Coop design questions

waywind

Chirping
Aug 25, 2019
41
55
74
Melbourne, Australia
Hi all,

I've just started a small flock in my backyard with 2 lovely buff orphington chickens. They are from a show breeder, but have slight tinges of brown in their feathers making them only back yard quality. They look awesome to me though.

I made the coop from scratch from guidance around the web. Now that the chickens are in it though, I'm not sure about a few things so hoping for some advice and reassurance.

1. Is there enough room in my coop for the chickens to fly up and roost? It's about 1.2 meters wide with half of the it being occupied with a 2 tier roost. It's about 1 meter high so I think there's plenty of head room. My concern is that I didn't expect the chickens to be so big (my bad) so I'm not sure if there's enough room for them to get up? Some photos attached of the coop and the girls.
2. Is my chicken run too boring? It's only day 2, so maybe they're just settling in, but whenever I peek inside the chickens just seem to be standing still just chilling. I was expect a lot more scratching around etc. I am attempting a deep litter method in the run, hence why it's just pine shavings everywhere but now slightly concerned it's too boring for them. I do plan to free range on the weekends when I'm home to supervise, but they will be in the run the majority of the time.
3. Is my nesting boxes too small? I made them roughly 30x30x30cm, with a 2x4 in the front for a 'lip'. Looking at the chickens I'm not sure if they'll find that too small?
4. Lastly, they don't seem to be very interested in the pellets I've put out. I've given them some strawberries and cucumbers which they gobble up, but they don't seem to touch the pellets. Any advice here?

Thanks for any replies in advance; it's great to finally join in the discussion with chickens of my own.

Regards,
waywind.
 

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ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,252
1,287
Washington State
Hi! :frow Welcome to BYC! My chickens wont eat pellets, so I give them crumbles. They love that. I'm not sure about the spacing question. Is it 1.2 meters by 1.2 meters square? If so, that is enough space for them. I know they can get on the bottom roost and should be able to hop up from there to the higher one. If it were me, I would add ladders, one up to the first roost and one from the first roost up to the second.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
27,363
20,625
831
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow Congratulations on your new flock. I think your coop looks fine. I can only give you my experience. My situation is different. I show my birds at poultry shows also. I feed the different age groups and breeders different feed. I do prefer the pellets because my birds waste less. I have had some finicky eaters. I told them they either had to eat the pellets or starve. None starved. Good luck and have fun...
 

waywind

Chirping
Aug 25, 2019
41
55
74
Melbourne, Australia
Cheers for the welcome guys.

Ladder is a good idea, I didn't think of that. I might look into it if they're not roosting in the next week or two.

Haha, yes I laid out only pellets this morning. Looking forward to see if they give in and just eat it!

Thanks for the input
Waywind
 

sealer39

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Aug 3, 2013
2,861
20,639
842
Pineville, Louisiana
Nice coop!
I’d stop offering treats until they start eating the pellets. They might prefer crumbles but they will get used to pellets if that is all they have to eat.
If your birds aren’t going to fly to that roosting bar, they will jump to it. Plenty of room for them.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
3,049
7,824
447
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
My Coop
You can make your run more fun by giving them things to climb on. You can see if there are any fallen trees in your area and cut off a section with branches and just put it on the ground... Or a fallen log... A tree stump. And a dust bath, they love dust baths and they're easy to make.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
97,966
134,775
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I thought your coop look good sized, until I saw the birds in there...
...puts perspective on it all, doesn't it?
Should be fine for 2 birds...if you see problems, you can change things up
Observe and Adjust(...is my 'new' 'motto').

Here some ideas for the run:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/

Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @waywind
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-8-26_17-20-3.png
 

waywind

Chirping
Aug 25, 2019
41
55
74
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the link arrt; I have some old pallets lying around, so I should be able to build something nice for them out of that. Yes I was surprised at how big they were haha. I'm looking to get another 2 later on so I'll see how I go I think.

I'm down under in Australia :) it's the time of the year when it's cold at night but nice and sunny during the day. When I say 'cold', I mean just 4 - 5 degrees, not North America's crazy cold.

They are eating pellets now that I gave them no choice. I haven't given them any treats yet except for some fruit and veggie scraps, which I think is working fine. Just need to train them to use the nesting boxes now! Trying to find some old golf balls somewhere.

Thanks for all the advice.
 

waywind

Chirping
Aug 25, 2019
41
55
74
Melbourne, Australia
Just another query - is my ramp not suitable for the chickens? It's in the background of the photo.

I thought they would be able to climb the rungs I fixed but thinking it's either too steep or rungs too thin?

I've been putting them to bed every night since Sunday, with no sign that the ramp will be used.
 

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