coop newbie- question about nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chefchick, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. chefchick

    chefchick Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    My husband and I are in the process of converting our kids' playhouse into our coop. I have a few questions:
    #1: We have nine chicks. Is 8x8 big enough? We are also planning an8 x 10 outdoor run
    #2: assuming that some of these little cluckers are hens, how big should we build the nesting boxes? How far off the floor? Can you have one nesting box on top of another?

    Thanks for your help

  2. ladyride

    ladyride Songster

    Apr 30, 2011
    East Tn
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    You're ok in the coop (it's recommended 4 square ft per bird inside a coop) Having learned the hard way, I suggest you keep the roosts fairly low to prevent mid air collisions and possible injuries when the birds are jumping around but put the roost up higher than the nest boxes and don't forget the poop board. (again I suggest a removable plastic or metal pan for easy cleaning) You may want to make a ladder style roost for access so as the birds learn to hop up and as they get stronger, they can hop to a higher rung but make sure to top rung or the roost will support and fit all 8 birds, full grown.

    Suggest you expand the run to at least 10 square feet of run per bird. Dog kennel panels make wonderfully secure runs as long as the bottoms of the wire are well attached and you skirt them. You can even surround to coop for better security if the heigth allows. They can easily be topped with another panel and it allows head room for walking / cleaning and supports a shade tarp or cover without sagging. Recommend a inner ring of hardware cloth , attached to the chain link, about 12 to 18 inches tall to keep the fuzzy butts from slipping thru the wire openings and the coons from reaching in. (don't think you don't have coons around, they just have't found you yet!)

    Nest boxes won't be needed for a month or two and are suggested 12x12 and stackable plastic recycling or open front storage tubs work great and clean easily. (for 8 birds, 2 nests are plenty) You can stack them but should secure them from falling over and I suggest a entry perch or walkway for any raised or upper nests so they can pick their spot and see if someone beat them too it.

    Also recommend sealing the floor or a vinyl floor covering to stop absorbtion of poo and water into the wood.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011

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