Elevated coops & big, floppy feather-footed breeds

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by stilldeb, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. stilldeb

    stilldeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
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    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    I have some Sultans in a separate coop that we bought specifically for them. Very well made, but it is one of those elevated coops over the top of the run with a long ramp underneath it. They are 16 weeks old. They will stay up in the coop nearly all day and sometimes I have to bribe them with mealworms to come down...they will stick their heads through the hole, then one foot, another foot, it looks like they are trying to find an easy way to get down - they can FLY and pretty darned well, for heaven's sake. It just seems like maybe this is not the best setup for this breed with their huge feet.

    I am thinking of removing the coop from over the run, covering the top /hole it leaves with hardware cloth and a shade tarp, cutting a hole in the back and attaching the coop at ground level like my other conventional setups, probably raised a bit or on wheels, making a pop-door in the front, etc. I don't think it would be too hard to do.

    At first I thought it was a weather issue as it was very hot here and I know Sultans are not very heat tolerant, I gave them pans of ice inside to keep them cool, etc., but the weather has cooled off nicely now, and they are still "home-bodies". Was wondering if anybody else had similar issues with feather-footed breeds?

    deb g
     
  2. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have EE's and RIR's and silkies. I have noticed that my silkies spend a huge amount of time in the coop and theirs is on the ground. They are so low-key. I hate to say they're lazy cuz I love em too much! [​IMG]
     
  3. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    they will get used to it, just get a broom and force them down for few days and they will get the Idea how to use the ramp.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    My silkies and d'uccle (all feather footed) have no problems using my ramp. BUT - I started with a narrow one and later changed it out for a much wider ramp (because I'd read that silkies often had issues with ramps). I'd make sure your ramp is at least 8 inches wide, and 10 would be even better.

    eta: also make the ramp as grippable (not a word is it??? lol) as possible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  5. stilldeb

    stilldeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
    2
    121
    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    All good ideas. The ramp has little strips across it that makes it 'grippable' - hey, it's a word if we say it is - like "chickening" is a verb, right?? But, it is kinda narrow - maybe a wider one might be a good idea, espeically for those big feet. And yeah, I have been trying to make them just get outta the house - either bribing them with mealworms/treats or just picking them up and putting them 'downstairs' - they are very tame and would totally freak out and get their feelings hurt if I took a broom to them!

    Hey, Omran, I read your thread about building your coop - it's awesome! I'm in KY, too (Henderson County). Where is Bagdad, KY?


    deb g
     

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