Help Chicken coop suggestions wanted

Kakadoodledoo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
17
0
22
I have almost completed my coop, and I'm looking for any suggestions before i finish up. Mainly I'm wondering if I should change the roosting bar location. Should I move it up or down? I am also thinking of attaching another roosting bar to the first one and the front of the coop. The coop is about 5' by 4'. The roosting bar is 18 inches up. The second roost bar I want to attach on the side opposite of the nesting boxes. Any other suggestions are welcome. Please see attached photo. Also if you want to know anything about my coop's construction please ask. My chicken coop will also have a chicken run.
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I don't what state you live in, but you may want to consider changing your roosting pole so that the 4' side is facing up for 2 reasons. One, the chickens will not be able to wrap their toes "around" it in the position that you have it. Two, in the winter, it will allow the chickens to spread out their toes and nestle down on top of them. This will protect them from frostbite. The height looks just fine. I see that you already have pine shavings on the floor, but since you are starting out in a fresh coop, I really want to encourage you to consider switching your bedding to sand. It is very clean, very cheap, and very easy to maintain. You will have a completely odor free coop (and run if you use it in there) if you use sand. I will not be spilling out of your coop like pine shavings, makes for a very dry environment which is crucial to the health of a chicken, won't cause your chickens to have poopy feet, and is incredibly low maintenance. You can learn more about sand on my blog. I did a very comprehensive post about it. Enjoy your new flock, and welcome to BYC!!

Kelly
✿​
Our Country Chronicles
✿​
 

Kakadoodledoo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
17
0
22
Thanks for the info. I will reposition the bar, and I'm considering the sand. Here's some more pics if i can get anymore feedback.

 

Kakadoodledoo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
17
0
22
I just checked your blog, and my roost bars are the same as yours with the 4" side facing up, parallel to the floor. I think i'll keep it as is unless I hear different. Thanks. Also do you know if anyone does sand and shavings together?
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Sand and shavings together would be a mess. If you want to use sand, the cost and need for shavings is eliminated. If you choose to go with shavings, they will need to be regularly disposed of and replaced. They hold moisture and smell. It's all a matter of preference. I prefer to have my girls in feces free conditions and sand is the best way to achieve that. Also, if you plan to use shavings, be sure to put a barrier of some sort between the wood and the shavings (scrap linoleum or something similar). Otherwise, over time, the wood will become saturated with ammonia and poop funk which will never come out.
sickbyc.gif
But in short, definitely don't use sand and shavings mixed. I have a linoleum barrier.
 
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Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
33,220
65,733
1,392
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
I would put in a second roost. I just really like two of EVERYTHING to help eliminate any hen getting picked on. I think a roost parallel to the window would be fun.

Oh, and paint everything. :)

Actually, even though it would be awful to do it now, I think the inside painted in something glossy, helps to keep the walls cleaner........ But, you can always paint the walls some other year
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,244
126,331
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
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Definitely paint that particle board on the outside or the weather will decompose it pretty quickly.

18 inches is OK but they may need a ramp to get up there until they are older.
I'd put the roosts parallel to the nests but on the opposite wall, so the chicken don't have to walk thru the poop pile under the roost to get to the nests.
Each large fowl chicken needs about 1 foot of roost space.

Get some double latches on those doors and the nest boxes to deter raccoons. Hook and eye with the spring lock on the hook or something with a loop that you can put a carabiner thru.

Cut a 4' x 4" slot above the door and cover with 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth attached with screws and washers for ventilation, cover the window opening with hardware cloth too.
 

Kakadoodledoo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
17
0
22
Okay, so I've cut my second roost and I'm ready to nail it in. I don't have a whole lot of room to work with. how much room should i leave on the backside of the roost for their tail feathers? Here's a pic. I'm just worried that the second roost bar took room from the first roost bar. The second roost bar is on the opposite side of the window. Also, will the chickens face the window?
 

Kakadoodledoo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
17
0
22
I am planning on putting used siding on the coop, that should protect the plywood. I was going to attach one barrel bolt, and maybe lock it. The nesting box lid weighs about 20 pounds, do I really have to worry about a coon or two lifting it up and getting in.
Also, I have a skylight that doubles as a vent. It is 14" by 14". Shouldn't the vented skylight, open window, and open chicken door to the run take care of the ventilation?
The inside I was going to go without painting for this year, and maybe all together. the floor is just plywood with a pallet underneath. I am going to use a deep layer of wood shavings to keep moisture from the floor. Any thoughts?
One more thing the coop is just over 18 square feet not including the nesting boxes. How many chickens should/could I house with an outdoor run (and letting them free range the yard)? My chickens are laying hens with the smallest breed being Ameraucana.
 

vickichicki

Songster
7 Years
Sep 2, 2012
734
42
156
Indianapolis, Indiana
I would most certainly worry about the coons getting in. They are dexterous strong little things with a bundle of determination thrown in. Not to scare you either, a raccoon is smart enough to work out a barrel bolt, maybe get one with the hasp style so you can secure it. I use a spring lock on my coops.

Is the vented skylight going to be closed at night? I assume the door and window will be. Some of those cheap sofit plastic nail on vents at the very top of the coop will take care of some extra night time ventilation.

I am going to suggest painting it now rather than later. As soon as you get a layer of flicked poop on the walls the less likely you are to paint it at a later date. Could always use a garden sprayer and coat it with some Thompsons water seal. Make sure you leave it long enough to dry and air out before putting your chickens in there.

I see the mention of the roosting bars. I use 2x4's... 4" side up.

Some hardware cloth over your window and skylight would be a good idea just in case they break... Do not want anything getting in or out.

The chickens will face both ways. Seems silly not to want to see what is going on, but some still choose to sleep with their nose touching the sidewall.
 
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