Help me with my nesting box/ roost/ ladder idea?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Noymira, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got a few ideas in my head, but I'm not sure which will be the easiest to build and best for the birds. I'm hoping for some ideas and/or advice please!

    Here is what we are going to use for our nesting boxes. We are going to turn it on it's side, and add shelves across the middle of each space for a total of 6 boxes (we have 14 chickens). I will add a lip on each level to keep bedding and eggs in. I think this is about 3'x5', not at home to measure now.
    [​IMG]

    Here are 3 ideas I've come up with for roosts. Please forgive my hasty paint drawings!

    1- Ladder in front of and above the nesting boxes with 2 roosts and several smaller rungs to hop up (side view, the only way I could draw this and have it make sense).
    [​IMG]

    2- 2 roosts above the dropping board/nest box with a ladder up the side of the nest box
    [​IMG]

    3- One long roost that runs the length of the wall (10'), but only about half the roost would be above the dropping board. A ladder up one side since this would be 4-5' off the ground.
    [​IMG]

    I'm torn, since I like and dislike parts of each of these designs. Any ideas or advice, or pics of your similar setup would be greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  2. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think all of your drawings are great! I am not experienced and am building my first large coop myself, but picture #1 looks like humans could be ambushed with small 'bombs' from above. I like both designs #2 and #3; it looks like you made the bottom roost further out from the wall in #2 so that they do not 'bomb' one another either. If it was me, I'd probably go with #3 so that no one can be above anyone else, but that's just personal preference.

    All of the drawings look great, and I think your nest boxes will be awesome. [​IMG]
     
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your concept is great but a couple ideas:

    With 14 birds, 3 nests are all you need, I would suggest you use the box you have and set it like in the photo but take the hinges off and put on a front (maybe a sheet of ply with 6 - 8" entry hole then mount a perch on the outside to make entry easy. This would allow the hen to hop uo to the perch and then step into the box or hop down if it's already occupied.

    Do not go too high with the roost bar(s) so you don't have an injury from a heavy birds jumping down in a confined area. Going up 4" is plenty high. Putting the roost over top the nest box is a great idea because that area is typically already used and not in your walkway. Also it gives you a base to set your poop trays on. I recommend removable poop trays that you can carry outside and hose off vs ones you have to scrape off into a bucket but your layout can help decide that. Another idea is to mount the poop tray like a wide shallow drawer that rolls out of the coop wall for even easier access, just remember to latch it so a coon doesn't pull it out and use the opening for an entrance.

    A ladder is great idea because it gives birds a spot to perch rather than sit on the floor on a day they're locked in. A poop tray on the ground works for this situation if you notice they are using the ladder a lot to roost. Another use for a ladder is to teach young birds to roost and control where they roost at.
     
  4. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree, the more I look at them the more I like 2 & 3. I'll have to go do some measuring and see exactly how much room I have, I don't want two roosts really crowded. I also think the ladder on the side in #3 takes up the least amount of floor space.
     
  5. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks, some good input! I think we are sticking with the nesting boxes the way they are, since my dad's already started that. I ripped the hinges off the other day.

    I was hoping to get a larger kitchen counter top but this was free, so I thought I work with it, it's already mounted to the nest box. I do have a long piece of paneling I could use the counter top to support. I could put boot trays on that to collect the dropping. Our coop is a 10'x10' shed, and the wall behind the roost has already been insulated and paneled, so I couldn't cut a hole easily on that side.

    I will definitely build a ladder to the roost and keep it as low as possible. I think I am going to store feed and supplies in metal trash cans under the board as well.
     
  6. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    #3 would be easiest to keep clean.
     
  7. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think I'm leaning towards that as well.

    Thanks for all the input!
     
  8. jinxschuh

    jinxschuh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2011
    Northern Utah
    You might want to think about putting a ladder on each side of the roost. I'm finding with my 1 ladder roosting there is always one pullet that decides not to go all the way up and just roost on the ladder and then there is a traffic jam and no one else can get up past her. I'm working on fixing the problem. Until then I am finding myself going in and moving the offending pullet up higher to allow room for the others to climb up and settle in. Can't tell if it is the same one every night since they all look so much a like (I have 7 - 14 week old RIR pullets) but I'd almost bet that it is.
     
  9. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll have to post pictures when you're done, whichever you decide! [​IMG]
     
  10. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That' a good idea, we aren't really cramped for space so there's no good reason not to. Thanks!
     

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