Coop interior Questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SKYLINE, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. SKYLINE

    SKYLINE Songster

    To fast forward I don’t have chickens yet but my first coop is almost done. It’s a 4x4 coop with an attached run. Skipping pass the brooder stage I’m planning on building a pvc auto feed and waterer but I’m unsure where to mount them? Main question being..

    1. Where to mount the automatic feeder and waterer? (Inside or out).

    2. Should they have constant access to the feed or only when I allow?

    3. How much feed should 4 teenage or adult hens be feed on a daily bases?

    Also would only 2 nest boxes work for 4 hens? I heard they like to share. Thanks for any answers.
     
  2. Grits&Eggs

    Grits&Eggs Songster

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    My Coop
    We built a pvc waterer and feeder, we put the waterer in the run right outside the coop, and the feeder is under cover (because even with a cover on it, it still has gotten some rain/moisture in it). I give constant access to food, but don't fill the PVC with more than a couple cups of food, my pvc feeder is easy for them to waste food (shake head and comes out of the tubes). I am not sure about how much to feed.... also I put two nest boxes in but then my chicken count grew and needed way more!! they do like to share.

    Good luck - they are such fun!!
     
    DobieLover likes this.
  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    My Coop
    With a coop that size I would keep the feeder and waterer in the run to leave plenty of room for getting on and off the roost.

    I would build the run so it is as secure as a locked up coop then leave the pop door open all the time so they can come and go as they please. This is especially helpful during cold months.

    Generally hens that get good exercise should be offered free access to food.
    Consumption varies with activity level, climate, food quality and access to forage.

    2 nest boxes are plenty. Yes, they will share. Sometimes at the same time.
    IMG_20181115_161509126.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    My Coop
    1. I personally prefer water outside (in case it leaks, and even if it doesn't, I don't want moisture inside the coop). With the feeder, it really depends on how it's built and where you're placing it. The feed needs to stay dry so it needs to be placed somewhere with good protection from the elements.

    2. I give mine free food access during the day. Some days they eat more, some days a little less.

    And 2 boxes for 4 hens is fine. 1 box would be fine even, though I would recommend 2 just to give them options.
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    My Coop
    X2 on all counts. I like to preserve interior space as well as prevent excess moisture, etc so water station is outside the coop as is my "no waste" feeder tub. My birds have access to both dawn to dusk.
    I free feed, and with the no-waste feeder I dont lose any feed to spillage, billing, moisture or pests. Generally .25 pounds of feed per adult standard hen is a good base figure... I go through a 50 pound bag about once a month with 10 birds so they eat a little less but are also getting scraps, forage and live mealworms....all are in good production condition.
    2 boxes is great for 4 birds. I use the two box minimum with one box for every four birds for flocks larger than 8. They are instinctively drawn to nest where other birds have nested so it can seem extra boxes are wasted but they account for days when you have a nest hog, broody hens, etc...you can always "spred the love" by using dummy eggs to give the appearance that another hen has used the less popular boxes, etc
     
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  6. SKYLINE

    SKYLINE Songster

    Sweet thanks for your input guys! Love the nest boxes with the curtains that’s neat! @Ol Grey Mare Tell me more about those no waste feeders sounds like a good way to go.
     
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    My Coop
    The basic idea is 3 inch 90 ° PVC elbows that go into a lidded container from the side so that the elbow is an inch or more above the inside "floor" of the container. Feed flies down, around and under into that gap so the birds stick their heads in and peck down to get the feed. The tube doesn't allow them to bill or spill the feed. Some use 5 gallon buckets, others (myself included) use plastic totes, others use larger containers like plastic barrels/trash cans. Now that I've given a description as clear as mud, heres a picture of mine, lol:
    20170708_125426.jpg 20170703_182932.jpg
    (Disregard books, they were simply holding the elbows in position during construction, lol)
     
    Ridgerunner likes this.
  8. SKYLINE

    SKYLINE Songster

    So wait you connect all those elbows to the plastic tote and you fill the tote with feed? That could work out though I’ll probably only use 1 side.
     
  9. jreardon1918

    jreardon1918 Songster

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    My Coop
    My 7 hens eat about 50 pounds per month. Although this winter they are eating less. Since they are not paying the rent, they are helping to cut costs. Here is a picture of our no waste feeder. They can just reach in. Anything that gets spilled, is quickly eaten off the ground. The run is covered so feed and water accessible 24x7. Our coop we built with 6 boxes. But we use 3 of them as storage.
     

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  10. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Oregon
    My Coop
    Yes...a hole saw makes it easiest to get the holes right....pop the elbow in and caulk (or use attachment of choice, I've seen use of cuffs, other adhesives, etc....I've heard concern about consumption of caulk pieces, but my girls haven't picked at it at all two years in) in place. There are lots of great pictorial how-to's here on byc and the web in general of the various methods people have used to construct them.
     

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