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Can't decide if my chicken coop design will work

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

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Well I just got into the whole chicken thing, had a bunch of old boards laying around from when the deck was re-built and decided to make a coop. My question is: do you think the chickens will struggle getting to their chicken boxes? They are only 2 weeks old now and still in the brooder but I cant decide if I need to reconstruct my shelves so it isn't as narrow. My dad seems to think they're chickens and they'll figure it out but I just want to be sure.. here's a few images of the inside of my coop. (Was a wet nasty day when I took the pics)
    I don't plan on moving them to the coop until they're big mature girls.



  2. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, I don't think they will have a problem but they will likely just roost on the edges and poop in the boxes and over the edge. How many will you have? If not very many maybe you just want to have a few nests and make room for a 2x4 roost set with the 4 inch side parallel to the ground, across from the nest boxes and higher than the nests, just for ease of cleaning underneath. Otherwise, like your Dad says, "They'll figure it out." [​IMG]
  3. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Just bumping one more time to see if I can get more opinions. thanks
  4. Mallory

    Mallory Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    Walbridge, Ohio
    From what I've read, it is likely that they will roost on the edges and then probably end up pooping in the nest boxes. Do you have a whole lot of birds? I've read that you will need one nest box for every four birds. So unless you've got about 40 or more birds, I don't think you'd need that many nests. [​IMG] Taking some out and having them be roosts instead would be great and they'd love that! And then I'd suggest for however many nest boxes you do keep, maybe put a top to them so they can't roost on the sides, and try to keep them lower than the roosts. They feel safest high up, so if the top of the nest is higher than a roost, they'll probably use the nest for roosting anyhow.

    Good luck! And welcome to BYC, too!
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Are you perhaps thinking the chickens should *sleep in* the boxes, one per chicken?

    Nearly everyone tries real hard to AVOID having them do that, b/c a) it is hard to clean up after and b) then they also lay eggs in the boxes right into the poo they've deposited and the eggs are filthy.

    I would suggest reducing the nestbox number to one per 4 hens or so; adding a proper roost, e.g. a piece of 2x4 laid wide-side up or a piece of de-barked 4-6" diameter dead treebranch, 8-12" of linear roost space per hen; and putting some sort of top above the remaining nestboxes (either flat if it will be under a roost so the top can double as a droppings board, or sloped otherwise so they won't try to roost on it)

    Good luck, have fun,


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