coop dimensions top to bottom

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fargosmom, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're finally constructing our coop, and I just want to check on the dimensions of the henhouse. I think we need 12 inches from the ceiling to the perch, right? So here's my question. We're building it off the ground, and I was planning on allowing space underneath for the girls to cool off during the hot days . . . there'll be a space about 4'x7' under the house. I'm making the space under the house about 16-18'' high -
    is this enough room for them to be comfortable underneath? I don't want anyone getting stuck. This means inside I'll have 12 inches over the top roost, and about 20 inches under it. Does this sound ok? We're still at the point where I can adjust these numbers if anything needs to change . . . but I want to get it finished this weekend if possible. I think our girls are ready to move out of their box.
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never had a perch as close to the ceiling as that, Fargosmom. With adequate air space around it, I would think it would be fine, however.

    Just to get a clearer idea, I stepped out to measure my standard laying hens. Walking around, they are about 14" altho' I'm sure that they could stretcher higher. That's floor to comb.

    It seems like I've seen some drawing showing 17 inches as a "prescribed" height below an elevated coop. That could have been in that Chicken Coops book by Judy Pangman. So, 17" seems very reasonable but comfort level may depend more on what the human taking care of the chickens wants [​IMG].

    . . . just my 2 cents worth.

    Steve
     
  3. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been told that putting a roost close enough to the ceiling that a rooster can't stretch to crow will help keep them quiet. I've been trying to figure out what that distance might be so as to incorporate it into the coop I'm currently building.
     
  4. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok - I can make the roost a little lower and not radically change the inside of the house. If your hens are about 14 inches, then I think the 16 we've allotted should be fine - I'm picturing the hens going under and scratching themselves nice little basins in the cool dirt, so they'll probably lower the soil level slightly anyway [​IMG] . I could even dig it out a little for them . . . but at least they'll have guaranteed shade and cool soil on the handful of days when it's over 100 around here. The rest of their area is a 4'x9' enclosed run - between that and the 4'x7' henhouse I hope they'll be happy. There's only 4 of them so far . . . although who knows what the future holds!
     
  5. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    You may also want to consider the height of the floor of your coop... my coop is up and the chickens can get under and take a nice dirt bath. [​IMG] My main concern was how comfortable it will be for me to clean the coop. I generally replace the pine shavings each Saturday; it takes me about 20 minutes to shovel the fertilizer out and spread new shavings around the coop. It's a playhouse and measures about 16 sq. ft. The floor is up high enough that I don't strain my back. [​IMG]
    As for roosts... when my pullets were old enough to go into the coop and roost, I had set the roost up to about 3.5' or so. I've noticed now that the girls are full grown, they land a lot heavier onto the floor. I've been thinking that when it's cooler, I'll drop the roost a little bit so that the hens have an easier time accessing it. That includes jumping up and jumping down to the roost.

    Carla
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    My tractor has 16" underneath the house part, and it works fine but I would for sure not put it an inch lower (for ISA Browns anyhow, or any other average sized LF chicken). I would strongly suggest not digging out the ground under your house, as you will be creating a pond or mudpit in wet weather, and BOY will you regret that [​IMG]

    It has, I forget, 16-18"(?) above the tractor's roost, and again, it works ok but I would really not want it lower and the chickens would clearly appreciate more room as they are unable to stretch up normally when on the roost.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!! I guess I'll leave it at 16" underneath (I hadn't thought about the mud-pit - thanks for the caution there too) and I'll drop the top roost down a bit - if there's 16" over their heads I think that means the hop down to the floor will be about 18" - that shouldn't be too much for them, should it?
     
  8. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Where do you live?
    The general recommendation is 4 sq ft of coop space per hen (more if they have to spend a lot of time indoors in bad weather!!) and 10 sq feet of run space per hen.

    As I understand it, you have just enough coop space and not quite enough run space for four chickens. Also, NOT ANY room to add more chickens (not a good idea!!!! [​IMG]).

    Most everyone agrees that you should build EXTRA space if you have room in your yard!!!

    Good Luck!!
     
  9. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The run is 9'x4.5' , and the henhouse is 7'x4.5' . . . so if I'm doing the math right I think we have 28' square inside, and over 36' outside, making 7' square per hen inside (4 hens) and 9' square outside . . . plus the area under the house for a shady hideaway. Did I calculate correctly? We live in So. Cal. so winter is pretty mild - the girls should be able to be outside most days.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    sounds good to me, for whatever that's worth [​IMG]

    Pat
     

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