extra roost bars

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Calin, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Calin

    Calin Just Hatched

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    Hello guys,

    My first chicken coop first time trying to raise chickens.
    I'll post more pictures with the coop and run but for now:

    I'm desperately trying to add more roost bars to the coop and was thinking to add something above the roosting bars, maybe a plywood 12 inch wide or so across that whole wall but then I'm afraid everyone will fight for that spot as it would be higher than the highest roost bar. I did a bad chicken math and I'll end up with 36 chickens in the coop which ended up being 85 sq ft because I decided to put plywood on the inside too. Run is 256 sq ft and probably if they behave I'll let them free range in the yard and forest area around.
    I will have 2 pvc feeders inside and one pvc waterer. I'll add a pvc waterer in the spring in the run.
    Initially I planned to have a second waterer in the area where the nesting boxes are( you can see it in the pano) and to have attached to the bottom of the boxes but everybody was telling me it's a bad idea as it will ruin their privacy with that much of a traffic in that zone
    Let me know what you think...and let me know if you have any ideas comments etc. This forum was the main research base :)
     
  2. Calin

    Calin Just Hatched

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  3. Calin

    Calin Just Hatched

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  4. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The roosting pole has to be higher than the nesting boxes or they will sleep in the boxes. I think they will be up on those shelves where the buckets are.
     
  5. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    It's just my opinion. Don't get upset. I prefer to have the feeding and watering as far from the nesting boxes as practical. Too much traffic around the nests creates tension. My girls like to "hide" when they are laying.
    If your run is covered, move the feeders and waterers out there to give you more space in the coop area to set up a better roosting area. Right now your roosts are too low to the ground, in relation to the nesting boxes and the shelves. If your not run isn't covered, build a little shelter for the feeders and move them out. You obviously have good carpentry skills, so it shouldn't be difficult. That's a nice looking coop, just not well organized.
    I'm sorry, but 36 chickens are not going to fit in an 85 sq ft coop. Build bigger or cut the chicken number in half.
     
  6. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Sorry, 36 chickens will fit in a 8x10 coop, but it isn't going to go well.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm guessing this is not being used currently? If so, you have not yet experienced the problems you are likely to have.

    First off, is that a ladder style roost? If so, most, if not all of your birds are going to make for the top rung on the ladder. They will fight and crowd together to get there. And from there will attempt to go higher. Those shelves are likely targets. Solution to get more equal use of the roost bars you already have is to keep them all level. To boost space, you can try some of the old tricks. There are some graphical images lifted from some old time books that explain this here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1128991/coop-roost/10#post_17436505

    Note how they double up on the space by putting the roost bars above the nest boxes, but separated by a droppings board. Also note the part about putting wire there to keep the birds off of and out of the droppings. That is an important feature most leave out. Droppings boards will increase your work load but may be necessary at that density level.

    The second part you may want to consider is to mount your roost bar supports so they hinge at the back and can tilt up so you can get in there to clean. Otherwise, at night, they can hang out into space that you would otherwise need to walk around in. One way to pack more birds under the roof you have. Keep in mind, all those birds in a tiny space are going to create ventilation issues. This coop will need to be WIDE open to vent all the moisture they are going to create. WIDE open! 30 birds in 80 SF is running at about 150% of recommended capacity, so far more than recommended, but actually MORE space than most pre-fab coops advertise. That says less about you than it does about the folks who sell pre-fab coops.

    To get water into the run, try 5 gallon buckets with horizontal nipples or even drinking cups. Mine use both with equal preference. They stay clean and do not leak or drip.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  8. Calin

    Calin Just Hatched

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    I'm only upset that somehow I managed to ordered 36. Initially it was supposed to be 10x10 and I thought I'll get some extra chicks in case some didn't make it on the trip. I'm getting them from Murray which is gonna be a very long drive ( I live in S Maine)
    The run is covered but the winters here are pretty nasty. My idea was to only have a waterer and feeder seasonally in the run.
    I definitely need to fix the roosts bars. Should I try to raise them to the window level and have them all at the same height?
     
  9. Calin

    Calin Just Hatched

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    I have Windows on each side and also some ventilation openings just under the roof.
    For the water that was exactly my plan, I'll have 6 gallon buckets going to a 3/4 pipe with nipples. I'll try to set the existing roasts at the same level and maybe add more above the boxes with a board underneath.
    Thanks for the harsh criticism. I deserve it :)
     
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't beat yourself up too much. Worse mistakes than that have been made. Overall, it looks like you did a good job on your research and your build.

    Are these chicks sexed? If not, you can already cut your number in half. If yes, some of them will likely end up as roosters anyway, so they can go and some of them may not make it. Bottom line is most likely you will not end up with 36 birds.

    If you are not married to your layout, you could move the nest boxes across the back with roost bars above those. Feeders on the sides where the roost bars and nest boxes are now. Or leave it as is and simply level out the roost bars. BTW, the math for that is to figure about 8 inches linear roost space per bird. If you have 3 - 8' roost bars, you already have enough roost space for your birds. If so, expect the floor area beneath the roosts to be capped with droppings.......a lot of work to deal with. So either a droppings board with constant attention, or deep litter......with constant attention.

    If you leave this as is, consider leveling the roost bars out at the same level as the top one you have now. They may not use it for the first month or so, and you may want to include some type of intermediary training device for them to hop to and from. I used (and still have) a bale of hay they use for this purpose. That will eventually end up as litter on the floor.

    But either way, you are going to need ventilation and lots of it. The cold is not the issue. The birds can handle the cold. The issue is the moisture the birds themselves create and that has to be ventilated or else the coop will be damp. The birds cannot handle that. Dry is warm and well ventilated is dry. Damp is cold and miserable and will lead to frozen or frostbitten combs and waddles.
     

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