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City boy needs everything but the hammer and nails HELP!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by THINGUM, Feb 8, 2011.


    THINGUM Chirping

    Jan 17, 2011
    So,[​IMG] I'm a handy sort but have no idea how to "structure" the inside. Roosts of 10" per chx, 12" from a parallel wall, 24" off floor?? Have a 43" X 120" space. So it's long and narrow and only have access to one side and one end. Probably only room for one long perch across back. Do chx need much head room when roosting?? I would like to use space above their roost for storage.
    3 to 4 chx per nest box??, slanted tops, outside access for eggs, 12X12 each, darker location. 4" lip on front of box. How far in front of the boxes should the access perch be?? Probably put the nest boxes on my one end (the other end is against a board fence.) They''ll have a nice run, so that'll help.
    Does everyone recommend vinyl floor, or just painted plywood?? I would like to use straw and shredded paper on floor, but it doesn't seem like there is enough room for a poop pan. My buddy raised 40 chx as a kid and says "it was wire and small shed roof, period", and this sounds like "Chicken Shrangri La" to him. I've got windows with hdwe. cloth and a dutch door ready to go. We're in North Idaho and it's going to be 20 degrees tonight. Ground is still frozen but I'm raring to get started (we intend 10 chickens, no rooster.) Thanks in advance.

  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Am I understanding that the access is only on the short end? If that's the case, then I think you really should think about fixing that by adding doors that open up on the long side so you'll be able to access the whole coop. I'm assuming also that this is some kind of raised coop, not a full height coop that you can walk into yourself. If the coop is designed so that you can't reach all of it without having to crawl in there to clean, get a chicken, etc., I don't imagine that's going to be very fun.

    In a coop that's only 3 1/2 feet wide, it's going to be a tight squeeze putting a roost running along the length. If you've got standard size chickens, the roost needs to be about 10-12 inches from the back wall, and then the chickens need some space in front of the roost to hop/fly down. At least with my bantams, they need less space going up than they do coming back down. Mine like about 4 feet of area in front of the roost when they fly down, but their roost is at 5 feet. I'm guessing chickens might manage with less space in front if their roost was set lower.

    What breeds are you getting? Different breeds of chickens have different heights. My bantams are about 12 inches tall when they stretch up, but they're really tiny compared to standard breeds which seem huuuuge to me in comparison. You'll also want to think about having at least some of your ventilation above the level of your chickens' heads so that you can leave it open in winter without having a draft blowing over your birds as they roost.

    I painted the plywood floors of my coops and called it done. I use sand over the floors. It's working great.

    p.s. Forgot to say...welcome to the forum.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Totally agree with elmo about installing a door along the 10 ft. stretch. I'm skinny, and I don't think I'd want to try to maintain a coop by shimmying down through a 3 1/2 ft. wide "tunnel" to maintain/clean. I also agree that you'll need to do multiple roosts that run along the short width...maybe a ladder type roost with three steps/sections. I would definitely elevate your nest boxes at least 18 inches, as your space is less than 4 sq. ft. per chicken...unless you're in an area that doesn't really get winters so your birds will rarely be inside the shelter.

    THINGUM Chirping

    Jan 17, 2011
    So sorry about the confusion. this coop will be built in a corner under a lean-to attached to my garage. It will have 80" of height, insulated walls, dutch door on front side somewhere near the right end, 18"X32" troffer windows either end as high as I can get them. 3nest boxes at accessible (left) end, about 36"to bottom. Roost @24" leading to perch for boxes. Water and food hung directly in front of the door. Somehow I need to keep poop trajectery from reaching food and water.
    (2) Roosts could terrace in front of the boxes perch, would only require raising boxes. that would keep them away from F/W. 10 chx may be too many, maybe only enough room for 8. on my way to airport see ya tomorrow, thanks again.
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They will have to be able to hop to and from the roost. Chickens fly quite a distance horizontally to get off a roost if they can. I'm afraid your chickens will be injured if you don't put several short roosts in, at different levels or with ladders or other means of hopping up and down.

    I hope this works out for you, to have such a narrow coop; I would not try it.

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