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Fixing up an old coop and I have some questions!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicknbootz, May 25, 2017.

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  1. Chicknbootz

    Chicknbootz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2017
    Nebraska
    So the beginning of May we decided to fix up an old grainery that had been converted into a chicken coop. I'm totally 100% new to having chickens. My husband had chickens as a child. There is also an attached run that will be closed off, but they will be free range chickies during the day once they are grown. My first batch of chicks are 4 weeks old, and my second batch is 2 weeks old. We aren't using the coop yet, as we aren't done with the roof, which we are doing this weekend, weather permitting!! There are minor details that still need some work, and that's why I'm posting here! My questions.
    I bought this nesting box off amazon on accident... Definitely didn't need a 10 hole for my 24 chicks!
    -Is 3ft from the floor to the base level of the nesting box too high for them to reach? It sits so nicely under that wood piece, but idk how well they can jump or fly. They probably won't need to get to the second level of the nesting box, right?
    -How in the heck do you keep chicken water clean?!
    -How far from the floor should I start when making perches? I'm going to make them in the corner of the coop.

    Any other random good advice you have, I'd love to hear it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. chick watcher

    chick watcher Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2017
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    Easiest way to keep the water clean is to convert over to chicken nipples. There are lots of post on them. It doesn't take long for the chickens to figure out how to use them.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    1. 3ft for nesting boxes is ok. Mine fly to a 7ft high shelf to lay (their preference, not mine).
    2.They will likely only use 2-3 nest boxes and squabble over who sits when - its what chickens do.
    3. Either vertical or horizontal nipple drinkers work well at keeping water clean
    4. Higher than the top of your nest boxes. Chickens always prefer the upper most roosting spot. Make them any lower and they will use the nest boxes as a roost.
     
  4. Patinas

    Patinas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 3 feet off the ground you might consider a small ramp/ladder for them to access them but as CTKen said, make sure your roosts are higher than your boxes. It depends on the type and size of your chickens. A few of mine are really large, clunky chickens and just watching them, I think mine would appreciate a ramp if the boxes were 3 ft. off the ground.

    My boxes are 20" off the ground and my roosts are 4 feet off the ground with a ladder to access them. I don't have a ramp/ladder for the boxes though.

    For the water, nipple buckets or hang the waterer. In my case, I bought 16" round landscape pavers and built up a stand to put the water on them about 6" off the ground. At this point I could even go higher due to their size. So far, that is working well for me and for them. My waterer is big enough and heavy enough (7 Gallons) that they can't knock it over.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Is 3ft from the floor to the base level of the nesting box too high for them to reach? It sits so nicely under that wood piece, but idk how well they can jump or fly. They probably won't need to get to the second level of the nesting box, right?

    As long as you don't have Silkies that can't fly, three feet shouldn't be any problem for them to reach. The higher ones are within reach too. Those boards across the front will make it easy for them. My full sized fowl have no problems flying up 5 feet to my roosts and could easily go higher if they wanted to.

    -How in the heck do you keep chicken water clean?!

    They love to scratch stuff in it don't they. And they just don't care where they poop. Nipples can be one answer, but there are a few ways to help keep water clean. If you can raise it so it is about shoulder height to your smallest chicken they don't scratch nearly as much in it. It's harder for them to poop in it too. Some people hang the waterer, many build a platform to set it on or use a cinder block. I use a large rock, those are free and easy to find around here. Some people build a platform a foot or more above the top of the bedding and put the waterer up there. The platform is big enough they can walk on it.

    Sometimes they hop/fly up on top of the drinker to perch, depending on the type of drinker. While perching they can poop in the water. If you have one of those hang something over it so they can't perch up there. I cut out a piece of scrap wood but one gallon milk jugs are pretty popular for that. If the waterer is outside where the wind can hit it, fill the milk jug with sand or dirt so the wind doesn't blow it out of the way.

    -How far from the floor should I start when making perches? I'm going to make them in the corner of the coop.

    As mentioned the roosts need to be higher than anything else you don't want them sleeping in. The way I determine roost height is to first determine floor height, including any bedding. Then set the nests. Floor height probably doesn't matter to you with those nests. Then make the roosts noticeably higher than the nests. 12" is usually enough.

    Looking at that photo, there is a chance they may sleep on that shelf above the nests so you might want to make your roosts higher than that shelf if you have vertical room. Or pout your roosts above that shelf and use the shelf as a droppings board.
     
  6. Chicknbootz

    Chicknbootz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2017
    Nebraska
    Thank you guys for your input!!
     

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