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Coop design questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Morgaine, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Morgaine

    Morgaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Texas
    I am new to raising chickens and have a few questions about coops. I see that some people have the roosts above the nesting boxes. How does that work? Is it easy to clean and how DO you clean the tops of the nest? The coop design my hubby and I have sketched out has the nest boxes on one end, an area for the food and water and then the roost area. The nest box area is raised three feet off teh ground(with a ramp) and enclosed with the back wall on a hinge to pick up the eggs. We designed it this way because I thought the hens liked darker places to lay. But, if we could save a little room by having the roosts over the nest boxes we might do that. I was just wondering. The hens are going to have a large area fenced off (50x30) for their run and the coop is 4x24. Is that enough room for 26 chicks? Any advice would be great.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:The idea, when you do it this way, is that the top of the nest boxes doubles as a droppings board. It should be reasonably flat (unlike nest boxes for use elsewhere, and either an easy-to clean material (vinyl flooring over wood, or the plasticky-coated chipboard you use for cheapo shelves) or sprinkled with some floor litter (actually, *both* is best [​IMG] . Then you just brush or scrape the poo into a bucket every morning - removes maybe 50% of the chickens' daily output in like 10 seconds [​IMG] Then re-sprinkle with handful more floor litter if you do it that way.

    The nest box area is raised three feet off teh ground(with a ramp) and enclosed with the back wall on a hinge to pick up the eggs. We designed it this way because I thought the hens liked darker places to lay. But, if we could save a little room by having the roosts over the nest boxes we might do that.

    I think it works fine (and saves room), so I would - but it's not like you need to. Make sure your nest boxes are lower than your roosts, no matter where the nest boxes are, though! Or you will have hens roosting and pooing in the nest boxes.

    The hens are going to have a large area fenced off (50x30) for their run and the coop is 4x24. Is that enough room for 26 chicks?

    It's certainly not overly large coop but as long as it's well set up and they can go out, should be fine.

    I might worry a little about such a long narrow coop, some chickens might be able to monopolize the feed, water or doorways. If it were me I think I'd set it up with roost (over boxes) along most of the middle of long wall, with a duplicate set of everything (feeder waterers grit/shell and doors to the run) at each end. Just a thought.

    Have fun [​IMG]


    Pat​
     
  3. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Thanks for your thoughts pat- I've been debating on whether to divide my 8x20 coop in half length-wise (4x20) or width-wise (8x10) I think this info ends the debate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  4. Morgaine

    Morgaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Texas
    I think it works fine (and saves room), so I would - but it's not like you need to. Make sure your nest boxes are lower than your roosts, no matter where the nest boxes are, though! Or you will have hens roosting and pooing in the nest boxes.

    how much higher do you think the roost need to be.

    I might worry a little about such a long narrow coop, some chickens might be able to monopolize the feed, water or doorways. If it were me I think I'd set it up with roost (over boxes) along most of the middle of long wall, with a duplicate set of everything (feeder waterers grit/shell and doors to the run) at each end. Just a thought.

    Thank you for the advice. We will definaterly plan on doing that [​IMG]
     

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