop is kept at 40 degrees because the boxes would not be sitting on the outside of the coop. You would just have to be sure to put some good weather stripping around all edges of your outside access doors. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  7. bonnylass79

    bonnylass79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm assuming this is what you're talking about:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Another coop built by hubby for someone else. I'm still bitter about it. [​IMG]
     
  8. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:LOL, Sorry to read this but YES, that Is EXACTLY what I was writing about! Thank you for the beautiful photos because I wasn't sure if I was describing it clearly! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  9. Hamptons06

    Hamptons06 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2009
    North Atlanta
  10. bonnylass79

    bonnylass79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:lol, I'd have to talk to the hubby, but it might cost ya.
     

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