Coop Design Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by henmommy, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. henmommy

    henmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
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    OK~ here's my situation. I have built a coop 6X10X8. I have 8 nesting boxes and 10' of perch on one wall. My hens prefer to sit in the boxes instead of perch when roosting. So after reading many messages, I am going to move the perch to a higher position and lower the nesting boxes. Sound good? How high should boxes be? Can we put the roost over the nesting boxes? Thinking about putting some type of "tray" under roost to catch poop. Any thoughts?

    Today, my hens are free-range, but I plan to build a run. What should I use for fencing? Chicken wire, chain-link? I am trying to keep cost down, so any suggestions would be great.
     
  2. Bi0sC0mp

    Bi0sC0mp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Raiford,FLA
    i would not put the roost right over the nest box.. 2nd make something on top of the nestbox so they cant roost up there as for height all depends on the chicken
     
  3. mamato3

    mamato3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    SWMissouri
    i would just move the roosting perch up and put a some plywood at an angle above the nest to keep them from roosting
     
  4. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I've read alot that having the roost high will help, since they like to try to get to highest point, also putting something on top of the nesting box so they can't roost on them is always a good idea.
     
  5. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Quote:This is strictly my opinion, as security is important to me.

    If you want a the ultimate predator proof run, you should use the galvanised 1/2" hardware cloth. Mink, and rats can't get through the small openings, nor can they chew through it. Raccoons can't reach through it, like chain link, or tear a hole in it like chicken wire. Dogs, coyote's, and fox's wont be able to get through it, even the bigger ones.

    You should bury the cloth at least a foot into the ground around the edge's, unless you have a solid concrete/brick foundation, to stop predators from tunneling into the run. Ultimately a roof of the same material would be ideal, as coons can climb, and it will prevent birds of prey gaining entry.

    This might be extreme, and it certainly will cost more than other types of fencing, but if you want total security, it's the material to use. You could cut the costs by using chicken wire over, and around the majority of the run, and then having the hardware cloth around the lower half of the run. This will prevent some of the predator problems your likely to encounter. Keep in mind though that coons can climb, and have been known to tear through the "lighter gauge" chicken wire. Doubling it would help, but your back to the cost factor.

    The way I look at it is you can pay now, or pay later...[​IMG]
     
  6. Dustoff79

    Dustoff79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    I am going to move the perch to a higher position and lower the nesting boxes. Sound good? How high should boxes be? Can we put the roost over the nesting boxes? Thinking about putting some type of "tray" under roost to catch poop. Any thoughts?

    Today, my hens are free-range, but I plan to build a run. What should I use for fencing? Chicken wire, chain-link? I am trying to keep cost down, so any suggestions would be great.

    Yes, perch should be higher than the nesting boxes. you may also want to block off the nesting boxes at night to avoid having them roost in the boxes. just don't forget to open them back up in the morning.
    Nest boxes as best as I can tell are good around 18" off floor, but I see a variety of heights on this site. Do not put the roost over the nesting boxes unless you do a tray of some sort.

    info on a poop tray https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=29812

    the
    fencing question needs to address predators. chicken wire will only keep your chickens in. best answer I have for you on this is spend some time reviewing previous posts and make your decision.

    Good luck​
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have roosts over top of nest boxes and no problems at all. I have a solid droppings board under the roost, forming the 'ceiling' of the nestboxes with several inches of overhang so that it sticks out past the entrance to the boxes. It works great for me.

    JME,

    Pat
     
  8. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    HenMommy ~
    What type of predators do you have in your neighborhood?
    Ours are mainly nighttime raccoons, skunks and possums that will inflict serious damage. During the day my hens are in a run built of 18gauge 1" hexagon chicken wire. This is actually sold as stucco wire. It's heavy and will keep out predators.
    The gauge of the wire is what counts; 18 or 19 gauge is good. Anything more than that will be too flimsy.

    During the night, my hens sleep in a coop which has 1/2" hardware cloth over the windows to keep out any raccoon that might want to put its hand through the window.

    Chicken wire is *fine* as long as its really a sturdy wire strength.

    Carla
     
  9. Ferosia

    Ferosia New Egg

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    Aug 2, 2008
    I have a coop construction question. We had a huge storm last night that left our coop a mangled mess. I would like to build a new one, idealy I would like the playhouse coop I saw on this sight. It is the perfect dimentions for the small and skinny space we have, but is it storm proof? How could I make it stronger?
     
  10. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    [email protected] :

    I have a coop construction question. We had a huge storm last night that left our coop a mangled mess. I would like to build a new one, idealy I would like the playhouse coop I saw on this sight. It is the perfect dimentions for the small and skinny space we have, but is it storm proof? How could I make it stronger?

    Hi Melissa! First of all, welcome to BYC! (Just a hint... If you don't want everyone to be able to see your last name and your e-mail address, for more privacy, send a PM to a moderator and ask them to help you change your name. If you like it the way it is, no worries! [​IMG] ).

    As to your question...

    You must have had one heck of a storm!

    Probably the most storm-safe structure would be a coop built entirely out of concrete blocks, but that's not practical for most people. Most playhouses are pretty cheaply made. Whatever you build next is going to need to be built like a miniature house, with lots of support built in to the framing: thick, study walls with lots of reinforcement. A solid, rectangular structure with a sloped roof would work great. If you build two rooms into your coop (a chicken room and a "human" room -- for feed storage, supplies, etc.), you will benefit from the extra support of an interior wall.

    I would build a concrete foundation and attach the framing directly to the concrete with anchors. A concrete floor would also make your coop extra predator-proof.

    Make your framing really strong, and decorate the outside like a playhouse or cottage. Then you'll get both the strength and the look you want.

    Plant a line of trees (such as conifers) close enough to your coop that they provide a line of defense against straight-line winds, but far enough away that there is open space between them and your coop or run.

    These are all the suggestions I can think of for now... Others will be able to provide insight, too.

    See you around the forum!​
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008

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