Coop Design

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by JM 1st chickens, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. JM 1st chickens

    JM 1st chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Hello!

    I am new to chickens and still new to this site. I just read that you shouldn't have your chickens sleep on top of your nesting box, but that is the ONLY place my chickens sleep. I have a roost but the chickens have never used it, even when I didn't have a nesting box. Could anyone help with this? I have pictures uploaded to my profile but can't figure out how to post them onto this post. The top of the nesting box does get really dirty but its not horrible.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. JM 1st chickens

    JM 1st chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2014
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  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Looking at the pics, part of the problem is that your roosting bars are lower than the top of your nest boxes. Chickens will naturally gravitate to the highest spots to roost. I would redo the roosting bars and add some beams to it that go on up toward the top of the coop. Make sure that the roosting bars are not too close together as well. I would recommend 18" between the roosting bars. I always build the tops of my nest boxes (or tunnel nests in my case) with a 45 degree slant to them so that the birds can't roost on top of them. Your run attached to your coop looks awful small. Do you free range your chickens? If not, you need to build a larger run. The rule of thumb is 4 sq. ft. of coop floor space per bird (more is better) and 10 sq. ft. of ground space per bird in the run (again, more is better). Overcrowding can quickly lead to aggression, fighting, feather plucking, and even cannibalism. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
     
  4. citychickfarmer

    citychickfarmer New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2014
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    As Michael has said, they are going to seek out the highest spots in your coop. So you need to block off this area. You could put a piece of plywood across this area and lean it back so there is no place to roost. The plywood will slant down and forward. Then go up at roosting time and get them on the roost bars. It may take a couple of nights of you getting them on there, but eventually they will get the hang of it. If they start sleeping in the boxes, block them off at night time only.

    Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours!
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    If they are going to continue to potty on top of the nest boxes, it would be much easier to clean is you topped them with linoleum or had a large poop tray with litter in it to catch it all.. You also need roosts far enough from the wall so they can turn around without smacking themselves in the process.
     
  7. citychickfarmer

    citychickfarmer New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2014
    I like your coop. It looks roomy. I am trying to build a temporary one for my garage because they are still too small to be in an open coop and it rains a lot on the coast. My dad and I are trying to decide what to use for flooring. Is ply wood durable enough?
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    It should work fine as long as it's 3/4" and not sitting directly on the ground.
     
  9. JM 1st chickens

    JM 1st chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Thank you for all of the advice.

    Why is it that even when the coop did not have the nesting box they still refused the roost? Could it be that they are square pegs and not round and they don't like that on their feet?

    I will try all of these suggestions and make the adjustments this weekend.

    Unfortunately we cannot free range the chickens as we have a hawk sitting and watching them as well as a dog who can't wait to take a bite. When I read about the amount of space needed for each chicken I assumed that was total and thus included the run. I will be extending the run as soon as possible and it will also be on the dirt so they can dig a little as I have started to have some behavioral problems as well.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
     

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