finishing touches on new coop construction questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by birdy_num_nums, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. birdy_num_nums

    birdy_num_nums In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008
    Please bear with a newbie:D

    My coop is in the works and is 8x8

    Pop out door- if you had your choice, would you place it within the people door itself, or have it separate in the wall?
    What should the dimensions be? My chooks are standard size, with some larger breeds.

    How high should the roosts be? What is the lowest a roost can be? How do they get up there if they are high? Chicks will be 6 weeks old when they get to the coop- should I start the roost out low for them and gradually move it up? How much higher than the nest boxes should the roost be?

    Ok not to have the next boxes installed for a few weeks yet? I'm thinking this would help them get used to sleeping on the roost vs. in the nests.

    How low can the nest boxes be? Actually on the floor ok? I have 11 chicks, might increase flock 5 hens in the future- how many nests? 1 nest per how many hens? 3? 4?

    What dimensions for the nest boxes? 12"x12"?
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I have my pophole in the wall next to the people door. That is totally a matter of personal preference.... well, everything is! [​IMG]

    The reason I have mine in the wall and not in the people door is that my coop is separated into two sections - people vs. chicken. I can go in our door and not walk on poop because the chickens aren't allowed in there. I also collect my eggs from inside my coop so we (my children and I) don't have to stand outside in bad weather collecting eggs through a side nest box door. I store their feed and bedding and other stuff on the people side and it doesn't get pooey either.

    My pophole is 12x14 and is plenty big for all my standard chickens. It's possible that it would be too small for a really large breed like a Jersey Giant -- I don't know.

    I have my lowest roost at 8" off the floor right now as I have Silkies for the first time and am trying to figure out what to do with their roost and my chicks are only 8 weeks old. My highest roost is about 6 feet up with one about 1 foot and a half lower than that also. (Actually, my highest roost is going to be 8 feet up as I now have Guineas.)

    I would start out the roost low and move it up or use a ladder style roost giving them the option of when to move up higher.

    I would not give them access to nest boxes until they are at least 17 weeks old. You are right, you don't want them to see those as sleeping places. Build your roost at least a foot higher than your highest nest box.

    You can put your nest boxes on the floor or up to 2 feet off the ground. I have two layers with the bottom being about 15" inches off the ground and the top being about 2 feet off the ground. Most of my girls chose to use the top ones over the bottoms ones to lay their eggs.

    One nest box for every four hens. However, you will find that they often choose to use the same box and never use others. Still - it's good to give them the options.

    My nest boxes are 11x12 and I think that's too small. However, when I pulled the wall out between two of them to make a 22x12 nest box - almost none of my girls use that one. They prefer the smaller boxes. If I were to do it again I'd probably go with something closer to 14x14.

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