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Designing coop for 12 Bantam Silkies

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chick-chick, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. chick-chick

    chick-chick New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    We got our 12 cute little Bantam Silkies only two weeks ago, and we are now looking at building a coop. We live in Broken Arrow Oklahoma, which has a hot climate with mild winters. The design I am thinking of has "windows" made with a wire mesh that has small 1/4 inch squares. The mesh will be on the front and the top of the sides. That should be good ventilation. We will just cut plywood squares that could cover up most of the mesh and put in a heat lamp for the winter. The coop will also be raised off of the ground by about 1.5 ft.
    The run will be a chicken wire cage with a hinged top. (after looking at some photos we might just bring it up to fence level) We will also either bury the wire mesh an inch under the run or make the floor of the run with the mesh and put in wood chips.

    The problems that we are having is with the coop flooring, size, and perching.

    Flooring------------
    We are thinking of making the floor a pull out "tray" for easy cleaning. The tray would be a wood frame with that mesh for that mesh for flooring. I don't think that the mesh alone would be good because it would catch their poo and might be hard on their feet. However. the mesh is fine enough to hold the pine shavings and will "sift" the saw dust out of the shavings. Our hope is that we could just pull the floor out, turn it over, and hose it off. To keep it from being cold in the winter, there would be a wood drawer underneath the tray. We would just pull out the drawer and dump out the dust after putting in the shavings. Will the mesh still be bad for their feet even if it has shavings over it?

    Size-------------------
    The space for a Silkie is 4sq ft. outside; what space do they need inside?

    Perching----------
    What diameter will we need for Silkies? How much space will each one need for perching; 6inch? Will we need enough perching for all of them or only some like the nest boxes? Do the perch poles need to be higher or as high as the nest boxes?

    They are basic questions, but I can't find the answers anywhere. Thank you everybody!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  2. chick-chick

    chick-chick New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Does anyone know if the 1/4 inch mesh will hurt there feet? What if it is covered with pine shavings?
     
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    Connecticut
    I would think it might. I have mine on a plywood floor that I just cover with pine shaving and scrap out with a hoe. I think I have reads that wire can be rough on there feet. Also, in the winter it will let to much of a breeze in.

    PS, I dont know if chicken s%#t will "fall" through the mesh, and I guess that would defeat the purpose. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you have mild winters I wouldn't worry about them getting cold. I would worry about them overheating in the summers. installing a fan for summers may be more useful than heating, as my silkies sleep outside in 30 degree weather all winter long like nothing changed. They are so puffy they get hot quick so more ventilation the better. I personally like to just have solid floors as poo gets stuck in wires and it is more hassle to clean than it would have been to just scoop up the floor of shavings when cleaning time comes. As for inside space, I would give 4 sq feet personally, since it will be warm.
     
  5. chick-chick

    chick-chick New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Thanks very much! I will keep on designing my coop while taking this new insight to heart. I will have to post up pictures when it is done.

    If you think that they should have 4sq. ft. each, that will match the run. I could raise it off the ground by about two feet and let two thirds of the run be underneath the coop. That would also give them shade while being outside. I will probably make the floor one or two wooden trays that could slide out for easy cleaning.
     
  6. chick-chick

    chick-chick New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Quote:It wouldn't fall through this fine mesh, especially if it has a layer of shavings on top. The idea was to make it so that it could be pulled out and blasted with a water hose. [​IMG] However, It wouldn't be worth trying if it could hurt the cute little birds' feet. I guess if they didn't like, I could just replace the mesh with wood, but I will just make a wood "drawer" for the floor and forget the mesh.
     

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