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Coop advice needed - shelves, cubbies or none?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LuvinMyPeeps, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    I finally got DH's approval to use our existing garden shed for the chickens. Of course after bugging him for several months I was so exicted I ran to Lowes right away and put in linoleum flooring. It looks great, so the floor is done....now I'm stuck and need advice.

    I want to make this look like a cozy cottage (I know, I know [​IMG]). I'm putting beadboard on the walls at least 4 feet high, but here's what I'm struggling with - right now the walls have exposed beams. I'd love to put beadboard 5 feet high all the way around. Then put in a chair rail and cubbies between the studs to use for picture frames, display, etc. (okay, so I need someplace to put my yard sale finds [​IMG]) but will the chickens roost in the cubbies or a 4 inch shelf?

    They will be built about 5 foot high and will only be about 4 inches deep (as deep as the studs which are 2 x 4s). I'm want to put up wallpaper as a background in the cubbies. I'd like to have something smooth so their feathers won't stick and would be easily washable. (I saw a neighbors coop and she didn't finish the inside. I always noticed how there were feathers all over the walls (they were rough) and it looked kind of ...what's the word I'm looking for...disgusting?

    What do you think, should I nix the cubby idea?
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    I don't think a full-grown chicken would be able to fit on a four-inch shelf. It would have to turn sideways to even get in, and would prob'ly be extremely uncomfortable if it stayed there.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    One of my pens has, this is hard to explain, it used to be an indoor dog run and there is a window 4' above the floor with about 3-4" between the plastic wall panel and the windowglass, does that make sense? And I have had to block it off with a screen wedged in there, because chickens (grown ISA Browns) would fly up and perch awkwardly there, mashed up against the windowglass, pooing into the space between plastic panel and window [​IMG]

    Your ledge probably wouldn't be quite the 'draw' a window is, but I still would not count it out, especially if you have a more active or inclined towards flight type of breed.

    Ledges will catch vast quantities of dust, feathers, cobwebs and other assorted crud, and will start to cause air quality problems if not kept swept on a regular basis. Anything decorative you put on the ledges will just catch *more* dust, cobwebs, feathers, stray shavings, etcetera. Personally I would not do it, but if you do, I hope you like moving things and cleaning 'em [​IMG]


  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I agree with the above post, those cubbies are going to collect all type of dust, feathers and assorted goodies. So expect to have some extra dusting to do.[​IMG]
    Don't be surprised to find chickens sitting on that 4" ledge.
  5. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    Thanks for your comments, they make sense. I'm getting granduers of a coop that will always be nice & clean (yeah right). I guess I need a reality check, huh? I love usable space, so I really hate seeing it go to waste, but I can sure see your point. It's nice for the first week and then.....eeeeeew.

    Has anyone seen the "omelet hotel" article in Mary Janes Farm Magazine? Although after reading many posts on BYC, some parts of that hen house sure aren't practical, but the style is what got me started on this decorating bug! [​IMG]

    TTFN ~
  6. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop

    In my coop, I have a double hung window with a 3 inch ledge when the window is open. I thought it would be too narrow for my Buffs to get into. Boy was I wrong. They would jump up there and wedge themselves up against the hardware wire and then poop down the wall. Silly birds. I had to sweep it out daily as it would fill up that "gulley" with poop, shavings, feathers. Gross. So now I keep the window closed on the bottom and open it at the top to keep them out of it.

    I had the decorator bug too... My husband laughed that it was such a girlie thing to do. But is was HIS idea to put leftover beadboard against the back wall to "make it look pretty for the girls." Haa Haa! He likes to act so tough and macho but he we know the truth.... Anyways, I painted the walls and floor with an exterior glossy paint to a) be easier to clean, and b) reflect as much light as I could. I am glad to say that both goals have been accomplished. No feathers stuck to the walls and if a stray poo ends up there it's really easy to wipe up with a little vinegar and a paper towel. And really, let's just admit here and now that I decorated it for ME because I like looking at nice and pretty things... So I'd say just go for it if you want to. But if you did cubbies, you should consider shadow boxes instead - it gets pretty dusty in there.

    cheers! Citychook
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    LuvinMyPeeps, can you post any pictures?
  8. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    Gosh, I'm sorry I haven't written back. It's been a while since I've been on-line, my kids like to steal the computer for chatting. [​IMG] I will try to post some pix tomorrow. I'm going to Home Depot in the morning to get the rest of the beadboard - I had to wait for payday. I can't believe how expensive it is. :|

    Hopefully I'll be done this weekend if I get the supplies realllll early in the morning...
  9. LuvinMyPeeps

    LuvinMyPeeps Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Powhatan, VA 23139
    Okay, I'm back - I had to wrangle the computer from the kids [​IMG]

    Here are some pics of the coop-to-be. You can see where I want to build the shelves, right on top where the beadboard stops.

    Let me know what you think [​IMG]

    Here is the outside of the coop-to-be.

    Here is the left side. This door leads to the dog run - we won't be using that until I dig 10 inches deep to lay new earth there....eeeeew!

    Here's the right side when you walk in the door.
    This is the door that will lead to the run for the chickies.

    Here is a view of the inside, left side. You can see the windows, there are 2 - (one behind the camera).
    I'm hoping with the windows and chicken doors open (screened with hardware cloth) that will be enough ventilation, but we'll see. That's why I'm not putting up the beadboard just yet.

    This is the nest boxes and my first attempt at woodworking.
  10. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    [​IMG] Very good job on the nest boxes. I like them.

    I want the interior of "Eggtopia" to be pink or lavender and DH hat a fit. Like he is going to clean in there? NOT. So it is a beautiful blue.

    I understand the decorating completely. My girls are getting lined curtains on their windows. I want to make sure there are no drafts from the windows. [​IMG]

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