Coop design harder than it has to be..? newbie here!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CA Bean, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. CA Bean

    CA Bean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok so my hubby is making our chicken coop( 3x9x 4 ( &4 1/2 at highest pt) and originally I wanted the low side of the coop to have our nesting boxes which will be accessed from the outside. But..since the placement of the coop is now facing a different direction - the low side of coop would be the back side in which is very inconvenient to go around back of it and access nest boxes. There is a slope drop off there and is not really ideal with a 2 kids under 4yrs old. So I need suggestions or advice or just to know that this can work.

    Also how many chickens is ok for this size. I know standard is 4 ft per bird but I think I did 3 ft per bird since we are in California and they will be out all day unless it rains- no snow here!

    So the high side of the coop 4 1/2ft length wise and nesting boxes will be placed 18 inches off the floor..but ahh what about the darn roosts! I can put them accross from the nesting boxes on the 4ft side ..will that work? I know they like to be up on the highest part but it is not working out that way.
    Here is a pic- [​IMG]

    Also we are in under the oak trees at pretty much part shade..we will put in 2-3 2x2 windows.
    The chicken access to ground door is gonna go next to the nest box side on the very right. I am figuring 6 nest boxes. One of the end walls ( very left one) will open out for easy cleaning and maybe the other wall too? With windows in them. Haven't finalized our design...
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I take it you are planning on 9 chickens? What about just putting 2 nestboxes on the *short* side of the coop (the end), sized to fully use the width of that size, running from 14-18" (ish) above the floor up to the roof?

    Alternatively, I don't see that you really need to use the *whole* long side for nestboxes (2-3 should be fine for 9 chickens, especially if they are decent sized). So maybe you could put them on the low (back) long side the way you'd planned, but only at the closest end of it, so you wouldn't actually have to walk all the way around back there, just reach around or maybe take 1 step back there.

    Otherwise, the only way to give them sufficient headroom over the roost will be to put the nestboxes on the floor, or pretty much so. I haven't personally had any problem with doing it that way (but that's with ISA Browns which are pretty much programmed to behave themselves [​IMG]) but I know that some people feel that floor-level nestboxes lead to more floor eggs (which are pooey) so you might want to try to avoid it if you can.

    Good luck, beautiful site [​IMG],

    Pat
     
  3. CA Bean

    CA Bean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmm do I need a bigger coop? I read somewhere that it doesn't exactly have to be 4ft per bird if they are out most of the time.
    We have 14 chickies...2 are Cornish x and they are to be culled at 8 ish weeks so they won't be permanent. Also I wanted to account for 25% loss ( roosters etc) so I may be ending up with less than 12?? I am hoping they will be fine for a month or two all together until we find out who is roo..haha. So I think worst case scenario if I have a maximum of 12 Chickens they would have 3ft each in the coop. They won't be cooped up for long- we don't ever get snow or anything in Coastal California. It does get cold at night and icy but they should be fine in the coop right?
    Also if one day I plan to have lets say 25 I could build another coop. SHould they be attached somehow to the other one or can they be totally seperate.
    So many questions..
    Also shall I put 4 vents in this coop? I know the wind whips up the hill from behind in the winter time..

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Perhaps I am confused about your coop floorspace dimensions. I had understood it to be 9x3, which would be 27 sq ft? Which would be 2.25 sq ft per chicken if you had 12 chickens... I wouldn't do it myself but then I've never lived in a climate where there are basically never days so hot or so rainy or so cold that chickens would hang around the coop during the day. *IF* that is the case for you, it doesn't sound overly doomed, to me.

    Also if one day I plan to have lets say 25 I could build another coop. SHould they be attached somehow to the other one or can they be totally seperate.

    If you build a second coop, you may have problems if you do not give each coop its own separate run. Some people seem to get two flocks to each go into their respective coops at night, but others can't get it to work and end up with too many chcikens all jammed into just one of the coops and problems resulting.

    OTOH you could build a second coop large enough for the whole big lot of 'em, and use the first one for storage and for isolation space (for invalids, for quarantine of new chickens, for later brooding, etc) which can be awfully handy to have.

    Also shall I put 4 vents in this coop? I know the wind whips up the hill from behind in the winter time..

    Yes. Put in LOTS AND LOTS of ventilation area (large sizes, and lots of 'em) ESPECIALLY since there will be sooo many chickens in there at night. Then make flaps/doors/covers that can close vents down as the weather requires. Presto, best of both worlds [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat​
     
  5. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I have seen on the news the past few years, California still get it's fair share of rain. [​IMG] Perhaps that is just the coastal areas though, not sure where you are.

    Personally I would have a wider coop, for that many chickens. It gives them more space, and could make it easier for you to plan out the areas within it. Three feet is pretty narrow. Could you make it say 5X9? You will need room for the feeder, and water container, and nest boxes, all of which take up space.

    As it is now planned.-The middle of the high side of the coop would be ideal for having a large access door, for you to be able to add/remove floor litter, food, water and cleaning. You could reach both ends of the coop from this point, so you wouldn't have to crawl in, to clean, as you may have to if you make the access door on one end. This high wall of course, would also be the preferred spot for the roost, so this could be a problem trying to incorporate both. Perhaps a roost right down the center of the coop would work? This would give the birds the front, back, and head clearance needed.

    As Pat suggests, the nests on the end wall would probably work out best. A window should be incorporated into your design as well. Perhaps one that is able to be opened, (and screened) would help with ventilation issues.

    It looks like it's going to be a very solid coop, from the construction!
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop

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